I think that growing up in England and being forced to watched endless Jane Austen remakes has caused me to rebel in my 30s and watch non-stop garbage on TV. But Destination Truth has caught my Medusa-like gaze, and now they can't make them fast enough for me. It's tragic really, but still better than another BBC Pride & Prejudice.
One recent episode promised the "world's first underwater paranormal investigation", which sounds like the punchline to a politically incorrect Irish joke but they were serious. The underwater EVPs were my favorite part, since they ruled out the fish mumbling to each other and provide incontrovertible proof of aqua-spooks.
Destination Truth is like a travel show with Tourettes syndrome, but fortunately the guy who bleeps out the cursing is always on cue. I have no idea who Josh Gates is or why he's famous, but I suspect he's intensely irritating in real life. Part know-it-all and part bossy-boots, he's also cursed by a terrible grasp of basic science but has a supportive crew who doesn't mind putting up with his crap.
He's also made friends with Jason and Grant from Ghosthunters, who hang around like they're trying to steal his wallet. He flies across the world, stays somewhere one or two nights then flies back with audio clips that Grant can approve ("There's definitely something there!") and Jason can make scientific-sounding conclusions ("We just don't have enough research in the field"). All three of them need a thorough slap.
Invariably, in looking for Yetis and Lochness monsters, they'll make a casting of a recently-made large footprint, or discover a bone in some crazy local's pub. Back in LA, they harass the school of zoology and waste the time of DNA labs to show it was a horseshoe and a half-eaten chicken wing. As for the rest of the evidence, we're back to chasing shadows, making things out of heat camera images, and manufacturing EVPs.
Our host Josh punctuates his investigations with wise-cracks about the crappy technology of people in third-world countries, and feigning health-inspector-like safety tips to his subordinates ("Be very careful!"). He's like the protective Dad, and prefers to scuba dive than ghost hunt - and likes to be the guy who drives rather than a passenger. He probably likes walks on the beach too, but definitely has a penchant for jumping to conclusions.
A recent EVP in Japan said "hai", which is apparently Japanese for 'no' but also English for 'hi'. This meant that it was a Japanese soldier from Pearl Harbor who survived the attack but died while watching a Godzilla movie and his spirit lingers on to warn others about choking on a bone in a spiny tuna roll. While the destination may be Truth, I think it's going to be chance rather than determination that gets us there.
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James Beswick (jbeswick)
Lunch.com's "token Brit".
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