|Index||10 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How you like your archeology may well be how you determine if
Expedition Unknown is for you. This is archeology light as
entertainment and in that guise it seems to succeed well under the tour
guidance of Josh Gates. Gates is closer to a travel guide with a
specialty of important archaeological finds. In other words, he takes
viewers to some very remote places while enlightening us to some
history science with a high entertainment quotient. Introducing us to
what some of the heavies in the field of history and archeology have
recently been up to is much more palatable because Josh Gates is truly
a charismatic explorer complete with some seriously snappy commentary
related to both the sublime and absurd people and places he encounters.
This guy is as close to a TV Indiana Jones as is likely to be in
existence. I mean this a compliment because it is likely he'll inspire
more than a few young minds and cause us older folks to laugh while
sometimes being amazed.
Admittedly I'm writing this only seeing the first two installments of Expedition Unknown. With that in mind I've enjoyed both shows. The first was about possibly finding new evidence of Amelia Earhart. While this first episode was good, it shed little new light on what actually happened to Amelia, her navigator, and plane. Still, it was interesting and worth a look. Expedition Unknown, however, hit a sweet spot with it's second episode. Trekking to a remote part of Cambodia Josh's expedition of a recently discovered lost city was amazing...plus, he made it seem like a true grand adventure complete with his trademark truly funny humor as well as very real danger. This found city was only able to be revealed with the latest 21st century LIDAR technology. The site is being protected because it may reveal some of the most amazing and historical finds in modern times. This city is over 1300 years old and likely hasn't been seen in, perhaps, one-thousand years plus.
So many so-called reality historical shows are hollow, but this one seems to have something more which is to say some importance as far as history goes. It definitely has much more fun due to the truly charismatic Josh Gates. I do not know how many of this first season's episodes will reveal amazing history as the second episode, but this is a well thought out and realized adventure show with more than a just a guise of science. I'd call it a recommended watch for any armchair adventurer and history buff. So far, so good definitely comes to mind.
Addendum: The third episode is keeping up with the excellent start and even better second installment. This time the story is all about the Russian "Amber Room" from Catherine The Great's castle which was pilfered by Nazis in the early forties. Lots of really interesting locales giving pieces to the clues of what may have happened to the dismantled room. Josh's humor provides just the right "comic relief" as to the sometimes absurd things he observes. Great episode shedding some light on a still elusive priceless treasure that may, or may not, remain to be discovered.
The production isn't quite as good as Cities of the Underworld but I still thoroughly enjoy this show. I've seen all the Cities of the Underworld episodes a few times so Expedition Unknown has replaced it on my DVR list as my Sunday morning coffee drinking show. Josh Gates being an actual Archaeologist makes it better for me as well. He really does have the best job in the world. He hasn't completely replaced my man crush on Don Wildman (I still watch Mysteries at the Museum) but it's close. Great show, and if the producers read this I am available to be an assistant (though my wife may not let me travel the historical world and leave her at home...she already nixed me volunteering for VetPaw, an organization for combat vets that fight poachers in Africa). Slight tangent there but yeah definitely a show worth a watch.
Gates must be one of the more personable hosts on TV today. The premise
is basically the same as his former show Destination Truth on SyFy;
insofar as as with Destination Truth the show starts with some spurious
rumour and homemade 'newspaper article' relating to some 'lost'
artefact or place (as opposed to a mythical creature in DT) followed by
Gates heading off around the globe in search of the artefact or place,
followed closely by Gate's goofing around while he gets down on the the
more serious track of the legends, which he then hunts down in the most
annoyingly melodramatic ways possible.
All in all while the content is hokum in the extreme, overly melodramatic in parts, as a travelogue to some pretty interesting places conducted by an intelligent, well travelled, funny and entertaining host.
So happy Josh and co are back. Love the show. I look forward to his adventures and silly nature. Keep up the great work! Love all the info you uncover.. research that we as viewers would never know. Getting the local folks involved is a great way to learn more about a subject. I"m glad the show is strictly Josh an not a bunch of other tag a longs that have no personality like on destination truth. Josh is likable and makes the show fun to watch while learning about history. So far this season Robin hood was really fun to watch unfold! King Arthur was just as interesting. Genghis Chan.. not so much But I will keep on watching as I really enjoy the show. Travel Channel did itself a favor when adding Josh Gates to the lineup
I wanted to like this, as it promised high adventure in search of historical artifacts, the host seemed engaging, and at first glance, it looked like fun. I especially hoped, though, to learn something. Unfortunately, the host's charms quickly wear thin as he reveals more and more of his insipid and shallow personality. He seems far more concerned for his image as "adventurer" than much else. For an archaeologist, his level of awareness as to the actual value, or reasons for it, of the targets of his "adventures" seems woefully inadequate to this viewer. Add the extended hype to little or no real end, and this show falls much flatter than need be, catering to the lowest common denominator of the viewing audience. I had never heard of the "Amber Chamber", and stuck with the episode in hopes of some payoff, only to be disappointed. I may sift through remaining episodes on topics of particular interest to me to see if there's anything new up for discussion, but in spite of the show's flaws, not because of any special merit. I'll be holding my nose the whole time.
If Mike Rowe is the people's everyman host, Josh Gates is the host you
most want to be. Who wouldn't want to travel the world investigating
odd and unusual stories and historical mysteries? And not only that,
Josh never seems to have a bad day. Perhaps it's just the magic of
television but he genuinely seems to have fun with everything no matter
what situation he seems to find himself in. He seems to genuinely enjoy
his job and it comes through in every episode.
The show thinly veils itself as being about history and archaeology, but it really is about Gates and his adventures and misadventures around the world. Occasionally you will learn something and they will find something archaeologically interesting, but that's really not what the show is about. Being on the Travel channel, it's as much about the travel and experience as it is the science. Perhaps more so.
The show is well worth the watch.
I like the travels and "quests" for things that will never be solved .. It at least sparks an interest to the globe of peeps that may not have thought about these things ... My wish is to see the Pics or Video of the Camera Men that go into the areas Before and capture the "OMG I am the first person seeing this or this is so deadly .. film me .." When clearly the cameraman is the person before this "drama" and filming the appearance .. duh .. " The lead actor has a great presence .. I would be more impressed without the scripted drama and see behind the scenes of the peoples that make this so much fun ... But I still like the venture ... is great for my grandchildren or pre-teens imagination ..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am - was a big fan of Destination Truth and Josh, Ryder and the gang.
The show was daring, exciting, thrilling, educational, fascinating and
down right scary at times (ie: Isle of the dolls and Romanian Forest).
When it was canceled, I was heart sick. Wanted it to go on forever.
Then the news came that Josh hosted this new adventure show on Travel.
Couldn't wait. Watched all episodes so far and find my self fast
forwarding my DVR through portions of each show and let down at the
Here are my issues with the format: 1) Josh was much more entertaining with an entourage rather than solo. I find his solo performance lacking in humor, daring and excitement - no camaraderie. The comedic attempts seem contrived and just plain dumb - way below Josh's standards. He used to cut me up joking spontaneously with Ryder.
2) Lacks focus - is this an adventure show or a touring show, shouldn't be 50/50 as it feels now. On search for pirate Morgan's ship, there were segments of touring the places that went on far too long that had no relevance to the adventure - same for every episode so far. i ended up FF through these segments finding them a distraction from the intention of the adventure - discover Cpt Morgan's ship and behold what treasures it holds.
3) There hasn't been one show with reward at the end. I'm left empty. The hunts for treasures (Jesse James lost gold, Amber Room) or other secrets end up cut short because of time waisted touring the areas. No conclusive evidence, no revelations, no discoveries of actual treasure, no dam answers. Real let down for me. I wanted to yell at the screen "open the bleep'n treasure chest you idiots" don't leave your audience hang'n.
I had read that this new show was going to have a similar format to DT but NOT EVEN CLOSE in my book. There are no thrills, no chills, no reward. Like in destination truth when they discovered the Yeti footprint, had it analyzed and actually had credible evidence that the creature they'd chased was real. WOW, now that's entertainment worthy of sticking with.
Expedition Unknown is a disappointment for me. I only watch it now out of respect for Josh and the hope something cool and exciting might happen. So far though...NADA.
The show is just irritating and ridiculous. If that's what you are looking for then go for it! The Josh Gate's voice sounds like he has body parts caught in a vice. I mean, you could use recordings of this guy's voice to torture prisoners. Anyone knows that the conclusions that this show draws are even more ridiculous than the host's voice. You need time, research and investigation to compile real historical data, not a vacation tour. This is matchbook history at best. I'm disappointed that this show is still on the Travel Channel. I know they have struggling to fine talent and ideas to fill the hours but it seems that they must be desperate if this sorry excuse for a show is still airing. Let's just cross our fingers that maybe Anthony Bourdain will return to the channel for one last curtain call.
We really wanted to like this show. We were eager to "travel" to the
places the show was going and were eager to learn the latest info on
each of the topics. We thought it would be more of a documentary
format. (Gary Bredow's show Start Up is the perfect example of what
this show should be.) Instead, we found a LOT of filler and contrived
situations and gungy language that was covered by that
headache-inducing bleep sound that we still can't believe producers
still use. The show seems to drag because we're waiting for the "real"
info and situations and they are few and far between. It's difficult to
buy into the concept that the show is going to actually discover
anything we don't know, because any big discoveries would have been
news. Meeting actual people was pretty great though.
We're still going to DVR the show, but we're going to do our own online research on the topic first, then fast forward through the show just to see the sites. The fakery isn't worth our time. Great sites and info are. Hopefully the show will get better and smarter and start treating us like the intelligent people.
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