New Americana TV show on Monsters and Mysteries

Another in the long line of same ole same ole?

Crypto Creatures And Local Legends Lurk In Destination America’s New Series “Monsters And Mysteries In America”.

Stories of the unknown capture our imagination and curiosity in Destination America’s new series MONSTERS AND MYSTERIES IN AMERICA, premiering Sunday, March 24 at 10 PM E/P. From all across the country emerge tales of close encounters with legendary creatures, from horrific monsters and ancient spirits to alien sightings and unexplained paranormal phenomena.

Featuring first-person accounts with everyday people who believe they have come face to face with real-life folktale fiends, MONSTERS AND MYSTERIES IN AMERICA travels our country’s untamed wilderness to tell of its storied past.

Each episode focuses on a different American region and features stories of people who claim to have encountered creatures of local legend.

Of course, everyone’s favorite, Bigfoot, gets his own episode, in episode two. Episode one deals with Sheepsquatch, UFOs and aliens and the legendary Mothman.

You can visit Monster and Mysteries In America’s press site here. It looks interesting but… you know. It looks like every other mystery show. Reenactments, the local expert, maybe a token skeptic or two. Do I sound jaded? Paranormal TV is almost overwhelmingly bad.

  10 comments for “New Americana TV show on Monsters and Mysteries

  1. spookyparadigm
    March 4, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    So, what would a “good” crypto (or para legend more generally) show look like? We’ve started with what we don’t like

    – re-enactments
    – sketches and reconstructions
    – ghost hunter style wandering about in the woods, pointlessly.

    I guess the question is, what disciplinary approach do you take to it. Crypto shows usually have a blend of the biological and the reality show, with an emphasis on the reality show. Ghost shows often are more antiquarian or folkloric, when they aren’t just straight up attempts at ripping off popular horror movies. UFO and alien shows have been a complete wreck for a long time, but take either a conspiratorial or Fortean piecing together bent.

    My personal bias would be that it should be historical. A historical documentary on local legends, rather than a “let’s run aro9und in the dark with night vision” or “let’s re-enact spooky stories” would be fascinating. But it wouldn’t be very thrilling, it would be interesting. And if it is on commercial TV, it has to be sensational.

    You can’t, IMO, do anything reasonably intelligent in the frame of reality TV. And “scary stories time” is inherently limiting.

  2. RDW
    March 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    These types of shows are produced easily and cheaply. That’s why there are so many of them. I agree, a historical documentary would be much more interesting.

  3. spookyparadigm
    March 4, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    There was a semi-decent one about UFOs on A&E around the 50th anniversary of Roswell. It had its flaws, but I’ve seen a lot worse. But they don’t make those sort of docs anymore except for PBS, due to the reality tv effect.

  4. March 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I seen it. It was real scary an … I seen it.

    And that should just about cover the entire season.

  5. March 4, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    The History Channel used to have shows called Ancient Mysteries and History’s Mysteries which took a not-too-wooish look at such things. But that was before reality shows took everything over.

  6. spookyparadigm
    March 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Even those shows (I was a big devotee of History’s Mysteries, it always weirded the gf out when I could anticipate their next talking point) were kind of woo-friendly. They were basically the 1990s version of In Search Of …. But they did take a semi-analytical, semi-objective stance, as simplistic as they were. Today’s shows, a bunch of them are just “did you see that” night vision shows. And then we get Ancient Aliens and America Unearthed, which advocate specific themes and concepts, as Jason Colavito has so admirably been chronicling on his blog. I’m still torn on whether History knows what it is doing, is it simply too blinded by the ROI in these incredibly cheap shows.

  7. March 5, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Wasn’t the Mothman just an owl?

    Anyway, the big issue is that most audiences don’t want fact, because facts and actual scientific investigations of these sightings and/or phenomenon are boring. They lack suspense or drama (as they should because its lovely, lovely science!). Try selling a show about people properly testing these things with scientific method to a studio, it won’t work.

    It’s sad, but then again that is why the skeptic community exists: to point the curious in the right direction and away from the fantasy.

  8. March 5, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Michael: Whatever the Mothman was, likely a bird, it has morphed way WAY beyond that into an extreme monster. In a way it’s a beautiful cultural thing; the sad part is that people believe it’s real.

  9. Ryuthrowsstuff
    March 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Its a shame, something interesting could be made from a proper folklore perspective, and you wouldn’t be stuck with whatever jackass urban legend cropped up last week. Its pretty short sighted from the network’s perspective as well, from what I heard Monster Quest (as bad as it was) eventually ended because they ran out of things to cover. I did some editing work for the company responsible and they were apparently scrambling starting from the 3rd season. Both the approach and the chosen topic were far to limiting. Not a lot of claims fell under their purview and the “It’s real, I seen it! – DNA Test – Inconclusive! What do you believe?!” format stripped that down even further. Most of the current crop of paranormal crap is already running into the same problem. Limited topics further limited by the simplified formatting/approach. I’ve already been hearing TV producers complain about how these shows are petering out and becoming difficult to make. 4 seasons of the same idiots running around the same woods doing the exact same things with nothing to show for it won’t exactly keep an audience engaged.

  10. Flucksy
    March 9, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    I miss Is It Real? Nat Geo really outdid themselves with that show and I’m really sad to see it off the air. They did a great job at showing the skeptical and believer’s side of the topic. Even James Randi was on the show in the first seasons.

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