Lately, I have been in a type of television conundrum: I love cryptozoology, but cannot seem to find any worthwhile cryptozoological shows on television to watch. So, I decided to go on a hunt through the recesses of modern crypto-television.
Monsters and Mysteries in America/Unsolved
I began my search with watching several episodes of the popular Monsters and Mysteries in America and Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved. The first aired in 2013 and ran for three seasons, and the second aired last year. Each episode looks at a handful of mysteries, most focusing on various cryptids. Their portrayal of the phenomena is pretty accurate and they generally get several researchers on to discuss cases and ideas, but the show tends to focus on the sensational aspects without any skeptical points of view. The show also recreates various cases with a person in a rubber suit and some B-grade actors -- the effect of which is quite amusing.
This infamous show was also on the top of my list to peruse, largely due to the huge cult following this show seems to have acquired. After watching two episodes, I realized either the show producers or the team themselves don't care about accurate research. It seems that the bare minimum was done before heading out on a hunt. I think that the AIMS team uses the premise of monster hunting to get on television playing with their firearms. I have no problem with the show, in fact, I think that it is great mindless entertainment, but that is all that it is.
Swamp Monsters is essentially the same show as Mountain Monsters but in the Bayou instead of the Appalachia. The team members of BEAST (Bayou Enforcement Agency on Supernatural Threats). The show only had three episodes and there isn't much worth discussing from any of them.
Finding Bigfoot is another show that has gained a large cult following. During the first couple seasons, the show did some pretty good research and investigative work. Over time, though, the show began to outgrow its stay and seems to be riding purely on the unending dedication of its fans. The show certainly isn't as bad as many people claims.
Monsters Underground has a simple premise: there are mysterious creatures that supposedly live in caves around the world, and this team is going after them all! The only thing is... there aren't that many that supposedly live in caves. Needless to say, the show didn't last long -- and the short time it did air was not spent terribly productively.
Monster Quest was technically the first cryptozoology focused show to be produced. It lasted for 5 seasons and each episode focused on a different cryptid or a specific regional aspect of a creature with a larger range. I personally love this show. Each episode did an excellent job of introducing the creature and several cases as well as consulting several authorities on the creature each episode. Something else that made the show unique is that they consulted the skeptical side of thinking as well, not just those who wholeheartedly believe in the creatures.
Over the past few months, the show Killing Bigfoot has been making waves in the world of cryptozoology, to the point that some disgruntled bloggers and researchers put together a petition prevent the airing of the show. The reason the show created so much controversy is the argument: whether or not Bigfoot should be killed in order to prove its existence. The show seems to have really relied on that controversy in order to raise viewership. Unfortunately, the show follows the same formula as Mountain Monsters and Swamp Monsters among others: a bunch of bearded rednecks with large guns traipsing the wilderness searching for monsters. Killing Bigfoot is nothing really new or special but is fairly entertaining to watch.
So, what is your favorite crypto-show? Let me know in the comments!