Treasure Hunters, which I actually quite enjoy, is most often referred to as something akin to a low-rent version of Amazing Race, a show which I assiduously refuse to watch.
Why, you ask? Surely if I like the former I should at least give the latter a try. I have, I did, my trust was betrayed (see my first post on how wrong such a thing is), and I’m done. The first season of the now long-running Amazing Race was cut short by several episodes. While the end of the race was shown, there were several large, intermediate steps that went missing. It still amazes me, though I don’t know why it should, that the first season was cut short, to the point where the arc made little sense, should come back for a second season, and a third and so on. Luckily the world at large has a short-term memory. Not me, I hold grudges (speaking of which, how is it possible that Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home??? What the hell kind of an ending to a series is that!?!).
Make no mistake, Treasure Hunters is not great television, it’s just good fun. It’s an enjoyable little diversion, even if it’s stabs at manufacturing history and being vaguely educational in some odd sort of way are laughable. And, have you ever met a less likable Pastor? Will God be protecting him and his family from their underhanded actions and blatant thievery? There’s actually an episode of Cheers where Carla flouts God left and right because her son has decided to be a priest and she says that as the mother of a priest she gets a direct ticket to Heaven. Are the Fogals working off the same sort of theory? And how about the Brown family, did anyone truly believe that they ever had a shot to win, or the Wild Hanlons? In the interest of creating diverse groups did they completely overlook who might actually be able to win? All three of these teams made for fun television, but not for a competitive race. Of course, that might be the exact reason they were chosen too. And they certainly do make for compelling TV, one absolutely does shout at the screen when they do dumb things. It’s just that they never could have won (I’ll eat my hat if the Fogals win the whole shebang). Maybe there could have been a compelling AND competitive team.
On the other hand, maybe it’s all in how the show is cut.