Destination Truth

I had my first viewing experience with Destination Truth and I have to admit I am impressed. Josh is a lively and animated host who goes into an area with a skeptical mindset with the intent of finding the truth, whatever it may be. It’s a fun history lesson, an unusual travel guide and adventure narrative with a host who seems to really love what he’s doing.

If you remember decades past the Leonard Nemoy narrated “In Search Of…” then you have some background into Destination Truth. Josh and his team go in search of mystical creatures, myths, legends, spirits and all sorts of other things that inhabit, haunt or terrorize. They literally travel the world looking to debunk or prove the existence of water creatures, jungle man, death worms and killer bats, just to name a few.

In a very down to earth style, much like Ghost Hunters, Josh listens to the stories and then he and his small team try to explain prove or disprove its existence. I’ve only jumped on board for a couple of shows, but I am already drawn in. Josh’s style is fun and exciting. He wants to learn the culture, sample the food, and he gets right into the thick of it. Josh has no problem eating the fried caterpillars, friend spiders or scuba diving at night.

It’s fun stuff and I’m looking forward to seeing more. Hulu has parts of Season 2 available, but I don’t see any mention on Amazon as to when a DVD set might be coming out.

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Ghost Hunters and GH International

I don’t know why the guys at TAPS keep releasing their DVD in two separate parts, but I did get the second part of season 2 and found it pretty entertaining. Some pretty cool locations and the Halloween episode at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium looks like it will be fun.

The show has definitely changed since the first season, and for the better. They are a lot more focused and a lot more professional. They aren’t taking themselves any more seriously, they still have plenty of fun and are still very enjoyable to watch. If anything, maybe they know what they’re doing now more so than before.

If nothing else they deserve full credit for bringing some validity to a field that really only existed in the paranoid mind of Fox Mulder. Although that was a different kind of paranormal, these guys have actually brought a sense of legitimacy to the idea of spirits and the supernatural. So much so that they have spun off Ghost Hunters International. I have only been able to catch one episode which was at Frankenstein’s Castle, but although Grant and Jay aren’t at the helm the team did seem to do pretty well on their own. By not watching the episodes as they air on TV I have missed something since I didn’t know this show was coming up, have no idea who these two new “head honchos” are, and missed all the pieces that lead up to the “Hunt for the Hunter” episode.

But anyway, GHI has a lot of potential with Donna, Andy and Brian still part of the team. Even in Castle Frankenstein, Brian is still a nutball. Barry is still skittish of things that go bump in the night, but that’s what makes him loveable. I hope GHI stays around, it looks like they get to visit some fantastic places and ruins. If nothing else it’s a haunted travel series and who doesn’t like that idea?

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Simpsons Halloween Special XVIII

Simpsons Halloween Special XVIII

Matt and his gang just don’t have the punch they used to. The Halloween Special is the one Simpsons episode I look forward to all year long and they used to be great. The earlier episodes were a lot of fun with crazy spoofs, lots of hacking and slashing and plenty of juvenile pranks centered on Halloween. The Treehouse of Horror disc that has been released is great with everyone narrowly escaping death at every turn. Now the stories are lame spoofs that have nothing to do with Halloween, not that the episodes would even be considered scary, but they aren’t even trying to spoof horror movies or pick interesting stores to tell.

The 3 episodes tonight were just plain dumb. E.T. Go Home, Mr. & Mrs. Simpson and Heck House weren’t funny, satirical, or enjoyable in any way. They completely lacked the creativity of years past. Sadly, this has been the trend for the last couple of episodes. Episodes 15, 16 and 17 were terribly pathetic.

What happened to the cool episodes like The Shinning, The Island of Dr. Hibbard or The Raven? The past episodes have just been spoofs of movies (and not good ones either) and have nothing to do with Halloween. They’re just regular episodes that really don’t seem to have a whole lot of thought behind them. I have to say this year was a complete disappointment. Having Ned turn into the devil is always funny, but this year it was weak. Where are the books of the occult? Where are the skeletons rising from the grave? Why are the main characters not turning into zombies, or other characters? Where is the evil hairpiece that is controlling Homer’s mind?

Where are the episodes where Milhouse is gets churned up in a blender after the other kids have been eaten by Skinner? Why don’t we have James Earl Jones voicing some bizarre characters whose main motivation is to eat humans? Where are the Twilight Zone styled episodes? Egad, it’s supposed to be a Halloween episode, where’s the devil, the witches, zombies and all the other terrors? Come on, Moe didn’t even try to hang himself this year…

Through the help of the released box sets and TiVo I have managed to watch all the episodes from years past and they used to be funny with lots of satire, puns, and references to all sorts of movies and characters. The first 13 are worth watching over and over again. But now the material is weak at best. Matt needs to get some new material, this year didn’t even warrant a chuckle…

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Criminal Minds – Season 2

Criminal Minds – Season 2

Amidst the horror movies I was also watching the second season of Criminal Minds. It’s been many months since Season One hit the shelves so I’m glad this one is finally out. I had only caught the show in hit or miss fashion during Season One and enjoyed getting a lot more of the character development by watching the whole series. Season Two continues the fine trend of acting and great stories. There is a lot more revealed about the characters through the episodes from Reed’s family life with his ill mother and Morgan with his childhood abuses. We also begin to see the strain of Hotch and his family. His constant absence and how his wife and son are becoming distant to him play key roles to his character.

The stories are still excellent and compelling with plenty of modern threats woven in. Many times we hear of Bundy, Dahmer, Manson and others who let us know the elements in the show are based on the strange happenings of reality.

A couple episodes are a little hit and miss, but overall it’s an excellent season with a variety of stories and challenges for the team. Bombers, arsonists, kidnappers, religious fanatics and “Frank”, Gideon’s new arch nemesis keep the team busy trying to save humanity from itself.

We also see the departure of Elle as her shooting from Season One gets the better of her and she is too hate driven and vengeful to do her job effectively. Elle is replaced with Emily who doesn’t actually have the job when she first shows up. When she shows up with folders in hand ready to get to work she is greeted coldly by Hotch who doesn’t understand why she’s here. But luckily she has something to add to the current investigation and she begins to make inroads into the team.

There is a lot to like about this show and for anyone who remembers “Millennium” the episodes can be just as dark and foreboding as they investigate the truly dark side of man and woman. Excellent chemistry and no end of dangerous and terrifying suspects keep this show moving. It’s well done on so many levels and has become one of my favorite shows.

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