The Curse of Oak Island, season 1

release year: 2014
genre: TV documentary series
viewing setting: home DVD 1/4-5/16

synopsis: In 1795 on a tiny island in Nova Scotia, some kids found what looked like evidence of recent digging and perhaps buried treasure, but despite their best efforts (and those of various others over the next 200+ years) no one has ever been able to find anything substantial...perhaps until now.

impressions: I love mysteries. I love this mystery. I would like to think that there's really something down there, and efforts to unearth it are being hampered by the dozens of other holes dug, redug, covered, and destroyed over the last two centuries. And I like the the idea of a carefully-planned and -executed approach to exploring all of this. This is entertaining and easy to watch and will burn some hours, but it can be tedious. Every time some new theory is put forth or some possible evidence is found - and also every time one of those is mentioned again, which is often - you can count on the narrator to then say "Could _______________?" where the blank is some attempt to entice the viewer by relating the just-mentioned bit to the overall mystery. It gets old, but this sort of narration and pushing-along of ideas is likely necessary for those viewers who can't put it together on their own. Someday, whenever treasure is finally found and this great mystery is finally put to rest, the History Channel should take all of the key moments from all of the seasons of this show and edit them together into a two-hour movie that covers only what we need to know. They could call it "Oak Island: Just the Good Stuff." Anyway. It's certainly fun to watch, and I'll follow it for as long as it runs, because with all the things they're trying, they're bound to succeed eventually. Their biggest problem is that they have no verifiable facts from the past explorations. For example, the mysterious stone that had a ciphered inscription on one knows where it is or if it ever actually existed. And the original shaft, the first one found that would logically contain whatever's down one knows where exactly it is because of 200+ years of undocumented digging. It's going to be an uphill battle for the brothers, but it should be interesting to watch. Season one has five episodes, during which the overall situation and history are explained, all primary and secondary characters are introduced, and the first efforts are started. The season ends with the discovery of an actual long-buried item that could be indicative of the presence of treasure somewhere on the island.

acting: n/a...this is a TV documentary with two primary people, several main secondary people, and an ever-changing group of helpers, contractors, and people with theories who show up to try and convince everyone that they know what's going on.

final word: Entertaining, but inherently long and drawn-out due to what it is; this will be fine for those who enjoy the allure of strange old mysteries.

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