I tend to loathe reality tv, but I’ve been watching Treasure Hunters and enjoying the puzzles and riddles in between chunks of hating humanity.
This guy’s post sums up a lot of what I was thinking about writing. The Fogal family (or at least how they’re edited by NBC) is more or less the embodiment of everything I dislike about religion in general and Christianity in particular. Of course, they talk a great talk. The father (a pastor) has that soothing, sort-of-condescending voice like the dad in Footloose. The mother talks a lot about how much she cares about everyone, does the the yes-woman thing, and thanks The Big Man Upstairs every few seconds. The daughter mostly cries.
Their motto seems to be “do what I say, not what I do.” One of the challenges involves canoeing past a certain number of markers on a river and finding something. At one point they have trouble portaging a canoe, so the guys from south Boston help them out. The two teams (plus a third) end up traveling together and decide to stop at what might be the next to last marker but maybe not because no one’s sure how many they’ve counted so far. As the other two teams hit the shore, the Fogals blast past them (knowing there’s one more marker, mind you), and leave the other two teams behind. Assholes.
If only that were the worst, though. In the first episode, one of the tasks was to snorkel around looking for a container, dive down and get something out of it. There were nine teams doing this and a container for each. One of the Miss USA girls found one, came back up, chatted briefly with the Fogal dad, began to swim away and HE REACHED INTO HER CONTAINER, GRABBED THE ITEM AND SWAM AWAY!
But early in the first episode, the Fogal dad rationalized all the crappy stuff he was going to do (or had done, who knows how these things are filmed). He said (and I’m paraphrasing here), well, it was a competition for a lot of money, and he was going to treat it like one, so if that means a little lying or other stuff the Bible sort of maybe mentions that people shouldn’t do, it’s ok and he’ll do it, because he knows Jesus will forgive him.
And there it is. Christianity’s giant loophole, where you get to be a total asshole and treat everyone like shit, but hey, it’s fine, man, I’m forgiven, so I’m a smug asshole, too.
Anyways, it’s hard to imagine the Air Force team – which has been kicking serious ass so far – will win (tv shows need a twist, right?), but right now I don’t see how they can’t. They’ve got a great balance of intelligence, stamina, teamwork and discipline. But, hell, they probably get railroaded by the Fogals.
And also, Brown family, I think it’s cool that you got on the show and everything, and I don’t want to pick on your weight, but did you really thing you had a chance of winning the thing? It’s an adventure/treasure hunting show. Like Indiana Jones. Who would have died five minutes into his first movie if he was as big as you guys. Sorry.