The History Channel is turning into the laughingstock of historians and history enthusiasts everywhere. Take a look at their weekly lineup, and you’ll see just how desperate their top-rated programming is. Reality TV show Pawn Stars continues to dominate the channel’s name, launching horrendously scripted and varying-in-success spin-offs like Cajun Pawn Stars and loosely-connected American Restoration and Counting Cars.
The existence of such poorly scripted and historically demeaning shows can harm the historical representation of the channel that calls itself the definition of “history”. Like most, if not all reality television shows, Pawn Stars is nothing more than a scripted drama which is predetermined and prepped way before a television launch. A bit of a modern-day, television guide click-bait, Pawn Stars and its immediate “successor” (a game show known as Pawnography) rides the wave of tackiness and unoriginal reality-esque foundations to success.
So this tacky-named, less-than-average television show which goes through the lives of penny-pinching owners and nonintellectual employees, this is what people think of when they think of history these days.
But guess what? Pawn Stars isn’t even the worst show on the somehow-successful History Channel. No, it isn’t the horrendous Swamp People, the bat-shit conspiracy theory collection known as Decoded, or the braindead action series known as Ice Road Truckers. As terrible as these so-called “historical” reality television shows are, nothing can top the stupidity of the worst show to ever grace the screens of millions of watchers across the nation. What show would I consider the worst on this channel?
I’m talking about Ancient Aliens.
A psuedo-documentary filled with perspiring “ancient astronaut theorists” and wannabe “scientists” that try to go against every strive in mankind’s history, Ancient Aliens gets most of its views through memes on the Internet and the same crowds that believe the Earth might be flat. Because, you know, aliens.
It doesn’t matter what our history may be: from Stonehenge to the Pyramids (which weren’t built by Joseph to store grain in, Ben Carson) to the Great Wall of China. It seems as if Ancient Aliens believes that mankind is nothing but a shell of stupidity that can’t do anything. Our “alien overlords” have to progress for us, because, you know, aliens.
The show is by far unproductive. It does nothing but highlight and popularize far-fetched idiot claims which are backed up by no evidence. Dinosaurs? No man, aliens. Mythology? No man, aliens. Architecture? No man, aliens. This isn’t science, its pseudoscience. This isn’t history, its barely pseudo-history.
Now, even if you’re an “ancient astronaut theorist” yourself (if you are, here’s a link for you), you cannot ignore the fact that whoever is behind Ancient Aliens research department does not understand history. It seems as if every-time they talk about “Ancient Sanskrit” (which they use frequently to provide false evidence for alien creation), the screen shows Ancient Tamil or Telungu writings. Whenever they decide to go to India, they flash the same pictures of two temples instead of going further into the culture and “evidence” that they have. They let the awkward Swiss with crazy hair grin and say “aliens” every six seconds. So, not only are they perpetrating actual history, they’re even getting what very little history they cling onto completely wrong.
The show is ridiculous in notion and audacious in execution. No scientific basis is mentioned throughout the series, and all historical confirmation they claim to have is either incredibly skewed or chopped apart or misinterpreted. This show doesn’t belong on a channel dedicated to “history” (even though the show appears on its offshoot abandoned child of a channel known as H2), it deserves a late night position on the Syfy network.
Welcome to American television, where fiction can be presented as fact and research is so awkwardly misrepresented it could appear that a group of sixth graders had to give a bullshit science-fair presentation last minute. The program is actively attempting to blatantly lie to viewers, and a weekly two-million viewers allow for ratings to keep it on the air. It’s a desperate cling-on to relevance in modern television.
Ancient Aliens is NOT a documentary. It is NOT a non-fiction program on a trustworthy and respected non-fiction channel. It’s throwing all respect, all caution for proper programming and research for legitimate claims, through the window. It should be mocked. It should be ignored. It should be cancelled. This April is the 6th year anniversary of the pilot episode, we’re on over one hundred episodes of complete and utter historical and scientific inaccuracy.
One day, sociologists will look back at today’s television and wonder what the hell was wrong with us. History isn’t Pawn Stars with tacky reality television scripts. History isn’t Decoded with conspiracy theories about whether or not the architect of Mount Rushmore was racist or not. History isn’t whatever the fuck Ice Road Truckers is supposed to be. And it sure as hell isn’t about Ancient Aliens, either.