I’ve been known to make jokes about not caring if they cancelled sports. “Sport!” I’d say. “Who needs it!”
Turns out that life is empty and meaningless and cruel without sports. Hockey, specifically. This hiatus feels a lot like August; that bleak, seemingly-endless, way-too-hot month of nothing happening in the hockey world. I miss Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny, is what I’m saying. So, just as Steph Driver did yesterday, I’m here to give you a look at what I’ve been watching to fill my time without the purest joy of sports. Hold on to your butts because it’s trash tv time, baby.
The Curse of Oak Island
Oak Island is relatively small island off the south shore of Nova Scotia, near a little town called Mahone Bay, which is one of the prettiest places you’ll ever see. Look it up, you’ll see what I mean. For hundreds of years, there has been lore surrounding the island about a treasure buried on it — some say gold, some say religious artifacts, even Shakespearean manuscripts have been rumored. Since the early 1800s, people have been trying to find treasure in this place and, to date, no one has been successful. Enter Rick and Marty Lagina, a couple of brothers from Michigan who learned about the legend of Oak Island the way a lot of Americans did, from a Reader’s Digest story published in the late 1960s. These boys have some friends and some cameras, and they’re digging. Here’s what the Wikipedia has to say about the show:
The Curse of Oak Island is a reality television multi-season series that chronicles the efforts of an eclectic team of treasure hunters searching for legendary treasure on the infamous Oak Island, on the South Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is an American television production that first premiered in Canada on the History network on January 5, 2014. The show features what is known as the Oak Island mystery, showing efforts to search for historical artifacts and treasure.
This show rules for a number of reasons. First, Nova Scotia is the most beautiful place on earth and they’ll show you a fair bit of it. Second, the folks that make up the group that is searching for the treasure are a really lovable bunch of earnest nerds and you can’t help but root for them to find something — anything — when they start digging. We are seven seasons into it with these boys and you can find the show on the History Channel, Netflix, and Hulu.
The premise of this docu-series on HBO is absolutely wild: remember how McDonalds used to have that Monopoly game on their french fries and sodas and stuff? Seemed like once a year or so it came out. You collected pieces, if you collected the right ones you won prizes. Turns out, from 1989 all the way to 2001, NONE of the “big” winners were legit. Every single one of them was the result of a scam being perpetrated by one man. What! This story has everything — the mafia, death, undercover FBI agents... it’s amazing. I’ll link to the Wiki page here, but don’t want to spoil it for anyone that wants to go in blind like I did.
I’m a sucker for a food show. Catch me every weekend with The Food Network on in the background while I do housework. From The Great British Bake Off to America’s Test Kitchen to Anthony Bourdain’s travelogues, these kinds of shows never get old for me. Ugly Delicious falls onto the scale at the Bourdain end; it follows big-time chef and restaurant owner David Chang as he learns about regional cuisines, history, and traditions surrounding one particular food in each episode. We’ll cite the Wiki, again, for continuity’s sake:
Each episode examines the cultural, sociological, and culinary history of a specific popular food. Chang challenges and explores the attitudes in each dish’s lore. Mike Hale wrote in his review for The New York Times that Ugly Delicious is “an extended television essay, in the form of free-associative, globe-trotting conversations about food and culture.”
There’s an episode about pizza. Fried chicken. Tacos. It’s beautifully shot and Chang makes for a great guide through each episode. He really wants to learn about these things so he’s asking questions, taking you to interesting places and introducing you to interesting people. It’s a fun way to learn about the foods and traditions of cultures different from yours, and also you will really want to eat tacos when you’re finished.
90 Day Fiancé
Listen. I know what you’re thinking. And you’re absolutely correct. This show is pure junk food. The Cheetos of television. The Twinkies of television. But hooooboy, a train wreck can be compelling. If you’re not familiar, this show follows several couples who’ve met online and one of them lives in another country. The couples are trying to bring the foreign person to America using the K1 visa process, which gives them 90 days to get married before their visa expires. Sometimes, the couples really seem to be in love. Sometimes, it’s a lady in her 60s clearly being used by an attractive man in his 20s. Shit gets really weird. It’s mindless fun.
The Walking Dead
Am I hate-watching this show at this point? I sure am. Will I continue to do this for absolutely no good reason at all? You’re goddamned right. Gotta see things through.
I can watch this show anytime it is on. Also aliens are definitely real and definitely visited earth in the ancient past, fight me.