End of Monster Quest

I’ve heard that this is the last season for Monster Quest on the History Channel. There are efforts afoot to try and save the show but, I’m not going to add my voice to that. I’ve always had serious problems with MQ (see here for a start). It presents a distorted and poor quality view of scientific investigation.

I’ll concede that it is designed to be entertainment, not science. But, they DO mention their intent to use science in process. Science, frankly, doesn’t always make great TV – lots of waiting, rechecking, thinking… Not much action there. There have been a few interesting and decent episodes where they have concluded that there was no good evidence to support a “monster”. Far more have ended by concluding that “We didn’t find what we were looking for but [we didn’t prove animal x isn’t here so] we’ll keep on looking.” Not the best plan. A short investigation isn’t enough. I often wondered why they can’t let a group stay in one place for more than a few days. I supposed that gets prohibitively expensive.

I didn’t appreciate the rampant speculation, the drama, the repetition and the deceptive habit of interpreting the evidence in a very narrow, biased way. There were many times when I screamed “What the hell are you talking about? It’s so obvious!” at the TV. The concept started out good but the episodes were, frequently, rather silly. Too many casual viewers, like my 10 yr old, could spot the sloppiness in their inquiry and unjustified leaps of logic.

I would watch more cryptid shows. But, I would like a better quality program – one that tells me something new in an honest manner. As you might expect, I’d prefer a skeptical investigator. Too many of the people on MQ came with a clear agenda to find a critter. NOT, as it should have been, to figure out what is actually going on. That is what made it sad and seriously unscientific.

Update: Good writeup of reactions to the finale on the Gable film here.

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