Wednesday, February 29, 2012
‘Finding Bigfoot’ – a guilty pleasure TV show
The show, now in its second season, features three true believers and one skeptic who go into the woods and howl like big apes and knock wood to try to attract bigfoots. Each episode of “Finding Bigfoot” ends with the group not finding any squatches, but convinced that the “evidence” they discovered proves that bigfoots are there.
The group is led by Matt Moneymaker, president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Matt has a crazy look about him and is quick to leap to conclusions that something is bigfoot-related, even when the evidence is flimsy.
The two other believers are James “Bobo” Fay, a giant of a man who could pass for a bigfoot if he were a little more hairy, and Cliff Barackman, who is considered the most level-headed of the three.
Tagging along as the voice of reason is biologist Ranae Holland, who is like Scully from “The X-Files.”
In each episode of the show, the “Finding Bigfoot” team meets locals who have witnessed squatches firsthand. They hold town meetings to hear stories of encounters, then go out on nighttime expeditions in the woods to look for bigfoots.
I’ve been using the show to try to teach my kids about critical thinking. Just because adults believe something doesn’t mean it’s true, I’ll say. Where’s the evidence? Why no remains of dead bigfoot or even some shed hair or squatch feces? How can such a large animal remain so elusive? How can these creatures sustain a breeding population? The true believers are quick with theories, but they’re far-fetched.
My son, 8, calls the show “Not Finding Bigfoot.” And my daughter, 6, thinks Animal Planet’s next show should be “Finding Unicorns.”
My wife thinks Animal Planet, owned by Discovery Communications, is becoming the “redneck channel.” With shows like “Finding Bigfoot,” “Hillbilly Handfishin’,” “Gator Boys,” “American Stuffers” and “Rattlesnake Republic,” she’s got a point.
Photos: The cast of Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” and the show’s title card.