||[09 Feb 2009|03:50pm]
Dear Monster Quest/The History Channel,
Look, I know that TV is supposed to be stupid. But I had higher expectations of you. Your goal is to educate viewers about historical events and people, and that's totally laudable and a great application of TV broadcasting as a whole. However, your recent "Monster Quest" program on the search for the giant octopus filled me with HORRIBLE HORRIBLE RAGE. Enough rage that I actually have to spend time talking about your stupid thing on my LJ, which is a waste of time, but I need to get it out of my system.
Here is why:
1. I could be learning about the Civil War or something, and you're showing something on mythical octopus? What channel is this?
2. You state that a few huge blobs of...stuff have washed up on the Atlantic coast over the last hundred years, so your team goes to look for this mythical octopus in...Puget Sound. What? Oh, it's because that's where the largest octopus already known to man lives. Even though it doesn't live in the deep ocean, it's a fraction of the size of what you found, that niche appears to be filled, and it's across the planet from where your excuse for evidence was discovered.
3. You have a team of scientists who declare the material to be consistent in fiber structure with whale blubber, and then...you just keep going. You sort of ignore that fact. Because, then you would have no reason to do this show.
4. The lead guy says "I'm a researcher, so of course, I really want to find this thing!" NO. That is not science. That is ADVOCACY. Science seeks to DISPROVE, not prove, and the failure to disprove a theory is what makes it strong. But clearly, the scientific method has no place on TV.
5. You state that the Pacific Giant Octopus (<3) is this big and eats this size food, so therefore your mythical octopus must be THIS big, and eat THIS size food. Right, because ecology works that way...you just scale up. If that were true, blue whales would eat polar bears and great white sharks.
6. You spend about a quarter of the program gushing and reiterating about how great your camera technology is. I don't care, especially after you put them in the Sound and then waited all of TWO OR THREE DAYS to find something. Seriously? It's taken us THIS long to find the giant squid, and you're complaining about a few days, using remote cameras? It's not like you're down there in a blind, you wusses.
Look, I have no problem with cryptozoology. What I DO have a problem with is a program that takes a case of century-old mistaken identity that was disproven by experts almost instantly, both in present-day and at the time, and blow it into an hour-long program of nothing. From the start, it was obvious that you weren't going to find anything, because if you had, I would have heard about it on KOMO. So, I assumed that you'd spend the episode flailing around, find no trace of anything, and then try and justify some hazy photograph or bit of grit as evidence of what you wanted to prove, so you could sail off into the sunset under the guise of "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" instead of "we didn't find any support for this hypothesis at all." And that is exactly what happened.
I hate you. Never be on TV again.