When Reality TV Means Hunting For Real Treasure Grumpy Is In

There’s a lot of different stuff that falls under the “Reality TV” umbrella. Most of it is anything but real – The Bachelor, Survivor, Real Housewives – patooey. This season, I fell into The Curse of Oak Island, and if the curse was that I would be hooked, I got the curse.curseofoakisland
Those are the shows that I have always been drawn to. Real people doing real things with a camera on, and not competing for anything. My favorite unscripted shows of all times include American Chopper, Deadliest Catch, and American Pickers. Oh, and most of the shows like Fixer Upper on HGTV (Chip Gaines is nuts…always entertaining). I understand that those aren’t really real either, but they are way closer than than Jersey Shore or Big Brother or Keeping Up With the Kardashians (which, along with Facebook, I blame for the downfall of the world.)

Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market

My family loves to have a TV on. They need background noise. So, every Saturday and Sunday when we are all home, the TV is on from morning until evening. The only thing we can usually all agree on is something from Discovery, History or (when Adam isn’t looking) HGTV. So we catch a lot of re-runs on the weekends. Last year the re-run circuit was pretty heavily filled with The Curse of Oak Island, and I was totally intrigued. So this year, I went all in on the 4th season, watching the episodes on the night they aired.

The show follows Rick and Marty Lagina, a couple of brothers from Michigan, who, after reading a Reader’s Digest article from 1965 became intrigued by stories of a legendary treasure that may be buried on Oak Island, a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Speculations about the origin of treasure range from the Knights Templar to pirates. Treasure hunters have been at work on the island for decades. In addition to the Reader’s Digest article, there are several books on the history of the island and the stories of the treasure there.

Pre-order “The Curse of Oak Island” the newest book.

To move forward, the Laginas took on some partners, acquired a majority interest in Oak Island tours (yep, you can get a tour), and brought modern technology to the island to continue the search. They have also enlisted the help of Dan Blankenship, a permanent resident of the island who has been searching for the treasure since the 1960’s, and his son Dan. They have all sorts of heavy construction and boring equipment that they use each week.

The curse that the show is named for references the 6 men who have died looking for the treasure over the years. The curse says that one more person must die before the secrets of the treasure are unlocked… (Cue: music and intrigue).

The show is a little slow moving. Each week we see a lot of the same animations and film clips that are shown over and over again. Often there is a little reveal of some wood that was clearly put there by humans, or hardware found over a hundred feet below the surface. There have been numerous coins and buttons found all over the island. Each find, of course, fuels the fervor for continued searches.

Despite the lack of major finds, and a constant reiteration of known facts, I remain hooked. Apparently, others do too. The show, which just ended its 4th season has increased the number of episodes each season. The first season had just 5 episodes, the second had 10, the third had 13 and this past season had 16. Sadly, the future of the show is definitely in question. The wikipedia page for the show quotes creator Kevin Burns, who does not appear overly optimistic for a 5th season.

“When asked about a 5th season, creator Kevin Burns said that it all depends on the Lagina brothers. Burns said that the brothers are “not reality show people”, and have always been “reluctant” to do more seasons as filming keeps the brothers away from their families for up to five months. Burns also released a statement saying: “We are not set to come back for another year, take of that what you will”, leaving the future of the show uncertain.”

For the record: That will make me grumpy. Dear Kevin Burns – make accommodations so that this works out. XOXO… Grumpy

Treasure hunting has always intrigued me. The very first novel I remember reading was way back in 1978. I was visiting my uncle in  Phoenix with my Grandma and found a copy of “Raise The Titanic” on my uncle’s bookshelf. He gave it to me. Pretty sure I still have it. The book, by adventure novelist Clive Cussler was written well before Robert Ballard actually found the ship. I became fascinated with treasure hunting then, although I never really acted on it.

Inspiration.  The key is always inspiration. Where the Laginas were inspired by an article written in 1965, and did not act on the inspiration until their bank accounts could support it, I was also drawn to treasure hunting as a boy, but haven’t moved on it until now. After the season of “The Curse of Oak Island” ended, I have decided to purchase a metal detector kit and start playing with it this summer. Western New York is full of beaches and parks to explore.

I love the internet. In no time I was able to find some expert treasure hunters and read up on a few metal detectors. I’ve narrowed my search down to three different metal detectors. I immediately decided against the Bounty Hunter TK4 metal detector, because it is the least expensive, at under a hundred bucks. Grumpy always spends more, whenever possible. It’s a personal flaw that I am well aware of and generally pay the price for whenever Mrs. Pete finds out. So, I have to decide between the comparably priced Fisher F22 unit, the Garrett ACE 250, and the Garrett ACE 350 . All three of those fall between $200-$300 in price (a tad more if you get a package). I would appreciate any input you might have before I buy the kit in April or May.

Undoubtedly, treasure hunting holds intrigue for many people, and sometimes it just takes the right inspiration to get us going. Thanks to Rick and Marty Lagina and “The Curse of Oak Island” for the inspiration to get me going on this.

Got thoughts on the show, or on the metal detectors I am looking at? Lets discuss in the comments below.

Like this? Try these other posts by The Grumpy Geek

Klingon Blood Wine – A Drink for Any Occasion

Is The DC Expanded Universe Collapsing?

Another Firefly Return? Serenity Now

Pete Herr is the Grumpy Geek and now the Geekiverse’s expert on intergalactic cuisine. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He is also the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”


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