Thursday, July 22, 2010


I just finished watching a trainwreck called "Chasing Mummies". It is supposed to be a full spectrum documentary following Zahi Hawass, three interns and a camera crew as they solve the mysteries of blah blah doesn't matter what they say its all bullshit.

Look, I'm not going to beat around the bush here. This show was terrible on every level. It angered me. I have a headache from watching this travesty.  The biggest problem is that it isn't a documentary. It's a "reality" show. That should set off some alarms. Egypt is just a set piece and a theme.  The show is about Zahi, the head honcho of the Supreme Council of Antiquities who for some reason is channeling Simon Cowell from American Idol. I've spoken with Egyptologists and archeologists and they politely dance around the fact that he has a rep as a prima donna. and a petty tyrant. This show isn't going to help that image. Zahi yells at everyone. He browbeats the 3 interns (who don't even warrant last names) and everyone else. I'm sure some of this is for the cameras. But it's annoying as hell. This guy is supposed to represent the best of the best. He's the guy in charge of EVERYTHING and he's acting like a dick. A dick that loves Egypt, but a dick.

Where do I start? At two points "Derek" blurts out that the pyramids must have been built by aliens. He is yelled at for this by Zahi, as well he should be. No student of Egyptology would EVER say something so god-damned stupid. Who is this idiot? Why is he being given the chance of a lifetime to visit an area of the pyramid off limits to everyone? Where the fuck did they find these interns? There are real students who would give their left nut to work dig sites in Egypt.

Later, the group explores the upper 5 chambers inside the great  pyramids of Khufu. One of the interns, unable to hold her bladder, wets herself and goes on a crying jag. Ok, it takes several hours to work your way up through these 5 chambers. It's hot, cramped and humid.  I accept than an accident might occur. But if you're going to be trapped in an enclosed space for 8 hours you might want to PEE FIRST. Why didn't she climb down  to the Grand Gallery and find something to pee in there? Think! Have someone pass up a tshirt or a plastic bag. Hell, I would wear depends if there was even a chance of this happening. Was this just a "bit" for the show? I don't know, but it doesn't matter because everyone looked like an idiot for letting it happen.

At one point a cameraman hurts his back For some reason the fat producer/narrator is called into the pyramid. We watch as he hauls his fat, sweaty carcass up through the chambers, only to freak out, fumble back down to the grand gallery and collapse, receiving oxygen as he recounts he harrowing tale. What happened to the cameraman? Who knows, he isn't mentioned.

And why exactly is Zahi going into this area? Supposedly to show the interns crude graffiti that demonstrates that the builders of the pyramids were well organized gangs and not slaves. But this graffiti has already been documented. Here's a quick google search. At one point Zahi, sweating profusely, takes humidity readings. He explains how he closed the pyramid for a year because of high humidity. So why in gods name is he dragging 20 people, along with cameras into this sensitive, enclosed environment??? At this point in the show Rossana and I were actually yelling at the TV. I can imagine archeologists around the world throwing heavy objects at their tv's in anger and frustration.

I pray that this travesty gets shut down quick. It hurts to watch. It is an insult to those who work so hard in the field.  Egypt is interesting enough without the bullshit of "reality tv" crapping all over it.


Unknown said...

I agree. This is just one more step down the depraved road that is called reality TV. Such shows flourish because they are cheap and easy to make and it seems to appeal to a large section of lower thinking people who care less about the wonders of the world than who will get voted/kicked/fired/ or humiliated on the show. While I admit I enjoyed watching the very first season of MTV Real Life after that Reality TV swiftly became the horror that it is today. I often wonder how far away from "Running Man" ( the short story, not the movie ) we are now. Not far enough

Erika said...

Just when you thought "reality tv" couldn't get any lower. What a godddamn shame. Your use of the word "travesty" was well put.