May 30th, 2012
I believe I posted a link about Mermaids: The Body Found a few weeks ago. It’s a show airing this week on Animal Planet, the finale for their “monster week.” I’m a fan of monster weeks, and I’m a fan of cryptozoology. But this is just an unconvincing faux documentary about a government conspiracy to cover up the existence of mermaids and the evidence that they exist.
It just doesn’t come across like it’s real. They have actors playing real scientists who aren’t good enough actors, or bad enough actors, if you know what I mean. They’re all Hollywood attractive, too smoothly spoken, shot doing confessionals against a gray screen…it’s just like the Hollywood idea of how to tell this story if it were real, rather than how it would actually be told.
I liked a few bits, how they inserted fake historical evidence. Some of the interviews with old sailors on location worked better. But overall, that was not enough. I couldn’t keep my suspension of disbelief enough to make it work.
When you do this sort of obviously fake “true story,” you’ve got take make it actually somewhat convincing (e.g. “Alien Autopsy” of years back), because it’s going to be judged by different standards than either a clearly fictional effort, or a clearly straightforward documentary not claiming anything new and startling.
As I said, there are a few nice bits and if you love this subject area, check it out. Otherwise there are better ways to spend a couple of hours.
The above video is one of the pieces of “evidence.” It’s obviously shot dramatically, Hollywood style. This is not how any kid just documenting dead whales on the beach would shoot anything with their camera phone…I mean, doing a smooth running shot? It would be slow, shaky, with the kid saying stupid stuff while he was doing it. Just an example of the clumsy spot between fiction and reality this show finds itself in.
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