I guess you're never too old to be disappointed in someone you look up to. I like to watch The History Channel. I enjoy many of the shows they have on it, despite knowing that some of them are extremely skewed for ratings. But I had high hopes when "Chasing Mummies" was advertised. I thought here we go, a show that actually follows the real life of an archaeologist/egyptologist. One I respect to boot!
My enthusiasm dulled a tad when I read a disturbing article about the star of the show; Zahi Hawass...and no I am not referring to the anti-semitic comments he was accused of making which was already quite bad enough. This article was in an obscure publication most people don't know about, and on something else entirely to do with his work. I read it a couple weeks before the show came on. Sadly the article had a ring of truth to it.
But I was still hopeful about the show. I had felt for a long time that Mr. Hawass was at the top of his game in Egypt. When the show aired, I was struck dumb. It seemed so amazingly contrived. I know there is no reality in the making of TV, but I hadn't expected what I saw.
I decided to give it another chance with last night's episode, but I was left with the acrid aftertaste of embalming fluid. Mr. Hawass runs around acting like a screeching megalomaniacal buffoon, and at least one of the supposed college students is actually an actress. Most likely they all are.
The "student" in question is constantly having mishaps providing fodder for Mr. Hawass's anger. In this episode however they took it to a truly tacky level by having her not be able to hold her proverbial water in the pyramid. She is in turn berated for desecrating a sacred site and told to leave immediately. But she doesn't of course. Now anyone who has suffered the embarrassment of peeing their pants knows it doesn't run out on the ground like water from a hose. It soaks into your jeans. Plus I can't believe no one would have had the foresight to bring a coffee can or a mayonaise jar for just such an eventuality considering how many people were along for the lengthy climb.
Any serious archaeology student would know better anyway. Not to mention in that type of heat and humidity when you're not used to it, (Zoe is supposedly from Canada) this simply doesn't happen unless you slammed several Big Gulps from the local Cairo 7-11 before entering the pyramid. Zoe has been told several times she will never work for him and to leave, but I have no doubt if I bothered to watch next week's episode she would be on it right back at another site.
I was truly hoping this show would be informative and allow us to see real working archaeology. Instead it makes a mockery of the science and even reality TV. Not to mention I will never have an ounce of respect for Zahi Hawass again. I feel like a kid who just found out his favorite action hero is really a horrible person who kicks dogs and pushes little old ladies down in the street.