"Alaska Monsters,": an Honest Review
"Mountain Monsters" is seen on
Destination America, and from all signs, "Mountain Monsters," is a solid hit for the maverick network. "Mountain Monsters," founded by Trapper John Tice, Jeff Headlee and Willy McQuillian, the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings (AIMS), is dedicated to investigating mysterious sightings of creatures and phenomena in the Appalachian Region. This team of backwoods hunters grew up trapping and hunting throughout the eastern United States. Using their unique mountain skills honed from childhood they pursue unknown creatures many wouldn't dare to hunt. If it eats, sleeps and breathes this team will track it down!
No one, including myself, can argue that whether real or staged, "Mountain Monsters" does, to the letter, what the show was designed to do. I am not in a sarcastic frame of mind, but being as open-minded as one can be. I enjoy the antics of "Wild Bill,"ex-Marine and "Willy," as they design and build elaborate traps made just for the capture of whatever creature they are tracking.
Are you familiar with these two shows?
we television viewers thought that we have seen all of the monster tracker shows, Destination America hits us with "Alaska Monsters." Funny, I thought that the only "monster" in the State of Alasa was an occasional avalanche. Whoa! I am proven wrong again.
Destination America's "Alaska Monsters" gears and guts are primarily from the same template which gave us "Mountain Monsters." I know that you must think that I am being sarcastic, but really, I'm not. I urge you to watch just one episode and if you watch and listen carefully, you will soon exclaim, "This show reminds me of "Mountain Monsters." And why shouldn't it? It is produced by primarily the same production team who is now revelling in the monetary rewards of "Mountain Monsters," which by the way, starts a new season in March 2017.
"Alaska Monsters" cast includes Thomas "Crusty" Cruickshank; Dudley Eudy; Phillip "Face" Walls; Todd Boren; Roy "Lil Bear" Kinney, team leader and Levi Nilsson. I don't know why Nilsson did not have a nick-name. Almost every "monster hunter" has to have a nick-name. It's just following wilderness protocol.
Just as in the Case
of "Mountain Monsters," having its members given assigned tasks to match their abilities as outdoorsmen, so does the "Alaska Monsters" team. (e.g. Levi Nilsson is tagged as the team's High-Tech expert, for his "traps" are of the highest design in electronic surveillance as on one episode Nilsson used a specially-designed drone to hover over an area reported to have a form of Bigfoot living and breeding terror in the lives of surrounding residents.
But as the script (I suppose the show is scripted) for speaking strictly as a pure amateur television critic, it would require a huge amount of improvisational skills on behalf of the men who make up the "Alaska Monsters" team. Am I right? Too, the masters of improv, Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters are both passed and I know of no other stand-up comedian who is able to match their on-the-spot, make-it-up-as-you-go comedy skills. Again, am I right?
of the two shows, "Mountain Monsters" and "Alaska Monsters," there are distinct similarities, but even with the obvious repeated phrases, "night hunt," "team leader," "trap builders," and more, both shows entertainment quality is not harmed in the least.
And speaking of repeated phrases, both teams have that one designated team comic. "Huckleberry" is the one with a humor so dry that dust flies into the air when he shares a wise-crack on "Mountain Monsters" and "Face" is the comic that keeps "Alaska Monsters" laughing while on the track of a dangerous "monster."
Both teams are always involved with a team meeting and the team leader, "Trapper," for the "Mountain Monsters," and Roy "Lil Bear" Kinney, who leads "Alaska Monsters." Going on actual eye witnesses and their sightings (and I'm not labeling these good folks as liars or hoaxters) each team boards ATV vehicles carrying shotguns and high-powered lights, set to the woods and always at night, to see which trap their designated trap builder has designed to capture Bigfoot or some relevance.
Neither team can lay claim to actually capturing a real, air breathing Bigfoot, but the "Mountain Monsters" did, on one occasion, capture a "giant" hog which witnesses called "Hog Monster," who was reeking havoc with their livestock and young children playing in the yard. Turns out, that the "Hog Monster" was an air-breathing white hog, but that is where the "monster" description ended.
"Alaska Monsters," although as determined as the "Mountain Monsters" team, have yet to catch a monster much less a giant hog.
Make no Mistake
Both monster-chasing shows are not of a serious documentary to prove or disprove the existence of Bigfoot or any of its kin. And both shows have no comedy inlets as would a sitcom on prime time television. But viewers will enjoy the occasional quip or short story by "Face," on the "Alaska Monsters" team and "Jeff" (primarily) on "Mountain Monsters."
These two shows I have to lean on my honesty and say that they are very entertaining and I am constantly amazed at how much work goes into the production of each show. This is not and I repeat, not, a rigged original "Witch Blair Project."
The monsters that these two teams chase may only exist in the witnesses' minds and tales on these fast-moving shows, but when it comes to scripting, I also have to give them props for being two of the best scripted adventure shows on Destination America.
I can rest easy now that I know that you have seen everything relevant about "Mountain Monsters" and "Alaska Monsters." But I cannot shut this hub down unless I point out that the only visible, audible difference is that on the "Mountain Monsters" show there is a lot more profanities (cursing) than on "Alaska Monsters." That's about it.
And you know well that today's television viewer is able to discern the difference between a badly scripted show and a well scripted show.
"Fameless," actor, comedian, David Spade's newest toy is a prime example of bad scripting.
I give "Alaska Monsters" a three out of five stars.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery