There’s one now!
No matter who you are or what you do, everyone’s heard of Bigfoot. A hairy, burly character that stands over eight feet tall and swings its arms like a skipping girl scout—that was the dorky “creature” made famous by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in 1967. But seeing as the species hasn’t made it into the zoology textbooks (let alone been the product of scientific study [so far as we know!]), the mystery of its true nature and even its existence remains.
So the folks over at Animal Planet were probably knocking back a few (insert drug/alcohol reference here) and decided that it would be a great freakin’ idea to devote a one-hour time slot to a production in which nothing would actually occur. Face it, with a title like “Finding a possibly fictional animal,” you’re sticking a fork in yourself long before you’ve even been cooked. They may as well have run with the more general and kid-friendly “Finding Mythological Creatures,” wherein a lovable gang of misfits would search for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, always finishing up with a cup of hot cocoa.
In any case, what viewers are stuck with, should their remotes spontaneously combust, is three passionate eccentrics and a know-it-all that trudge through the woods of a given state in order to “prove” the existence of the species in that area. You have Matt Moneymaker, the ex-lawyer that is always absolutely certain that everyone who purports to have encountered the beast did so. (You’ll hear his catchphrase, “There is no doubt in my mind that what you saw was a Bigfoot!” multiple times in each showing.) Then comes Ranae Holland, the foil. A field biologist who constantly states her job title, her reason for existing is to deny, deny, deny. Sure, I’m a skeptic myself, but her biased cynicism (I’m not saying her colleagues aren’t prejudiced) only entertains for so long. Cliff Barackman, on the other hand, is a forgettable middle-grounder who enjoys camping, and James “Bobo” Fay is, himself, a Bigfoot.
Town hall meetings and nightly campouts comprise the majority of the run time. However, for those of you with a nonexistent imagination and a need for a CGI fix, there are some especially mediocre renderings of the mythical being to portray the encounters described by each town’s witness. If all of this still doesn’t adequately convey the quality of the show, comical word balloons pervade the experience as the crew argues with each other in a silent form—above all else, the perfect tool to convey that your show is a total joke.
It’s not all bad, to be quite honest. The night investigations are quite exciting at times, as perhaps the sounds that the audience hears do in fact come from these mysterious beasts. Then again, there are more than a few moments per week when the crew is gabbing on about a “knock” or a “howl” they heard off in the distance while our ears remain skeptical.
So if you’re looking for a provocative production that will leave you questioning the bane of your existence, search elsewhere. However, if you want a light laugh at the expense of some unintentionally hilarious antics—Finding Bigfoot is my holiday gift to you.