It isn’t often that Mrs. Owl and I find something to watch together. Our TV tastes vary a lot. She likes some reality shows, cult documentaries and other shows I just find downright stupid. TLC used to be a popular channel in my house. Thankfully that time has seemingly passed. My tastes are much more sophomoric and serious at the same time. I love stupid comedies and a good, relatively dry, history documentary.
Well, we found our unicorn.
We were sitting on the couch one day just scrolling through Netflix looking for a documentary to kill some time. When she asked the question, “Hey how about The Unexplained with William Shatner?”
Ok, I’m going to stop here for a second. You may notice how the spelling of the show is a little different in that quote and in the title. Well, this is something I just figured out. When I first heard the show title, I imagined the word spelled correctly. When I google it to get some basic info, my attention was immediately brought to the title. Instead of spelling Unexplained appropriately the producers decided to drop and e and add a capital X. This just adds to the whole experience of the program.
So, I answered Mrs. Owl’s question with, “Why not. This could be worth a few yucks.” Boy was I in for a surprise.
For those who don’t know, The UnXplained, is a “documentary” series that catalogs mysterious phenomena and strange things that happen or happened in the world. Some examples include, mysterious places, psychological conditions, extreme survival stories, various curses and so much more. It started in 2019, and the whole thing is narrated by William Shatner. Yes, that William Shatner.
The first episode we decided to watch started off with a bang. After the opening credits, Bill did a dramatic chair turn to begin his narration. This had both my wife and I laughing out loud. Needless to say we were all in.
The over the top drama doesn’t end there. In EVERY SINGLE episode Shatner says some variation of the phrase, “most say no, but others…say yes.” It is like clockwork after some anomaly is Xplained with science or technology, and then some crackpot Xpert comes on and says something outlandish.
Let’s talk about these Xperts for a moment. There some actual experts that are interviewed. Scientists, doctors, geologists, archaeologists, historians, linguists and even engineers can be found doing tests and providing in depth analysis of whatever their field of study is. This is all well and good. Where the “real” Xperts come in is when you see titles like parapsychologist, medium, theorist, healer and my personal favorite, cryptozoologist. Not only does these people come on and make frankly ludacris assumptions and blanket statements, but they have the audacity to put credentials under their name. You’ll see high-level degrees like Ph.Ds and MAs in things like parapsychology and cryptozoology. Meanwhile, two teacher with Bachelor’s degrees can confidently say what these people are saying isn’t true. The only versions of these people I have any respect for are the ones that have credentials like “treasure hunter.” There’s a guy who knows what he is. He doesn’t need a fake degree to do his job. He just gets after it.
To add to the content and over the top drama is a visual presentation that is dark, sinister and edgy. They even have the women that are interviewed make their eyes look dark and mysterious, then show pictures of them from the time of the story, and they look incredibly ordinary. Obviously, this doesn’t do a lot for me, but Mrs. Owl said it boosted the whole experience to another level.
Like a lot of these kinds of shows, the content is mostly nonsense. Just an attempt to try and pass random theories off as fact. Any normal person watches it simply for the entertainment value. But then, there’s one thing that just peaks your interest and makes you think. Like it or not, there are just some things that can’t be determined with the science we have today, and pointing these things out is a necessary act. How else would we figure out how to solve these things? I mean religion was created to explain what can’t be explained, so people have a want to know what we can’t possibly know.
Let’s get to the ultimate verdict on this one.
The official Blind Owl rating for The UnXplained is a C. If this was just based on content, it would get a D-, but like it or not, I was entertained. The pure gold of William Shatner giving his best caricature of a dramatic narration, and the Xperts they bring on trying to convince us of things that simply aren’t true, really make you laugh. I totally recommend you watch this at least once for the hell of it. Watch with a group of friends, and get a few laughs. Maybe a conversation about the existence of ghosts or psychic abilities will erupt after an episode and you find out which friend of yours is a little out there.
Anyway, I plan to do more of these and if you like them, hate them or just read them, let me know. But don’t expect an immediate response, I’m on my way to getting my PhD in cryptozoology so I can sign these blogs as Dr. Blind Owl and force all my students at school to call me Doctor.