Parody or Fake Science?

I was just looking at the IMDb reviews of 3 TV shows, one of which we think is hilarious and a couple of others we watch mainly because there’s nothing else on and we’ve already played cribbage for entertainment. In my opinion, one of the shows is a parody of science (and by extension fake science), and the other two are fake science. And I think the parody is a lot more entertaining the others.

Let’s list the shows with their IMDb reviews links:

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch

Expedition Bigfoot

Mountain Monsters

We can’t watch Mountain Monsters anymore because it’s available only on the streaming network now and it’s not worth chasing (although it was uproariously funny).

One way to keep this post from getting too long is to let you look at a few reviews of all three on IMDb and compare them.

I don’t know what you think, but I have always thought that Mountain Monsters is a parody of shows like the other two, which try to be scientific but fall far short.

First, we need a definition of parody. Merriam-Webster says:

Parody: “a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule.”

I think it’s probably also good to know the difference between parody and satire.

Now we think The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch and Expedition Bigfoot are failed attempts to come off as science-based so-called reality shows. They take themselves too seriously. You can probably tell that from the IMDb reviews. The casts never find anything noteworthy, jump at their own shadows, and generally are terrible actors.

If you then read the reviews for Mountain Monsters, maybe you can see why we’d classify it as a parody. Most reviewers call it pure entertainment. It’s unpretentious and clearly pokes fun at the other two. I even found one reviewer who pointed out the credits at the end of Mountain Monsters has a disclaimer saying no animals were hunted. We hadn’t noticed that, but it’s probably because we were still laughing so hard at the hillbilly antics.

The cast of Mountain Monsters are probably better actors, but forgivably often can’t stop themselves from laughing at their own jokes.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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