By Paul Thornton

Joke Island image

A worthless piece of rotted wood?  Precisely where earlier fools looking for treasure on Joke Island left it?  Could this be evidence that brothers Rick and Marty Lagina, metal detecting expert Gary Drayton, and the rest of the Joke Island team intend to cash in on yet another season of finding absolutely nothing?

You bet.

After years of “research”, consultation with experts, and using giant machinery to dig giant holes, nothing of significance has been found on Oak Island.  Zippo.  The few things that have been “discovered” are either fragments of wood left behind by earlier documented searches, or are discoveries that could have easily been faked. 

It’s a tiny island, and for some strange reason they seem in no hurry to dig their silly “money pit.”  Wouldn’t you dig there first?  Why wait?  Perhaps because if they came up empty, this crappy show would finally end?  On and on it goes, and it is painfully obvious that the show’s slow, drawn-out presentation style is all by design. 

Wouldn’t you just love to sit in on a production meeting?  I suspect it might go something like this: 

Producer: “All right everyone, thanks for coming.  We all know we’re not going to find anything this season, again [everyone laughs], so we need some ideas as to how to add fluff to each episode.  As stated earlier, our job here is to milk this damn thing for all it’s worth.  Who’s got some ideas?” 

Assistant 1: “I know – we could have the narrator keep stating everyone’s name and what they do, over and over.  That will take up some time!”

Producer: “Good call!”

Assistant 2: “And after every commercial we could repeat the same minute of footage we showed right before the commercial!”

Producer: “That’s perfect!”

Assistant 3: “To slow things down even further, and to give an illusion of credibility to all of this, we could show meetings in a ‘War Room’ where the Lagina brothers could make big important decisions!”

Producer: “Yeah baby! Now we’re talkin’!”

Assistant 4: “And when Gary Drayton finds an old coin or pull-tab in the woods we could have him talk about it, and then call over Rick or Marty and then they can talk about it again!  Next they could have a phony conversation about how “significant” the “discovery” is, and mix in some talk about the Knights Templar!!

Producer: “Give that man a fake lead cross!”

The result of all of this: an annoying show that puts viewers on a journey to nowhere. 

Despite having access to millions of dollars worth of heavy equipment, the only interesting things that have been “found” have been surface finds with a simple metal detector.  To make these “discoveries” more credible for the viewer they truck out a guy with a British accent, Gary Drayton, the show’s metal detection expert.  I’m sorry, Gary’s a nice guy and everything, but when I hear him talk I think of Anthony Sullivan, the infomercial pitchman with a similar British accent. 

Gary: “I think I’ve found an andle here.  Wait, it’s an andle for an old spin mop!”

Anthony: “That’s right.  And it can all be yours for just $19.95!”

But wait, there’s more…

How long did it take for Gary to become a metal detection expert, anyway?  Turn it on.  Swing left.  Swing right.  Hear a beep.  Dig a hole.  Not that difficult. 

Any five year old child with a cheap $75 metal detector could have found objects like the brooch (that li’ul beau-ee!), the “anmade” iron spike, the coins, and the “inge” that Gary “found.”  Wait, was that an inge or a hinge?  I’m pretty sure Brandon Inge, the tough-as-nails pro baseball player, has never set foot on Oak Island…

Gary’s “discoveries” have provided the show with filler for years, but sadly I suspect they are all fake.  Did you ever notice that whenever he is finding something the camerawork instantly changes from steady and smooth to the worst handheld footage possible? Shaking camera, bad focus, weird angles, unnecessary cuts – all just when steady camerawork would be important.  These tactics are exactly what a TV production team would employ to disguise the fact that the “discovered” object had just been placed there.

History Channel has aired fake stuff like this before (see the Jesse James mason jar “treasure” show from a while back).  It shows a mason jar containing coins supposedly buried for over a century.  When they dig up the jar it looks like it had been buried minutes earlier.  Ever since that show aired, History Channel’s credibility has taken a huge hit.  Shows like Joke Island don’t help.

Now, I suppose Joke Island has entertainment value for some people, but in the end there’s simply nothing to find there.   Why would anyone bury treasure on this tiny island anyway?  And even if they did, the idea that they would construct some rediculous underground (and underwater) labyrinth to house the treasure is just preposterous.  They couldn’t have built such a structure if they wanted to.  Send the fools further, and while you’re at it, keep that TV ad revenue pouring in! 

Personally, if you like the idea of treasure hunting, I recommend you go out and get a decent metal detector and start swinging it.  You’ll get outside and have fun, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find. As for Joke Island, though, it’s time to change the channel.

Paul Thornton, doghillmedia.com contributor

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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