Monday, June 6, 2011

Unnatural History

(R, PSN)
*It's funny, because a few weeks after I wrote this, the show went off the air. Oh well.

I haven’t watched Cartoon Network (CN) since I was about ten years old. It was always full of mindless cartoons and ultimately, I was ready to move on. So when I heard about the new TV show, Unnatural History, I wasn’t too sure, but I thought I would give it a try.
Not only did I like the live-action show (no, it’s not a cartoon), I fell in love.
Unnatural History is the story of Henry Griffin, played by actor Kevin G. Shmidt, a teenager who has traveled the world with his anthropologist parents, learning and studying the ways of different cultures.
But now Henry has been sent to live with his uncle and cousin in Washington D.C to attend a high school in the National Museum Complex (NMC) in the hopes that he would stay out of the trouble he always seems to be getting into.
Henry’s cousin Jasper Bartlett (played by Jordan Gavaris), is the tech-savvy part of the group who often serves as bait in many of the adventures that Henry and his friends encounter.
Finally, his fellow student Maggie Winnock (played by Italia Ricci), smart and obsessive, completes the group. Her photographic memory helps the group solve mysteries and ultimately, add unknown facts to history, often proving theories and myths to be truthful.
Unnatural History is the perfect mix of National Treasure, Night at the Museum, and even a little of The Da Vinci Code. This show has a great mix of adventure and mystery while incorporating accurate historical facts.
And if you really wanted to, the basic story line of a group of friends solving mysteries can be compared to our childhood favorite Scooby-Doo.
The makers of Unnatural History have managed to educate viewers without the boring regurgitation of dry facts that teenagers would not care about otherwise, such as George Washington’s overdue library book and the use of the enigma machine in World War II.
The personalities of the characters blend perfectly together and the setting of D.C. and the NMC provide the perfect backdrop to the danger and mystery that surrounds the historical objects and artifacts. A sense of danger and the unknown is present in every episode, and I find myself wanting to know the truth as much as Henry, Jasper, and Maggie.
Viewers and critics have fallen in love with the plotline, the quirky personalities of the characters, and the adventurous, awe-inspiring history that inevitably works its way into more than just last Tuesday’s episode.
The show may be subject to CN’s background of mindless cartoons – many of you may have given up on the channel, pushing Unnatural History into the shadows. But those of you who are like I used to be, cynical of Cartoon Network’s content, you should give this show a chance. I guarantee you will walk away satisfied, and you may even find that you now a little bit about the next subject in your US History class.
Unnatural History usually airs Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm on Cartoon Network. But if you miss Tuesday’s episode because you’re caught up in homework, CN replays the latest episode Sunday nights at 9:00 pm.

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