True Supernatural - Season 1, Episode 1: "The Betty Hill Dress/The Rocky Mountain Demon Wolf" TV Episode Review
Written by Angry Scholar
Directed by Christian Faber
Written by Ali Felix
2014, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on April 8th, 2014
If you like dramatic music, cliffhangers and talking heads offering decontextualized opinions that can easily be made to support what you were already inclined to believe, you'll love True Supernatural. This dime-a-dozen documentary-style show explores supernatural topics from around the US, purportedly using Science (with a capital S) to prove or disprove the subject du jour.
The first episode features the pink powder-stained blue dress worn by Betty Hill during her supposed alien abduction, and a big toothy creature called the Demon Wolf, whose stuffed corpse is on display (maybe) at a local museum in Montana. The idea is that, after lots of talking and narrating and dramatic edits, they'll eventually, like, do some sort of test or something to determine what these things actually are. They have some local folks talk about the stories they've heard, or their own involvement in the case. They have one or two anthropologists speak in very general terms about supernatural stuff. Then Science. Involving, you know, DNA. Can't mess with DNA.
Except I guess you can if you're a TV producer with a deadline. To wit: the "demon wolf's" DNA was never tested due to legal issues surrounding ownership of the corpse. And the dress with its weird pink powder-stains was found to contain no viable DNA. So after 45 minutes of tense speculation as to what these things might be, we get a non-conclusion because their Science is weak. (Apparently DNA=Science and No DNA=Hahaha screw you.)
This is like my whole joint-the supernatural is my bread and butter – and I just can't bring myself to see this show as anything other than a lazy attempt to cash in on any supernatural narratives the producers could find. And boy is it lazy. I feel bad for the narrator, having to read such editing gems as "indigenous natives" and "three thousand square miles wide."
If there was anything to commend the show – its cinematography, interview techniques, music, anything – I might feel differently, but there just isn't. The only thing I can note in its favor is the inclusion of actual anthropologists, but their input isn't enough to save this show from pointlessness.