Well I was thoroughly convinced that the new “Dig Fellas” show was going to be decent one. Not a great one, but one that would be fun to watch. After all “Dig Wars” was an improvement over those that came before, and it stood to reason that this one would be as good, if not better. Goes to show what I know!
First let me say that I have nothing at all against Bill Ladd or Howard Hewitt, the detectorists in this show. I suspect they wanted to do all they could to make sure the pastime was shown in a good light, but were subjected to the whims and demands of producers, film crews and most assuredly, those doing the final editing.
I also don’t pretend to know anything about putting together a TV show, but for last night’s “storylines” to have any chance of working the shows needed to be longer than thirty minutes. Add in commercials, lead-ins, etc., and you are lucky if you wind up with fifteen to twenty minutes of actual show. Hardly time to get your point across…if indeed they even had one.
The first episode was filmed in Bath, North Carolina, and the pretense was looking for anything left or lost by the pirate Blackbeard who made his home base in the area years ago. Apparently Howard decided to dress the part and was wearing a “white” long sleeved shirt, and tan vest, reminiscent of that era when pirates roamed the outer banks. Didn’t matter that they would be hunting in weeds up to their ass, or that the weather was soupy, the area swampy looking, or that they had to paddle a canoe some distance. It never got dirty. Call me picky but that was the first thing that told me it wasn’t going to be a good show, and to make things worse, one of Howard’s first lines? “Let’s put the coil to the soil“….
While Howard is scanning his detector (waving it actually) Bill is knee deep in water looking for Blackbeard’s dock or landing area? As the show moves on they find a white stone (obviously one used for ballast on a pirate ship), a brick (maybe from Blackbeard’s home), and a piece of scrap metal with a cross in it (from a treasure chest?). The idea that everything and anything found might be related to Blackbeard was just ridiculous. Watch here if you need more proof….
The second episode took place in Lincoln, New Mexico, and the goal was to find anything Billy the Kidd. Yep, more of the same… Apparently an old bullet shell and horse bit they found was Billy’s, and when they found a “spittoon” it had to have belonged to Billy for sure (was really disappointed when there wasn’t any of Billy’s spit inside). Okay, okay I am overstating the case, but after a few minutes it was just laughable. Why was it too that they weren’t wearing headphones, and knew they had found something great before even digging it?
Each of the above episodes ended with the items being appraised, as has been the case with all of the TV detecting shows. Apparently that will always be a given…the ole wow factor, and of course most all of the items were worth big bucks. Come on folks…please?
I really hate being this critical but Dig Fella’s was a major disappointment. I might give it one more go next week to see if maybe these two episodes were a mirage but I somehow doubt they were, and hey, if you liked the shows that’s fine….each to his own.
I would love to see an hour long show, and part of it dedicated to the researching of the site or storyline. Likewise please do away with or minimize the wild ass antics. It can be humorous or funny without being stupid (the “analgesic” moment is a good example). Lastly have the finds realistically valued (if they really need to be at all)….
Bill Ladd and Howard Hewitt are good guys and know their business when it comes to treasure hunting. Dig Fellas unfortunately didn’t allow that to come through, and please….this is just my opinion, which, in the overall scheme of things, ain’t worth spit!