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National Treasure: Edge of History - I'm a Ghost & The Treasure Map - Review

The National Treasure movies have always been a favourite of mine throughout the years so when I found out they were doing a new TV show, I was naturally excited. Honestly, half the draw was the knowledge that we're going to be seeing movie character Riley Poole again but I also love the treasure hunting genre and if done right, this could become a serious comfort show. 

There are some things in these opening episodes that seem a little contrived. I'm thinking especially of two scenes. The first is where Jess figures out the puzzle box. She figured it out way too simply, making gigantic leaps from clue to clue and making it look easy when really it made absolutely no sense at all. The second is the scene where Jess meets Peter Sadusky, another familiar face from the movies. He sees her amulet, tells her he's known men like her father and just like that decides to bring her into a decades-long treasure hunt. 


I think there could have been more natural ways to get Jess involved in the mystery. The way they handled it with Liam, Sadusky's grandson, for example, was a much more natural way to join the treasure hunting gang. He ends up joining the hunt because with the death of his estranged grandfather, his whole life suddenly starts to crumble around his ears, from a perceived insult against his father from his mother to losing the gig at a bar and sending his music dreams even further down the drain. All he has left now is to prove his father wasn't a failure. 

Jess' friends Tasha, Ethan and Oren, are also a part of the treasure hunting team or at least are going to be. Tasha handles the research and computer skills, bringing a modern update and view on treasure hunting compared to the old school clue solving Jess brings to the table. 

From what we saw in the escape room, Ethan also looks to be a pretty good problem-solver but he's also the most grounded in a normal life and it's already beginning to strain the friendship he has with Jess, noticeably paralleled with how Jess and Liam start to grow closer when they get on the same page about treasure hunting by the end of episode two. It feels kind of obvious that Ethan at least likes Jess and while I'm not too keen on the idea of a love triangle, I'll withhold judgement and see how it all shakes out later on.

Oren rounds out the crew, pulling double duty as comic relief and damsel in distress. His enthusiasm is endearing but I'm hoping that he turns out to actually add something to the team. I can see him in a sort of moral support role, picking up the other characters when they hit a roadblock down the line.


The show also takes the time to start to tackle serious real world issues like the deportation of undocumented immigrants. I like that the showrunners have chosen a Latina character in a plot centred around Aztec, Incan and Mayan civilisation. I think one of the most significant complaints about the treasure hunting genre is that it's always a white hero or heroine running around essentially stealing historical treasure from other cultures.  

Treasure hunting as a concept and a genre can often raise problems surrounding imperialism and conquering nations taking the treasure from the countries they colonise. It's fitting then that the treasure lore of this show is centred around the three South American civilisations hiding treasure from the invading conquistadors. Billie's line about the conquistador sword once belonging to someone who lost the treasure and now belonging to someone who will find it is chilling in its delivery and implication. It's moments like these where the show feels like it could really be a good one - especially if it focuses more on themes like this and less on the romantic entanglements of the heroes. 

What did you think of the first two episodes? Looking forward to the rest of the show? Sound off in the comments below!

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