Maybe you're not one of those people who are fascinated by things falling to Earth, things that have been traveling in the vast mysterious expanse of the Universe for eons and finally, almost magically, end up here on Earth. The Flaming Nose undeniably IS one of the fascinated -- we're space junkies all the way and we love the serendipitous meeting of space and our lonely planet that is celebrated on Science Channel's Meteorite Men series.
The Meteorite Men are Steve Arnold and Geoff Notkin, world-renowned meteorite hunters who by profession and passion are synonymous with the quest for space rocks. Notkin owns and operates Aerolite Meteorites, a Phoenix, AZ-based meteorite shop with a tremendous website containing all sorts of great information. If you're watching the show, Geoff's the one without the beard and with the slight Brit accent (he was born in New York but raised in London). Arnold is a successful meteorite hunter and broker, has a beard and no accent.
After many appearances together on specials all over the TV dial, from PBS to cable, Arnold and Notkin were tapped in early 2010 to star in an intial season of five one hour Meteorite Men programs for the Science Channel, and they're beginning tonight back with a new season of eight episodes. Part science, part adventure, part luck, and part just plain hard work, Meteorite Men is always exciting and one of the good examples of the type of show that everybody is making these days -- reality combined with (sometimes) serious content.
Gone are most of the straight documentaries of yore -- they are in short supply these days, even on Discovery or Science Channel -- and though I understand what the networks are doing, I usually am not thrilled with the result. Everything -- everyone -- is trying overly hard to be entertaining as programmers dumb down content to troll for bigger audiences. TV is just a business, and reality-type programming is a form that offers viewers easy access, so we're going to see more and more of this kind of show masquerading as serious content. At least these guys are smart and enthusiastic, though I'm always a little uncomfortable when their talk quickly and inevitably turns to how much the space rocks they're unearthing are worth. Seems a little crass, but this is America and that's what most people get off on. (I hate the same thing about Antiques Roadshow.)
But that's showbiz, isn't it? Oh well. I'd rather be watching the Meteorite Men out adventuring than spoiled housewives shopping and bitching on some other network. Here's the promo for their second season:
And here's another nice spot with the guys talking about how studying science in school prepared them for their meteorite hunting:
The second season of Meteorite Men starts tonight at 9pm on Science Channel!