It's not for everybody, but network H2's fascinating documentary series In Search of Aliens comes to the close of its first season tonight. The ten-episode run which began in late July concludes with an examination of "The Alien Code" including looks at crop circles and other related phenomena. I've always been drawn to shows of this nature, but I think that one of the chief reasons for anybody tuning in is for the enthusiastic and charismatic work of the host, Ancient Aliens spokesperson and in-and-out-of-this-world explorer extraordinaire Giorgio Tsoukalos.
Tsoukalos, he of the unique hairstyle perfect for someone who's brain is afire with unusual notions and boundless curiosity, makes an appealing guide into this world where he believes that visitors from outer space made contact with Earth eons ago. This is far from mainstream theory, but at the very least it's intriguing and though you may deem it balderdash -- and perhaps it is -- the Ancient Aliens discipline delves into areas of study that have continued to fascinate many over the centuries.
Anybody who likes mythology, archaeology, anthropology, aviation, zoology, religion and any subject touching these could do a lot worse than coming along for the ride of In Search of Aliens. So what if it's a little crazy? Most importantly it's a lot of fun and never dull.
Giorgio Tsoukalos wouldn't be having such success with his Ancient Aliens series and now In Search of Aliens if he weren't a compelling personality, and he definitely is one. Reality and documentary series rely on the hosts to provide the glue to keep audiences tuned in, and Giorgio provides plenty of staying power. He delivers the same kind of special magic to his area of interest as the late beloved Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin used to bring to his animals, and I don't think there could be a higher compliment. Deeply committed to his thesis, unceasingly curious, possessing powerful panache and a sense of adventure that can't help but make you enjoy going along for the ride, Giorgio Tsoukalos is what puts In Search of Aliens way above the pack.
Tsoukalos knows marketing -- his early career was working as a promoter of bodybuilders -- and that experience plus his clearly natural flair for knowing how to entice an audience keep In Search of Aliens endlessly interesting. What we get to see in this series as opposed to his also terrific Ancient Aliens series (he's a consultant and on-air personality) is his skilled on-camera work and also his tremendously effective interaction with the people he encounters on his journeys. He seems to get the best out of his contacts, winning them over with his honest delight in the quest at hand and the breadth of his studies. (That, or else there's lots of unusable footage on the cutting room floor.) Tsoukalos may be cut from the cloth of Harold Hill -- a clever and likable con man -- or maybe he's really onto something deep and historic, but either way I can't think of anybody I'd rather tag along with during the journey.
In Search of Aliens will air its season-ender tonight at 10pm, preceded and followed by more episodes of the series. They are also available online at the In Search of Aliens official website.