Once, in the heady days of yesteryear, the Discovery Channel was a cable network focused on science and education. But it's gone through a series of transformations since, emerging from each chrysalis as a yet-lower-common-denominator-courting butterfly, and going from shows devoted to sharks almost eating people to shows about rednecks in various reality-series-friendly situations. But the network’s new Gold Fever promises to bridge that divide, offering a show that’s still about scruffy, bearded men arguing with each other, but this time with a tiny kernel of a history lesson at its center, at least.
The scripted Gold Fever is a four-part miniseries dramatizing the California gold rush of the 1840s, a time when thousands of fortune-seekers headed west and recovered around $25 billion in 2013 dollars. Disappointingly low on prospectors shouting "Yippee! I'm rich!" or declaring the presence of gold in tham thar hills, the show at least doesn't skimp on the violence. In fact, as far as we can tell based on this trailer, every single character is shot, hung, or shot while hanging in the first half hour alone. In your face, Game Of Thrones!