Episode 1 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 2/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 2/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 7 -|Review Score – 2/5
Episode 8 -|Review Score – 2/5
Episode 9 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 10 -|Review Score – 2/5
National Treasure: Edge of History claims the early accolade for the worst show of 2023. Between illogical plot beats full of contrivances and clichés, to an unlikable cast of misfits that stumble their way through scenes, it’s really difficult to find any redeeming features.
Based on the films adopting the same name, National Treasure: Edge of History introduces girl-wonder Jess Valanzeula. She’s a 20 year old with a knack for puzzles and soon stumbles upon a mystery encompassing her family lineage. Linked to three cubes and a lost treasure beyond, Jess teams up with a misfit group of teenagers and adults alike to find the treasure and uncover the secrets left within.
That’s easier said than done though when a rogue treasure hunter, Billie Pearce, is on the hunt for them. She’s also trying to find Salazar too, a seemingly mythical guy that holds crucial pieces of the puzzle to unlock this big mystery.
Across 10 laborious and painful episodes, the two groups enact a cat and mouse chase, complete with plenty of deus ex machina, puzzles, side quest shenanigans and a perfunctory ending that teases more to come in a possible second season.
Jess herself has very few flaws and easily works her way through puzzles, while her best friend Tasha comes armed with tech brilliance and an activist attitude. In fact, her laptop can do anything and solve any problem, serving as a convenient deus ex machina device for the plot… except when it’s not.
One of the biggest problems with National Treasure is the way it stumbles over its own plot mechanics and regularly forgets what its written. At one point, the group stumble upon a Clue Room. Once you touch something inside, we’re told that it triggers a series of locking mechanisms to keep that room shut… but only once. For the rest of the series it’s completely forgotten about.
Another time Jess is wanted by the authorities so she decides to skip out of the United States to follow a clue down in Mexico. Those at the border don’t bat an eyelid and let her through, despite the fact she’s wanted across the country.
Some of this may have been easy to ignore if it wasn’t for the warped morality for some of these characters. At one point, Tasha phishes a guy’s bank account, pretending to be the bank and forcing him to change his password. She logs in and manages to check his balance and trace a payment. Several episodes later, she makes a quip at the police, telling them that they can’t be trusted and are treating her like a criminal… even though she ironically is.
The set and production design for this is pretty poor too, with many scenes cheaply designed and very little in the way of interesting camera work or breathtaking cinematography on display. While it’s commendable that there’s very little in the way of CGI, this also looks like it has been put together on a shoestring budget.
The few segments later on during the finale are at least a bit of step up but largely this show struggles to justify its 10 episode investment and you’ll probably check out long before the final credits.
National Treasure: Edge of History has very little in the way of redeemable features. It’s a clunky, poorly written and morally confused show that stumbles over its simple plot on numerous occasions. There’s absolutely nothing here worth recommending. If you’re after an exciting and action-packed teen adventure drama, go and watch Hardy Boys or Outer Banks instead.
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Verdict - 2.5/10