TV Review: ‘National Treasure: Edge Of History’ Season 1, Episode 1
by Frank Martin
It seems as if rebooting popular franchises for spinoffs on streaming services is all the rage these days. While National Treasure doesn’t seem like a prime property to do just that, Disney jumped at the opportunity to give this underrated series a new opportunity. At first glance, National Treasure: Edge of History might seem like it is in trouble since it doesn’t star Nicolas Cage, who was the driving factor behind the first two films being a success. But there is enough treasure hunting adventure in the series’ first episode to bring this type of story to a new generation.
The story centers on a 20-year-old named Jess (Lisette Olivera) who is trying to find her way in America while reconciling her family’s past. Her father — a member of an order tasked with protecting a treasure from ancient Mexican civilizations — gets wrapped up in a nefarious plot run by Billie (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel), who is the only character (so far) to return from the original National Treasure movies, tries to recruit her to protect the treasure. But Jess is worried that her undocumented status will be in jeopardy if she helps, not to mention her friends that don’t share her passion for puzzle solving.
While the plot and characters vary wildly from the films, there are several common themes running throughout. The idea of trying to live up to family legacy and protect history for society rather than greed are at the core of National Treasure in its film and TV forms. A younger protagonist dealing with their immigration status in America is a way to upgrade the series for a new generation. Although the jury is still out at just how successful this new series will be at reinvigorating the franchise, this first episode at least shows promise that a younger audience will enjoy it.
National Treasure: Edge of History streams Wednesdays on Disney+.