National Treasure: Making History

Jan 13, 2023

National Treasure: Edge of History is a new action-adventure series brought to us by Disney +. Unlike the movies, the Series does not have Nicolas Cage as the main character, Benjamin Gates. The series instead follows the main character of Jess Valenzuela's journey as she uncovers a lost treasure, hidden for centuries. One of the notable aspects of the television series is the representation of women, with many adventure-action movies and shows typically featuring women as side-kicks or love interests of the main, male protagonist. We all love seeing action-packed characters like Indiana Jones and The Mummy's Rick O'Connell. However, it is refreshing to see another female Tomb-raider-like character on our screens!

Disney+'s representation of the character of Jess in National Treasure: Edge of History is a step in the right direction towards better representation of women in the entertainment industry. The film industry has been criticized for its lack of representation and portrayal of women in leading roles and in action movies specifically, they are often portrayed as damsels in distress or merely love interests of the smart, witty male main character. By featuring Jess as a strong, capable and active participant in the story, showcasing her curiosity and willingness to uncover the truth, the show is helping to break down the stereotypes that have long been associated with women in the action genre. The series focuses on re-discovering history, cryptic clues and puzzle-making. As Jess uncovers some family secrets, the TV show also draws on the idea of establishing identity.

The portrayal of strong and capable female characters in films and TV shows can help break down those long historically-enriched perspectives of women as a side plot. Instead, the female lead plays a critical role in re-defining the beloved treasure hunters we see on the big screen. This will in turn, hopefully, produce a positive impact on how women are perceived and treated in society.  Seeing women in leading roles and as active participants in the story, can inspire young girls and women to believe in themselves and their capabilities- being physically strong, critical thinkers and adventurous. Fair gender representation in media matters, and through portraying Jess' character, Disney+ can be seen to be making a positive step in the right direction in the entertainment industry.

In conclusion, National Treasure: Edge of History is an exciting new action-adventure television series airing on Disney+ that is worth watching if you are fascinated by mysteries, uncovering secrets and after some adrenaline-filled adventures. The television series does feature some sexual references and violence, making it, unfortunately, less appropriate for a younger audience than the PG-rated movie- with the certificate being 14+.  But if you're an adult or into your older adolescent years and love historical, treasure-based adventures and a sense of nostalgia, it is worth the watch.

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