I'm not a fan of the show and the short time I spent watching it last night reminded me why. If learning nothing is the goal, I can think of a hundred other ways I'd rather spend my time.
The program is still on the air, however, because a lot of people are watching it. I know from groups on Facebook that some people watch it religiously. Despite years of baloney, misdirection, and nonsense, they still watch: the program is one of the top-rated cable shows on its Tuesday time slot, successfully competing with professional wrestling.
The first chapter of the book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (by Kevin Young, 2017) provides a possible answer. Young draws a comparison between the rise of reality TV and P.T. Barnum's 19th century success with "humbug," noting Barnum's own distinction between "humbug" and other brands of fakery (swindle, forgery, hoaxing, etc.). Young (page 9) quotes Barnum:
It is Young's comparison to reality TV (page 10) that resonates in my mind with the loyalty I see among Oak Island fans:
. . . Barnum also proved brilliant at making the audience part of the hoax, saying effectively, you're smart, or better yet, you think you're so smart: come see and decide for yourself. He made everyone an expert."
Here is my falsifiable hypothesis about Oak Island: there is nothing "special" buried on Oak Island.
I have seen no evidence that convinces me that anything special happened on Oak Island: no buried treasure, no wondrous underground constructions, no Phoenicians, no Ark of the Covenant, no Knights Templar, no Roman armies, no bones of Jesus, no Shakespeare manuscripts, nothing. Before you start giving me the "what abouts," have a look at this critical source on Oak Island.
I am a professional archaeologist. I have been doing research in the field and lab for over two decades now. Nothing that I've seen on Oak Island since the first season resembles in any way how I would go about trying to answer a question about what happened there in the past and when it happened. Random metal detecting, drilling blind holes, entertaining a string of kooks to spout off about this or that "theory" . . . these things are fuel for the humbug, not steps taken to address a question.
Don't get me wrong: I understand the appeal of humbug. I paid to take my daughter to the Mystery Spot in St. Ignace, Michigan. I probably would have paid to see Barnum's Feejee Mermaid and the Cardiff Giant.
But as far as Oak Island and "rewriting history," I checked out long ago and won't be back unless there's a real reason. FYI: "real reason" does not include another beach artifact found while metal detecting, another piece of wood retrieved from a hole drilled into an area that has been previously excavated, or another "artifact" handed to the film crew with a shaggy dog story attached.
During Swordgate, I made some internet friends that are connected in one way or another to the story of Oak Island. My goal in writing this isn't to make anyone mad, but to call it like I see it: when you strip away the show business from the show, what's left? Not much, in my opinion. That doesn't stop a lot of people from enjoying the ride, obviously. But I'm not among them.