Imagine “Anthony Bourdain in a blender with Scooby Doo” and you might have an idea of The Lowe Files, A&E’s unscripted series that follows Rob Lowe and his two sons, Matthew and John Owen, as they investigate unsolved mysteries around the world. So said Lowe himself, speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour with his two boys flanking him on either side.
Clearly, the smooth-talking star of film and television, who also came up with the show’s tagline “It’s More Fun to Believe,” has a way with words. But his two grown sons, a law student and budding scientist, respectively, are set to show the world that their father’s wit and charm may be genetic.
“To go out and do this, it’s like the dream of an 8-year-old boy trapped in a man’s body,” Lowe said, who entertained his sons growing up by taking them on expeditions to find Bigfoot and other fantastical phenomena. The Lowe Files, which debuts August 2, finds them doing it as adults, in an adventure in familial bonding and other weird pursuits that takes them from a haunted castle outside Sacramento to the bottom of the ocean.
“The concept is that the journey is an excuse for us to be together,” Lowe said, “so if we don’t find actual results, it’s not all that important.”
Sometimes they did indeed not find results, but other times, as when they spent the night on a ghost-hunting mission at the aforementioned Preston Castle, Lowe and Sons very much did turn up strange and fascinating discoveries.
“We didn’t want anything to be staged,” said John Owen Lowe. “It needed to be real and authentic because that’s what sets our show apart.”
The results are “as close to home movies as you can get,” added Lowe Files executive producer Tom Forman. “We showed up each day and literally just rolled. We didn’t shut off the cameras and we got what we got.”
The footage wasn’t too difficult to sift through given that Lowe and Sons have a natural chemistry and seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. While Matthew Lowe came to each new encounter through “the lens of science,” John Owen had a more open mind. Meanwhile, their enthusiastic dad “outright believes in everything,” Matthew said.
“To give him some credit, it’s way more fun to be around someone like that than someone who is not like that,” John Owen said.