I get what you’re saying, but I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one point. Your research and analyses on Mary Lincoln have been pretty darn exciting, at least in an intellectual/historical sense! Granted, researching interesting subjects and writing about them may not be as exciting as skydiving or backpacking across Europe, but it is still an adventure in its own right. And yes, I know that sounds a little Sesame Street-ish, lol, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true!
I actually think that’s why niche shows about history and science have grown so popular over the years, and also why each and every generation seems to produce its own cadre of rock star thinkers and academics. As I understand it, back in the 50s and 60s, the philosophers Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were about as popular with the mainstream public as some Hollywood A-listers. Fast forward to the present, and you’ve got scientists and intellectuals like Neil Tyson who have become full-blown celebrities. There’s just so much for us to unpack and explore — in history, philosophy, science, and so forth — and it can be remarkably exciting to take part in that process, especially if you go into it with a clear understanding about what it is you’re hoping to discover.