Monday, May 15, 2006

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Ghost Hunters

As mentioned in my frighteningly late Halloween post last November, I am a big fan of "Ghost Hunters" on Sci-Fi. I want to admit that up front so we can get rid of even the illusion of impartiality or an unbiased review right from the beginning. I love, love, love, love, love this show.

It's not just because of the possibility in every episode of freaky things caught on tape--though the freaky things they do periodically catch on tape are certainly a draw. It's more about the dynamics between the crew members. Both Jason and Grant, the co-founders of the group TAPS, whose investigations are chronicled on "Ghost Hunters," are very no-nonsense, matter-of-fact sorts and they employ a group of mostly similarly minded people. (The one exception is Brian who's so annoying and just--oh--annoying like you can't even imagine how annoying. And I always find myself wishing they'd get rid of him--which they actually have at least once before--but then I realize they're probably keeping him around for the tension he adds to each episode. Everyone else looks even better and more credible in comparison to Brian's whiny and annoying personality.)

The thing I like most about "Ghost Hunters" is that everyone on the show seems to be a rather reluctant "celebrity." It's likely that Jason and Grant approached the network with the idea or in any case, they were approached by producers to whom they said "yes." But a lot of the time, they seem rather sheepish and uncomfortable with the cameras--even now, well into the second year of filming. It's this every guy vibe that makes anything freaky they do catch on film even more credible.

As far as the freaky stuff--both Jason and Grant are enthusiastic debunkers. If they can find a remotely plausible, non-paranormal explanation for a "haunting" they are thrilled. (In one episode, the thumping a homeowner had attributed to ghostly spirits was discovered to be a drainpipe banging against a beam in the basment every time the sump pump came on--Jason and Grant, Roto-Rooter plumbers by day, were uniquely qualified to debunk that particular "haunting.") Jason, especially, will go to great lengths to avoid using the word "haunted." He even referred to it as the "h- word" in one episode. No matter how compelling the evidence seems to be, he will say all sorts of things like, "Is something going on? Definitely. Can I say that it's 'haunted'? I don't know." And don't even try to get him--or Grant, for that matter--to use the word "ghost." Which brings me to the only bone I can really pick with the show: Why do they call the show "Ghost Hunters" when the two "leading men" so rarely even use the word "ghost?" But I guess "Sump Pump Hunters" wouldn't draw quite the same audience, huh?

As I've told Cranky Boss Lady, and anyone else I can hold hostage long enough to listen, I'm well aware that everything on the show may someday be exposed as having been staged or doctored or whatever, but in the meantime, these seem like normal guys having a little fun chasing (and debunking) paranormal phenomena. And for as long as I'm invited along for the ride, I'm so going to be there.

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Addictive

New episodes are currently playing on Sci-Fi Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (Eastern). They are running old episodes at 7 & 8 p.m. on Wednesdays as well.

1 comment:

  1. I have watched on episode after your last post about the show. I was bummed because it was the light house one and they never found anything. I think I have watched 2 actually, the second was a historical home in New York City that they said sometimes the piano would play along with other many strange things. I fell asleep before I got to see anything concrete on that one! I forgot about the show until this post, I will have to put it on my summer viewing list now that GA is off for the summer hiatus!!!