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Monday, December 10, 2007

Paranormal State

I'm sitting here eating chocolate-covered peanuts from Trader Joe's and watching this new post-Intervention A&E show, Paranormal State. This being a semi-scientifically-nerd-oriented blog, I can't help but comment on this new show. It's fascinating and yet completely untrustworthy at the same time, pretty much exactly what paranormal phenomena always are. I've never been a big believer in ghosts or spirits haunting houses, call me a skeptic, but I don't think the human brain, spirit, what-have-you is so strong and enduring that we leave a presence behind after death. That's what oral tradition and history are for, to preserve what is essentially human about each and every one of us in a real way.

Still, there is something to the national X-Files obsession we've only just recovered from. Even I got super-excited to hear rumors about a second movie being made. I was as shocked and traumatized by The Exorcist as anyone else, demonic possession is absolutely fascinating, but I have to say it's just like the Salem witch trials--if anything, an outpouring of human emotion and an outcry for attention.

So, Paranormal State seems extremely oriented towards religious solutions to the supernatural, all holy water and crosses and prayer. This "investigative team"'s leader, Ryan, has all the markings of a well-spoken, handsome, sensitive (to the extreme) manipulator. I'm curious to know what he's getting his degree in from Penn State, and why he doesn't think having his ears pierced detracts from his professionalism and cred as a psychic investigator. Maybe I'm too irreligious to enjoy shows like this, maybe TV reality shows have become too dramatized to be truly enjoyable. Let's see how long this show lasts.

1 comment:

paul said...

I think even some religious(ish) people would find his technique of attack everything with holy water and dutifully marking invisible crosses on every window of the house frees everything.
Coincidentally, in both episodes after Ryan drew religious symbols all over their houses they reported everything was magically better.
Also it was horrendously superstitious- I mean did you see the second episode with the whole bit about dreaming about a demon's name? He admitted it really didn't connect to the current case they were on but Lorraine Warren the old lady at the end shows up and tells him exactly what he already told us, that there's some evil demon after him and to always be prepared. Is it just me or does that sound like they are setting us up for Ryan vs. the demon battles throughout the series and that was just the beginning of it? As if a reality show can actually contract a demon to continuously haunt the star- coincidentally started right when the show did? I mean come on, the whole thing was crud. Addictingly fun crud to watch because it's all so bizarre, but still crud.

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