Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti
Guilty pleasures… the things that we secretly enjoy but hesitate to admit we enjoy because it’s kind of cheesy or just plain embarrassing to watch, read, listen to or play
So what is one of my guilty pleasures…the A&E series Paranormal State. The show centres around Penn State student, Ryan Buell and his group, the Paranormal Research Society. They are a group of students investigating paranormal events in the US.
Why is this a guilty pleasure? Because it’s a show about hunting and trying to expose ghosts, demons and other paranormal events. A lot of people roll their eyes because even with the rise in popularity of the paranormal genre, it is still something that is not taken seriously. Even I roll my eyes but I love it. It’s cheesy but it’s a good cheese. Sometimes it is hard to get past the: “the power of Christ compels you” moments and the stereotype victims who may be a little off or clearly full of crap and just want to be on TV. Also, the parts where there is a dramatic pause (commercial) before the big build up and the proof that there is ghost can be a bit over the top. Oh and the evidence is usually inconclusive but it’s still entertaining to watch it unfold.
It does seem that as the show grew more popular, the team became less interesting, less real. But the first 4 seasons are highly enjoyable. I especially like the episodes that focus on one particular well-known event or creature like the special that was done on the Mothman. The team states they will try to get evidence of popular paranormal phenomena but you now it will be a lot of night vision, bumps in the dark and cat scares. Destination Truth (another guilty pleasure in the paranormal TV genre) is particularly good at this approach. I’m not saying I don’t believe in the paranormal, I do to a point but trying to broadcast it on TV is strictly for entertainment purposes, not really to expose the after life or the underworld to the living via a 30 minute broadcast. Adding to this guilty pleasure of watching the show, I admit I bought and read Ryan Buell’s book. Yes, I am guilty of finding this man and his personal journey into the paranormal interesting. I recommend this show to anyone who is interested in the paranormal and enjoys seeing the investigation and research into paranormal claims that either prove or disprove the phenomenon.
Guilty Pleasure #3 – Paranormal TV shows and ghost hunters (Ghostfacers – Supernatural Season 3 episode 13, great parody of the these types of shows. Check it out.)