Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Paranormal State of Things

I've been waiting to blog about A&E's Paranormal State until I was pretty sure I'd seen most of them. For me, there's nothing scarier than a collection of green college students armed with enough technology to freak themselves out entering into a realm of things none of them has experience for.

Ryan, the PRS(Paranormal Research Society)team leader, brings to the show leadership, a genuine, boy-next-door quality and a background in witnessing paranormal phenomenon. The remainder of the team consists of a self-proclaimed occult specialist, a documentarian, a technology wizard and a pseudo-counselor to help families afflicted with unexplained events--none of whom have any psychic or extrasensory abilities to carry out their duties. The only difference between you and I holding "dead time" in an abandoned psychiatric hospital and the PRS team is their ability to call out the heavy hitters when things get beyond their control.

Routinely relying on expert psychics and demonologists, the principle goal of the PRS is to approach each case with a heavy nod toward science and documenting the unexplainable. Not afraid to pull out the holy water and crucifixes when things get seriously wonky, but rarely calling a priest, the team is the equivalent of "warriors" going into battle without knowing how to wield a sword ("Warriors" coming from the self-proclaimed, highly stylistic voice-over to the show's beginning).

Nevertheless, it's fascinating. Although they maneuver their way through cases with roughly the same techniques we used at our sixth grade slumber parties, their interviews and site histories they uncover ground it from slipping away into a ghostly excuse for a co-ed all-nighter.

And where, exactly, was this extracurricular activity in college, anyway? I SO would have been there. Without any Wiccan background and questionable technological abilities, I would have been the one who's job it was to say, "Shouldn't we call a priest now?"

Have you watched Paranormal State? What are your impressions?

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