Earlier today, I did a post on the best paranormal shows and the most ridiculous, and now I'm going to cover the ones that had a great premise, but didn't live up to it.
Ghost Hunters: This show was groundbreaking for paranormal investigators. They taught the public about this thing called "debunking" and they looked for the explainable first and were cautious about the "h" word. I respect the hell out of them for that. But, to be a leader in the field that affected so many ghost hunting groups around the country, they dropped the ball completely. They had a closed-minded view of what ghosts were and how they worked and so they didn't seek any new concepts or testing methods. They paired up the same team members, did the same thing week after week after week. Their big additions to the field? K-II meter (WTF?), unscrewing a flashlight to talk to ghosts (WTF?) and adding a dog (the smartest new team member in some time). I know that this is purely entertainment and not real research, but they represented those in the field and so I feel their inbred attitudes and lack of growth made them stagnant, stale, and conservatives in the field instead of being dynamic and adaptable.
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files: Everyone knows I adore Ben Hansen, team leader. The guy has it all. He has so much potential, but like anyone who signs a contract with a production company and a channel, he is at their mercy. Had they put him in as producer, I suspect the show could have evolved into something cutting edge and intelligent, but so far it's become a watered down junior high version of investigating places with a team of character-less beings who seem about as confused as to what their part is on the team as we the viewers are.
Ghost Lab: The concept for this was over the top awesome--seriously the show I would have invented! You take paranormal concepts like "does copper mining affect hauntings" or "does running water near a building create more activity" and they went to test it. Problem was -- the personalities. You get 2 loud big old Texan boys yapping away about scientific principles and your eyes roll back into your head. The show should have been run, not by a huge truck loaded with equipment and aggressive leaders, but by scientifically trained individuals so that it was more about the subject and less about the team leaders. It didn't need to be "bigger" than Texas to do this. It could have been more simple, like experiments on shows like "Monsterquest" where they might get a lab to reenact Bigfoot from the Patterson-Gimlin film or other such professionals or even the National Geographic shows where they get science-based experts to test the haunting at Eastern State Penn and infrasound issues. I would have changed the team up each week and forget the van with the huge screen TV and replace it with labs and experts in different arenas.
Out of curiosity, I added it up:
Best Paranormal Shows: A&E/History Channel (3), Syfy (1), Animal Planet (1)
Worst Paranormal Shows: Travel Channel (2), Syfy (1), A&E (1)
Ones that didn't live up to potential: Discovery Channel (1), Syfy (2)
RESULTS: So, our stats show that in my opinion, History Channel totally rocks it for paranormal shows and Travel Channel and Syfy show the worst ones. This actually helps me because I can be cautious when a show comes onto one of those bad stats channels and if History Channel does a show, I'm all over it!