To their credit, I will say that TAPS had a good quest in a bad situation. I thank them for making people aware of debunking, professional behavior with clients, and trying to see what proof they can obtain of hauntings and afterlife. Having signed a contract with a network, this was going to be corrupted no matter how you look at it with books, magazines, t-shirts, and the circus that evolves from a business that grows out of a hobby. I cannot imagine what they could to to quilters or baseball card collectors if they tried to make entertainment out of something, like ghost hunting, that is inherently a total snooze.
I admit that watching Ghost Hunters has been a bit like a marriage. Perhaps it's the 7-year itch? Let's review this relationship with the show and see where it might have gone wrong and if counseling will help or the separation should turn into a divorce.
I was giddy at first. Someone was going a show about my hobby, ghost hunting. I was going to see a team not employing Old World spiritualist's methods, but actually trying to apply some debunking skills and see where the science lies. Like a first date with my mad crush, I was glued to my seat, would not allow interruptions, triple checked my recorder and sat down for the first episode.
You know what they say about how sometimes the reasons you pick a mate later become the thing you hate most about him? Well, my initial excitement about Ghost Hunters was that everyone would realize this is not a stupid sport and something evil or spooky, but people asking questions and looking for answers. That people at home might witness what it's like on a hunt meant I may never need to hide that I'm a ghost hunter again in shame.
Of course, eventually that meant that every Tom, Dick and Harry was going to now flood the countryside with cameras and K-II meters, banging on the doors of historic sites and making asses of themselves so that these establishments wanted nothing to do with ghost hunters again. They would also start to make it profitable for people to buy up old abandoned asylums and the like and make a fortune on the ghost hunting industry, corrupting forever what might have been a genuine haunt site.
I think my first twinges something wasn't right in the relationship was when they were handling the Brian screw-up scenario. I don't know if Syfy (SciFi at that time) thought that it was titillating or the team wanted to so distance themselves from his issues that they made an example of him, but they just dragged this guy out, paraded his personal shit, and made an example of him. It was ugly and is smelled of sacrifice.
I enjoyed some jumps and startles and excitement in episodes like the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Stanley Hotel, but along the way SciFi (Syfy now) began to poke its nose into all their business. Wrestlers and special guests were showing up and J&G were doing commercials. This was really giving me signs the relationship was in trouble.
It wasn't until they had the episode showcasing their newly acquired New England Inn and they raced off into the snow on their snowmobiles while they asked their grunts to prove their inn was haunted so they could cash a few more bucks that I felt really queasy.
Then, they still showed them in plumber's attire pretending to work for Roto Rooter and I just couldn't go any further. There comes a time in a relationship where you lose your own self respect just being in it, so I stopped watching all together. That was a few seasons ago. Sometimes, it plays in the background while I'm writing or cleaning the apartment, but I barely feel compelled to glance up and see what's happening. I know the routine.
I'm so glad to be out of that relationship. Grant and Jason went from being adorable and bumbling best buddies to a kind of nazi team leadership that trains the grunts to spit out the same party line about ghosts and ghost hunting. No new tools. No new professionals to give insight. No rhyme or reason to new team members. Everyone is paired off the same, does the same chores, yada yada yada. No mixing it up at all. Their idea of mixing it up nowadays is to cover a town's haunting and bring in Meatloaf for a second time!
I am so glad I opened my eyes to that dysfunctional relationship and got out of it. Like any relationship, it died of atrophy. Had they made one effort to further the industry, bring in experts, mix up the teams and methods, try new things, I would have stuck by them to the end. It would have taken so little to keep me engaged in this relationship.
Alas, divorce papers are being filed and the separation is now complete and total. Perhaps they will learn something from this failed relationship and move on to make changes in the next.
As for me, I'm free again and on the market. Any paranormal show that wants me in a relationship, you're going to have to earn it. Fact or Faked—I'm dating you but not exclusively. Destination Truth has my complete preoccupation because it serves a few of my needs; curiosity, intelligence, adventure and sense of humor. The only problem is, that like dating the handsome quarterback, it flirts outrageously with its over the top stunts to make it look daring and crazy, and so I wonder if it's all show and little substance. Should FoF acquire personality and humor and a new mix in the cast, I would be probably go for full commitment.
I've learned a lot about failed relationships, like to not lower my standards for those who do not keep the relationship dynamic and alive, but are complacent and forgetting the reason they entered the relationship in the first place.