It’s hard to tell the shows apart anymore. When we look back and reminisce, they all run together. Has the show been on too long?
When Grant, one of the show’s founders, left in 2014 the shocking and mostly unexplained departure betrayed probable hidden conflicts within the cast.
There have been great guys on the show, but the girls have been exceptional. They never squealed and shivered at spooks. They were confident, brave and smart. So why are they gone?
Jay has attempted to replace the girl-gap with a rotation of his daughters (and one dog). For some reason although these daughters seem confident and smart, it just feels like we’re getting more Jayness and not more girliness.
Actually, I don’t know who left first, Brian or Donna. They both left in 2007. But Donna left without much fanfare. Brian’s departure was a plot point on the show. He was clearly a point of pain and it’s easy to see why his erratic and undependable behavior necessitated his release from the series. However, to his credit, Brain did inject some life into the show every time he failed to correctly coil up an extension cord. He seemed to serve as some kind of personality catalyst for the rest of the cast. Without him, the show deflated a bit. Which brings us to…
The current menagerie of ghost story, ghost hunting, and ghost psychic shows are full to the brim with personality. New shows have goofy, hyper lead investigators (Zak Bagans), quirky angles (a cop and a physic who prescribes chaos magicians) , psychics aiding celebrities, hillbilly ghost hunters. I’m not saying the gimmick is alright. I’m just saying GH has lost what few charismatic players they had. Jay and Grant were a duo with personality. Jay and Steve Gonsalves are not. Jay alone is not. In comparison to other shows, the cast now seems bland. Professional is good. Bland is not.
Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy didn’t last although the academy did give us Adam Berry who was an interesting addition at first. Remember the inn in New England that Jay and Grant purchased? Can this be turned into a spin off?
Some ghost shows rely on personality. Some shows rely on trumped-up scares. It’s a hard line to walk. Ghost Hunters once had a bit of comedy and personality (with some on-the-air dramas). It seemed at some point in the last five years GH was going for more scares and less science. Then they seem to pull back. The show has always seemed to struggle with what kind of show does it want to be. In any case, both science and show credibility have suffered.
That inn in New England reminds me of a question that has been bugging me for years: why doesn’t anyone invest in a clearly haunted house and study that on TV for a few years? Why aren’t any eccentric Richie Rich’s investing in ghost research? They’re investing in alien research. Why not ghosts? After ten years and multiple ghost shows, have we any decent proof to show for ourselves? Something we can take on a TED talk? In fairness, it’s not really possible to judge televised research. The very format is deceptive. But we all pretend here, right? “It’s a TV show” is my husband’s favorite mantra. TV prevents me from ultimately taking anything seriously. So I’m pretending disappointment here with the repetitive evidence we’ve managed to accumulate over the last decade. Because it’s a TV show, this particular viewer is getting bored with “compelling EVPs.”
At the end of day, we’re left with Jay. God love him for hanging in there, but he’s too stern to lead, he’s not causal enough to narrate, and he needs a charismatic co-host to counter-balance his solid-guy Jayness. He once had a role to play: be the hard guy. He’s like your friend’s dad who is too serious and hard-ass so you never go over and play at their house. He wasn’t flexible enough to morph into a welcoming, friendly host. I’m led to believe Jay might have a serious life, so he’s a serious guy. But real life characters and TV characters are too different things. Jay needs Grant’s lightness to offset his Jayness.