When will the paranormal bubble burst?

The television networks and the interwebertubes are ablaze with everything paranormal. For the last five years, due in large part to those blue collar guys Jason and Grant of the Ghost Hunters, there has been an explosion of shows about the paranormal. We have plumbers, cops, students, film makers, wanna be scientists, and even Hollywood has jumped on board. But now that we literally have everyone and their grandmother hunting ghosts on some cable network show, when is this bubble going to burst? The airwaves are saturated so how long can it sustain the pressure?

Personally, ?I think we are on the cusp of the decline of the paranormal show. I think a lot of these stalwarts will start dropping off and the latest startups won’t be able to take root.

Ghost Hunters has had a good run, but Jason and Grant aren’t doing business like they used to. They spend most episodes sitting on the couch waiting for something to happen and with all the controversy surrounding them now days they’re not even game to do a live investigation any more. With two other spinoff shows well under way, I think Jason and Grant will be heading off to the Spalding Inn once this new season is done.

Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy probably have another season or two left in them for those who still cling to the Ghost Hunters name. Ghost Hunters Academy never should have been made, and while I was a huge fan of GHI for Season One, this second Season has been frustrating, not to mention boring and annoying. The flip-flop nature of labeling locations paranormal is frustrating, while investigators like Joe and Paul just annoy me. They act like such buffoons most of the time I can’t stand to watch them. The "character" of the show has become grating. They’ll be able to cash in for a little while longer, but I don’t think these shows can bring in the numbers over the long haul.

Ghost Lab is so bad I’ll be shocked it if makes it back for another season.

Paranormal Cops is interesting but it doesn’t have enough flair to stick around. Plus, they aren’t travelling the countryside or hitting the Hot Spots like Eastern State or Waverly Hills. It would be interesting to see how they would handle an investigation at a place like that. But with only six shows to their credit I don’t think they personally have the time or the audience to give us too much more.

Paranormal State is a train wreck. Ryan has gone off the rails and each investigation is more hysterical and frantic than the last. I doubt many people would even consider him a paranormal investigator anymore. His main want is to seek out the demonic and perform exorcisms. Debunking and explaining are clearly not in his repertoire. I think his antics are costing him fans not gaining him credibility. Maybe he does have ties with the church and that’s what’s driving him, but if you look at his first episode and what we have now and they are nothing alike. This show has gone downhill dramatically. Plus, you can clearly see that Ryan thinks a lot of himself these days.

Ghost Adventures still has plenty of excitement left to carry them for another season or two. But in that timeframe, after they’ve visited the big paranormal Hot Spots what are they going to do? They could follow in the footsteps of Ghost Hunters International and visit castles and forts abroad. Poveglia was a great location and there’s plenty more like that out there. We’ll have to see if Zak and team can hold the interest of the audience in the upcoming years.

Destination Truth also has plenty of excitement and destinations left. I don’t know if there’s a shortage of urban legends that Josh can track down and never find. And his show is just as much about his wild adventures in getting to his location as it is in hunting unusual creatures. His lost luggage, broken down vehicles, strange food, and death defying climbs could easily keep us entertained for some time to come. Josh manages to incorporate adventure travel into his show so his appeal isn’t just to a ghost hunting crowd.

And there’s so many more shows out there that I haven’t even looked at.

These shows are still fun, to a certain extent, and we all like a good scare, but with so many coming at us, something has to give. More paranormal related shows will crop up from time to time, run their 6 episodes and then disappear. The paranormal is big business right now, but I think it’s going to start running out of steam shortly. There’s just too many coming at us all at once. Once the fervor dies down there will be a slew of books documenting the paranormal and all the ghost stories from these former TV celebs, so we have that to look forward to.

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3 Responses to When will the paranormal bubble burst?

  • EXCELLENT article, Rotten!

    Personally, my paranormal bubble has burst. Not excited about GH anymore. I think Jason and Grant got too big for their britches. I don’t like them anymore. Whereas when I first started watching I thought they were genuinely lovable mugs. Now I find them pretentious and arrogant and inflexible (in how they’ll investigate, with who, etc.) And don’t even get me started on their possibly faking antics to “create” activity…shameful!

    TOTALLY agreed with all of your assessments of every show. LOLed about Paranormal State train wreck and Ghost Lab. (Thought they had some interesting theories in the 1st epi, but also in that first epi when the one guy started singing…I felt they were in it more for the show/fame/glory than actually to investigate and that instantly turned me off –and consequently made me turn them off.)

    GHI I just couldn’t get into this year. Not even watching.

    But for some reason, Ghost Adventures, which I took even less seriously than PS and laughed at, is now my fave ghost show that I still DO watch. I guess because I know it’s entertainment and they don’t take themselves seriously. Or something. They haven’t alienated me yet is all I do know.

    Same with Josh Gates, whose personality I found abrasive as all get out the first season. Could barely stand watching him, but…I also was compelled to watch. Then last season I was just smitten. Now I’m completely excited about DT’s new season. And may watch GH’s season premier only because I know JG be on it! (Wish they’d give him a big ol’ premier hoopla instead.)

    Anyway…loved your article. Really insightful!

  • RottenOne says:

    The GH love is certainly gone. Jason and Grant were fun the first season or so, but now they’re lazy and content to just roll with things. They aren’t skeptics anymore and are far too quick to label things paranormal (if they get off the couch). You’re right, they have become very rigid and their likable style has very much evaporated.

    I had high hopes for Ghost Lab, but by the second episodes they were acting like clowns.

    I thought Ghost Adventures was going to be a joke, but there is something about it that keeps me watching. I think Zak tells a great story and I just keep tuning in. They’re goofs, but they’re so likable.

    I thought Destination Truth was hysterical from day one. You know he isn’t going to find anything, but regardless of how bad things get he’s still laughing. He has the roof of the plane come flying off and still keeps his wits. I can’t wait for his new season to start!

    And I may tune in for the GH premier just to see Josh. He just makes things more exciting. Plus I wish I could look that damn cool wearing a scarf!!

  • RottenOne says:

    Here’s an interesting set of comments I found while out strolling around the Internet:

    From what I have been told (and I can’t tell you all) I predict you’ll see the following in the coming year (2010): The big three will remain (Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal State). The new shows (Paranormal Cops, American Paranormal and Ghost Lab) will be “re-upped” and slowly disintegrated. Shows that made a brief appearance will not be coming back. New shows have been announced, one coming from Pilgrim TV and Film, but they are taking a more spiritual direction, but these aren’t being seen as lasting longer than a season or single episode. The money is just not being spent any more.

    From HauntedHoax

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