Friday, April 13, 2012

'Ghost Whisperer' got off to a strong start

I was gifted with Seasons 1 and 2 of "Ghost Whisperer" some time ago, and I recently got around to start watching them. So, I will be reviewing the episodes in this space. I only watched the show once in a blue moon during its five year run on CBS, but every time I did, I was impressed by Jennifer Love Hewitts two great talents. She's also quite an actress.


Ghost Whisperer (Untitled Pilot Episode) (2005)
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, David Conrad, Aisha Tyler, and Wentworth Miller
Director: John Gray
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Her entire life, Melinda (Hewitt) has been able to see and communicate with ghosts. As she grew up, she began to pass messages from them to the living, so the restless spirits would feel relieved of their earthly duties and finally be able to move onto the afterlife. Even on her wedding night, she spends time with both the living and the dead... when for the first time one of the dead (Miller) invade her very home in search of help.


"Ghost Whisperer" got off to a strong start with its 2005 pilot episode. A deftly written script that introduces us to likable newly-weds Melinda and Jim--she sees dead people and tries to help them move onto the next life, he is a paramedic and tries to help people stay in this one, which is an interesting arrangement that I'm sure will get play as the show unfolds--and Melinda's sassy employee at the antique store she runs. I expect Melinda's doting and supportive husband will give rise to nearly as many plots as the ghosts he will help as I watch this series... and I expect her employee will come in at a close second, probably not directly but rather through antiques that she brings into the shop that Melinda owns and operates.

The pilot also presents what I know to be the show's formula from what few I've already seen: Melinda encounters a ghosts here and there, but one or two become her focus. After some initial sleuthing and plot complications, she finds the key to helping them resolve the issues that are keeping them in this world. After a tearful goodbye with family members and loved ones, the ghost moves on, and Melinda returns to the arms of her loving husband.

But the pilot also features a near-perfect mix of sappy and creepy that made the best episodes of the show that I've seen so much fun. Just when you think the schmaltz might be going on just a little too thick, scary ghost stuff starts happening.

What I found most entertaining about the pilot episode was the way it time and again made me wonder what it would be like to go through life never knowing if the person sitting across from you is alive or dead... until you realize that you're the only person who can see him. If the show keeps that aspect alive, I think this is going to be lots of fun.

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Things Learned About Ghosts and The Afterlife in This Episode: Major life-changes for those the departed care about may "awaken" their slumbering, lingering spirits and draw them to the location, even if they don't know why. Ghosts somehow communicate even with the ghosts who are stuck in this world... and sometimes they tell those who are stuck to seek out Melinda for help.

1 comment:

joe bloke said...

I was never a great fan, but the missus loved it, and I learned to get on with it. at it's best, which would've been later in it's run, 'round the whole big sinky boat and cars dropping out of the sky time, it was cool. but it was the shmaltz factor that killed it for me, the constant whining and weeping did my head in. still, it was a get-out-of-jail-free card from the missus to sit and perve out on Jennifer Love Hewitt for an hour a week.