|Bagans works his swagger|
Premiering tonight on the Travel Channel, Paranormal Challenge stars manga-haired Zak Bagans as the host of TV's most unlikely
game show reality competition. Two teams are ostensibly sent forth into a haunted location to gather the most evidence of paranormal phenomena. The findings of each team is then judged by a panel that includes Bagans and three other "nationally recognized paranormal experts".
Almost imperceptibly over the past few years, paranormal programs have sold their souls to the devil of ratings, sacrificing what marginal respect they may have once possessed. And they've taken much criticism for their efforts. However, now we've reached a new low that must exist somewhere between Dante's 8th and 9th circles: reality competition shows. Is this paranormal TV's jump-the-shark moment?
I would have thought the death knell was rung when well-supported claims of trickery were levied against Ghost Hunters. But you can't keep a good fan down. The show plowed on, quite nicely too. Had it not, we mightn't be in this situation. I suppose for the casual, LOL! OMG! That's so funny! viewer it's not a big deal. But for many, researching the paranormal is important to them and they take it seriously. When it all becomes a game, respect falters and it then becomes that much harder for these men and women to pursue their goals. Imagine trying to persuade property owners of a much-coveted location that you're not just "messin' around" when, from their perspective, the proof is incontrovertible: Paranormal Challenge.