Ghost Whisperer:Season 5
Television has always followed trend popular to prospective audience members. One that pops ups rather frequently on network shows is the belief that it is possible for the living to make contact with the deceased. This is far from a new aspect of human society. There are stern warnings about such practices written in the Bible complete with serve repercussions for those that participate in spiritistic practices. Many people continue to hold steadfast to their belief in communicating with the dearly departed as evident by the continued existence of people making claims of such abilities. The fact is there is no scientific evidence as to what happens when you slip off this mortal coil, so speculation runs rampant permitting the existence of several television series dealing with the matter. One of the most popular has been the CBS Friday evening anchor for years now; ‘Ghost Whisperer.' It featured a beautiful young woman with the ability to see the dead and a perchance for conversing with them in rather a flimsy nighttime attire. While that did not aide in reaching out to the ‘other side’ it certainly assisted in reaching out to the all-important Males 18-49 audience demographic. After five seasons of speaking to the dead and consoling the living the ‘Ghost Whisper’ is hanging up her abilities with the cancellation of the series. Despite a loyal fan base sagging rating combined with inflated production costs made the series untenable for renewal by the studio. The series exhibited solid writing, very good acting and a favorable balance between the ghost of the week and story threads that were woven throughout each season ultimately tying the series together had a comprehensive whole. Some fans would admit it is better to go out on a high note than fully jump the shark but at least one online poll indicated that this series is one of the most missed of the recently canceled. The writers did pave the way for a future movie or ‘next generation’ approach so diehard fan, no pun intended, can have some hope, even it is a gossamer thin as some of the wardrobe.
Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is a smart, pretty young woman living with her husband Jim (David Conrad) in Grandview, a small town in upstate New York. Jim works as a paramedic and Melinda runs her own business, an antique shop with the quaint name ‘Same as it Never Was.' They would seem to be like any young couple except for the fact that Melinda can communicate with the dead; she is a ghost whisperer. When a dead person’s spirit is earthbound with some unfinished issues with the living Melinda is the combination Nancy Drew and Dr. Phil; solving the mystery and helping both living and dead fond closure. Over the run of the series, the mythos of the story’s universe was expanded greatly in an attempt to explain some of the supernatural occurrences or at least place them within a consistent framework. Melinda discovered she is the seventh in her line to have this ability and that there are dark forces at work dedicated to keeping the spirits earthbound; opposed to Melinda’s celestial mandate. In the previous season, Melinda learns about the ‘Watchers’ and ‘the magical ‘Book of Changes’ the watchers do provide Melinda with little teasers about the future, but it turns out that evens record in the book are subject to revisions, additions, and deletions. At the end of the last season Melinda was pregnant by her husband, or is it the body her deceased husband inhabits; these supernatural soap opera can muddy relationships slot more than the conventional Soap. In any case, the messenger informs her that she will give birth to a son but the catch is her due date is also her expiration date; she will die giving birth. With the penultimate season setting up such a cliffhanger this fifth and last season to hit the deck running.
As this season opens, it is the dreaded date listed in the Book, and Melinda is pregnant and just about ready to pop. Jim has been studying to get into medical school but drops everything to rush her to the hospital. While there the baby becomes distressed forcing an emergency c-section. Of course, the supernatural has to play a part in what is unfolding. The baby is extracted while the messenger appears. The baby isn’t breathing but soon revives as time seems to stop. The scene shifts ahead five years getting past all those shots of an infant that are always a pain to record with all those child labor laws. The boy not only has inherited his mother’s abilities but surpasses them. An old soap opera plot device is employed here of the mix-up at birth causing the ghost of a young woman to claim Aiden Lucas is hers. This thread is wrapped up fairly quickly moving on to concentrating the showdown between good and evil. Part of this revolves around the boy’s ability to see what he calls ‘shinies and the shadows’; fragments left behind of spirits that moved on. Evil does manifest in some strange ways including the creation of a cursed email. It’s nice to know that some demonic creatures have embraced the digital world unlike the analog bound spirit in ‘The Ring.'
The writing remained of a consistently higher caliber than most paranormally driven primetime shows with enough attention to internal consistency to make it work. The ploy of moving ahead five years had been used recently on a rival network and appeared to be a preferred way to help restructure a series by shaking up the characters and situations. Even with these alterations, the show was exhibiting signs of age and this last minute revamp managed to let the series conclude with some dignity. The cast included some excellent perform would not be idle for long, and now this phase of their careers is completed.
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Posted 10/16/2010 11/26/2017