Idol Chatter

jennlove.jpgSo it’s very possible and even highly likely that during the Hollywood writers strike I Netflixed the first two seasons of “Ghost Whisperer.” Yup. I did. I confess. It’s also very possible and even highly likely that I grew to like this–what might be described as a “ghost procedural”–show starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda Gordon, a woman who sees ghosts, helps them tie up loose ends with family and friends, and then shepherds them off “into the light” to the “other side.”
For those of us who hope there is a heaven of some sort and would like to think that some day we will be with lost loved ones again, “Ghost Whisperer” is a cheesy yet somehow satisfying indulgence of this wish. Several of its episodes (okay, maybe a bunch) have even brought a tear to my eye, as Melinda mediates earthly goodbyes and glimpses heavenly reunions while the ghosts she helps “cross over” into the beyond.

The very end of Season 2 marked a slight change in the series–the last four episodes tied together in an ongoing story-arch, rather than sticking to its usual, ghost by ghost stand-alone stories (kind of like Buffy’s first season monster-of-the-week approach). Though I am still catching up on Season 3 through reruns, given the show’s new episodes that restarted last Friday, life has gotten a bit darker for the cheery, lovely, empathetic Melinda. She now has an evil “ghost whisperer” half-brother, and something resembling the Buffy-Sunnydale hellmouth sitting underneath her antique shop and Grandview’s town square. Plus, she now faces an ongoing menace from the underworld and a “will she stop them?” plotline undergirding the show’s typical “help the ghost and cross them over ” episode style.
As season three moves forward I’m curious if this move to an overall story arch will work for “Ghost Whisperer,” or if it will simply lose its slightly scary, weepie, yet satisfying camp that took me by surprise when I started watching. I hope it works.
Watch “Ghost Whisperer” tonight at 8pm on CBS.

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