Ghost Whisperer: What not to do.

May 4, 2008 at 1:01 pm (Uncategorized)

So, I’ve decided to do a new regular thing; safety tips brought to you by the Ghost Whisperer. Which, if you don’t know, is a show about Jennifer Love Hewitt swanning about in a variety of low-cut tops talking to ghosts who can’t move on to the afterlife and fixing their issues so they can “go into the light.” This usually involves talking to the relative or partner of the dead ghost. Oh, and no one ever dies from old age.

So, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character Melinda has absolutely no regard for her own personal safety. Not like Jake from Jericho or half the characters from LOST where they frequently risk their lives to save someone else’s. She just does dangerous or stupid things for no reason at all. So often that I have said before that they could show Ghost Whisperer in some sort of safety class as “What Not To Do.” And now I’m taking that and turning it into a reality. Folks, a new weekly addition will be all the dangerous and stupid things Melinda [or occasionally someone else] has done that week. Just do the opposite, ‘kay? And there may be some general nitpicking if the plot details were particularly bad that week. Here’s the last two episodes.

No Safe Place: Melinda meets a ghost who used to stalk some guy back when she was alive. Only then it turns out that he was the one who was stalking her. And then he decides to stalk Melinda. This is the second lovesick stalker she’s had [I’m not counting regular ghosts] and while that’s not up to the ridiculous Lana Lang level of lovesick stalkers, they’ve pretty much reached their limit on how many she can have while staying believable.

 

Without further ado…

 

1.  Say someone starts stalking you. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Get a restraining order. Well, Melinda, for reasons unknown, completely ignored this option, as did the cop advising her. Even when the cop said he couldn’t arrest the guy because he wouldn’t break any laws [supposedly – he actually broke multiple ones] no one brought up the possibility of a restraining order. Really, considering Melinda’s Magic!Google use every second episode, this is pathetic. Can’t she research some laws? Can’t the writers research some laws?

2.  However, it turned out the ghost had heard of the concept. It was mentioned that she had actually gotten ten and the stalker had ignored them all without consequence. Seriously people, if you get a restraining order, try to enforce it. There’s no point otherwise/

3.  So the stalker tried to give Melinda this statue, right? And she wouldn’t take it, and this was in front of Delia, so there’s a witness. Now, it’d look mightily suspicious to the cops if the statue later turned up in Melinda’s house and she thinks someone’s broken in. She had refused to take the statue earlier, so one would wonder why she would accept it later. And it’s definetly the stalker guy’s because it has his fingerprints all over it. So what does Melinda do with this crucial evidence that the stalker had broken into her house [which is breaking a law] and is the evidence the cop had been waiting for? She destroyed it. Of course. Does Melinda just live in a world where the legal system does not exist? Is that it? Because I can’t believe anyone could be so stupid.

4.   She didn’t even go to the cops at all after the break in. They could check for fingerprints, fibres, ect. but noooo. Note to all fictional burgler’s and hooligans. If you want some easy cash, pick the lock to Melinda Gordon’s place and take whatever you please! You’ll never get caught! EVER. God.

5.   Melinda lied her way in to stalker’s office and only had a few minutes to hack his computer and get the evidence of his stalking before his secretary would come back in. Halfway through, she decided to stare at some paintings on the wall for a while instead. I know, they were shocking paintings, but seriously – she was breaking into a law firm computer. She would face huge legal consequences if she got caught. Also, his secretary could see her through the window. Dumbass. People, don’t get distracted to the point where you almost get your ass thrown in jail.

6.  If she refused to do all that, at least get some protection. Make like Veronica Mars and go buy a freakin’ tazer. It’s not hard.

 

Weight Of What Was: Long plot, people. Mel’s evil half-brother comes to visit and gives her a box of stuff that belonged to old family members. Amy Acker of Angel fame gets all dressed up in period clothing and comes to Melinda, drawn by an object in the box. This is what Melinda spends half the episode finding out: in 1848, Grandview, people started getting sick, and one of the symptoms was going totally crazy. This craziness led to a lot of people killing their families. The cause of the sickness was ergot poisoning from the bread they were eating. So, like really bad food poisoning. Some doctor from Weston managed to figure this out, but while traveling to Grandview to warn them, he died of exposure in a blizzard. Amy Acker could see ghosts like Melinda, so he appeared to her so she would warn them. But when she tried, they decided she was a witch and killed her with an axe. Then the local church guy, Brother Davis, decided to bring all the uninfected people into the church and lock the doors, to protect them from the sick crazy people. His brilliant plan kinda fell down when the only food he brought in to eat was the bread. So everyone ate it and went crazy, and then crazy Brother Davis burnt the church down to destroy all the evil and everybody died. Then the survivors and whatnot were so ashamed, they built right over the top of their old town and just left it down there to rot. Melinda went down there and ended up being caught in a ghost-caused cave in, but eventually Jim, Delia and Payne rescued her with some help from Amy Acker. Safety tips!

 

  1. She trusted her evil half-brother.
  2. She found a super-secret entrance to an unexplored underground town with very questionable stability. She was alone and no one knew where she was. There was in all likelihood some vicious ghosts in there. What did she do? Go inside! She really could have come back later with someone, but that would require some kind of brain function! Also, she was supposed to be having dinner with Delia in about 45 minutes, so she was just going to blow her off because she didn’t feel like coming back later? Adding to the “come back later,” spiel, she was wearing some fancy black dress when she went in to the dirty, dusty, crumbly tunnel. What kind of girl would ruin her good clothes rather than wait a couple of hours and go back later with old clothes?
  3. She thinks cell phones work underground. ‘Nuff said.
  4. You know the burning church of doom? She decided that to help Amy Acker, she had to march right into the middle of it. When it was chock full or crazy, angry ghosts who believed people who see ghosts are witches and must die. Amy Acker tried to warn her [Ooh, a smart ghost whisperer! Why can’t we get one of those?] but when has Melinda ever listened to good advice from someone who knows more about the subject than she does? Sigh. And she could have tested the waters and tried just talking to one of the random not-church ghosts that were hanging around. They probably wouldn’t be so angry since they didn’t burn up, and if they reacted badly it’d be just one ghost getting violent instead of about thirty. Like, this is dangerous stuff she’s fucking with, shouldn’t she try to find out what she’s getting herself into before just marching in all bravado? It’s completely her own fault that she was stuck in that cave in. But I’m pretty sure there won’t be anything like her learning her lesson. That would constitute actual character development, wouldn’t it? CAN’T HAVE THAT.

 

Nitpicks: 1. Why was Melinda just constantly allowed to go wandering through the hall of records?

2. It’s only been 160 years since the incident, and no one in Grandview knows anything? A diary from an ancestor, stories told through the generations, medical records… I know they decided to cover it up, but nothing that big gets covered up that well.

3. Why was there a super-secret tunnel entrance in the hall of records? There was just one there with absolutely no explanation. The fuck?

4. If the survivors of the incident wanted to cover it up and start over, they would have just knocked the town down. They wouldn’t have BUILT A WHOLE NEW TOWN OVER IT, leaving all the building completely intact. Think about it. It would  be extremely difficult, expensive and unstable.

5. In fact, so unstable that it’s simply unbelievable that New Grandview hasn’t collapsed into Old Grandview by now. The facts are these:

We did not see any supporting pillars, indicating that while there might be some hidden in the walls of the tunnels, the only support in big open spaces [like the one the church was located in] was the buildings. Houses and churches are not made to be support pillars, for christ’s sake. They wouldn’t be too good at performing this task.

Then Amy Acker said that a few other people have found the place and they’d gotten trapped in cave ins like Melinda [I presume the ghosts did those ones too.] So there’s been multiple cave ins, and there are still no signs of this above ground? Get out.

Jim was able to get into Old Grandview merely by breaking through a wall in Melinda’s shop basement. That’s how close it is to the surface, it means there’s only a metre or two of dirt separating Old and New Grandview. With 160 years of rain and storms and such, that would have eroded and collapsed in the real world. Not that it would have been able to hold up buildings in the first place.

A BIG FUCKING PLANE crashed right into New Grandview. Literally half the town should have collapsed right then.

6. It’s also unbelievable that it hasn’t been discovered by construction workers. Think about it. Buildings have foundations. Old Grandview’s only a metre or two underground. Any time someone tried to build something over it, they’d dig down to lay the foundations and go “Hey! There’s a fucking town under here!” So is no one supposed to have built anything in Grandview in 160 years? What about rebuilding the sewers, or extending them? Gas tunnels? Anything? They haven’t changed any of that in 160 years? Bullshit.

7. Ergot poisoning can make people more violent, but it would hardly lead to so many people just massecring their families at random. If that was true there’d be a lot less people today in the areas it affected. Not to mention they probably would have just avoided eating bread unless they were starving.

8. The witch paranoia was over centuries before 1848, so Amy Acker shouldn’t have been killed for it.

9. What, no one removed the dead people’s bones from the church? How lazy and insensitive were the survivors?

 

Good news, everybody! CBS has very low standards for it’s writers! Their common sense and research skills can be that of your average chipmunk, and it’s okay! All fanfiction writers, pay attention! Most of you suck, but you can still work in television! God. That plot came apart like Micheal Jackson’s face.

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