There’s no shortage of good television these days, and there’s no better channel to show you the horrors of everyday life like ID TV.
In our house, it’s the preferred channel for the Rock Guy. He can’t seem to tear himself away from such features as: The Nightmare Next Door, Dates from Hell, and my personal favorite, Dark Minds. The sadly true stories of those that end up in a House of Horrors. The unlucky men that have the misfortune of falling for Wives with Knives. And who among us has not asked ourselves at one time or another, “Who the Bleep Did I Marry?” Evil Kin, anybody? You know we’ve all got them. If all of this doesn’t make you feel uneasy, then watch I (Almost) Got Away, maybe they could rename it: Freaks Who Flee. Quality TV at its finest, and don’t even ask the Rock Guy a question during an episode of Sinister Ministers. Do you think you have problems in your neighborhood? You might want to catch an episode of Fear Thy Neighbor. I must say, my own neighborhood is generally ok. There is one issue; however, and I hope we don’t land on that show. You see, the Rock Guy is a professional carpenter, and a good one. The guy across the street is a Wannabe Mr. Vila. He struts over to our house wearing his Dewalt t-shirt and Dewalt ball cap, and he criticizes the Rock Guy’s work. Now if you know musicians, you know just how well they take criticism (big laugh here!). I am certainly hoping this situation doesn’t evolve into a Battle of the Power Tools.
My biggest problem is not with ID TV, but with the seemingly harmless Travel Channel. Yes, the Travel Channel of all things. Saturday night is when the Dead Files airs in case you haven’t tuned in yet. This show deals with Amy, a type of psychic medium who talks to dead people and sees ghosts, aliens, demons, monsters and other assorted weirdness. Her fellow partner is Steve, a retired NY cop who usually researches previous owners of whatever place Amy is working, and a camera man. This show takes with the complaints that are called in by folks who have TROUBLE in their houses. Unexplained trouble. The camera guy goes in and removes photos from the walls. I don’t know why, he doesn’t want the images of people to interfere with the ghosts or contaminate Amy’s impending visit. Then Amy arrives and goes through the house and sees all sorts of thing while the camera guy films her. Then she visits with a sketch artist under one of those swinging you-know-you-did-it interrogation lights. In real life, they must sit there for hours, but on the show it takes like two minutes and Amy’s hair and lipstick are in perfect shape and she is not shaking or sweating like someone who just uncovered a very large ghost with long fingernails who just wants to kill everybody. The next part is the “Reveal” where Amy sits and listens to the problems of the clients (whom she has never met before), then proceeds to tell them what is in their house and show them the sketch. Commercial break before we can see the creatures, and this is where I try to decide if I have had too many raspberry cereal bars for the day, and if I could possibly rationalize having just one more.
Rarely does Amy just find one thing in the house, like a small, meek ghost who likes to read. Oh no, if they are small, then there is a whole nest of them that gather around the bed at night and watch the living sleep. There is also never just one thing, there is usually a disgruntled old male/female ghost, something Looming and Large, something Really Bad, an occasional child prankster ghost, then a whole host of things outside, like aliens, and Civil War soldiers. Therefore, the recommendations to cleanse the property involve multiple mediums: big burly tough guy medium, an average medium psychic surgeon, telepath, clairvoyant, and sometimes a Native American Shaman.
I have a love-hate relationship with this show. I love sitting there on a free Saturday night wondering about possibilities that exist, but, oh boy, the problems occur when I finally turn out the lights. Who can sleep now? Every shadow, every little noise, monster trees outside, the wind, the cats, the Nightmare Next Door. Would I dare get up, go sit on the porch and watch moonlight filter through the poplar tree? Are you kidding? I could never be at ease with all those Confederate soldiers on my lawn.