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LAist Watches: Ghost Whisperer

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Space invaders, poltergeists and psychics litter the ominous fall TV landscape. After a decade of bad sitcoms and friends photocopies, 2005 brings us the return of the supernatural genre. The latest entity to materialize is CBS' Medium-wannabe Ghost Whisperer. Like Medium, the show is based on experiences of a real-life psychic. LA-based medium James Van Praagh co-produces the series.

Since she was a small child, Melinda Gordon been tortured with her gift to see "earth bound spirits who have yet to cross over." Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the mid-drift bearing medium who begrudgingly bears the weight of her gift. She and her paramedic husband (played by David Conrad), struggle to come to grips with their daily dealings with death, while also maintaining a happy marriage. Aisha Tyler rounds off the cast as a sidekick and business partner to Melinda Gordon.

The unifying thread in this show is closure. Spirits haunt people and places because they can't move on. Presumably, each week, Gordon will help people (dead or alive) find peace.

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Hmmm. This sounds familiar. That's because Whisperer is a blatant copy of NBC's Emmy Award-winning Medium. The main difference is the cast of Whisperer is younger and more attractive. Even the ghosts are hot. But that's not enough to carry the show. Medium's Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber play a convincing married couple. Neither star is glamourous, and their marriage is far from perfect. In Whisperer, we felt like things were too tidy. In real life, and presumably the spirit realm, things are messy.

LAist's Take:
This is far from appointment TV, but we think it has potential. If you have room, let your TiVo record an episode. It's fun to watch and delivers the occasional goose-bump. However, Whisperer is fighting an uphill battle. It's treading ground dutifully covered by the established (and superior) Medium. It'll need more than glamour and ghouls to pull us in. Engaging stories (and ratings) will ultimately decide whether this show has a ghost of a chance or is exorcised to an early demise.

Ghost Whisperer airs Fridays at 8/7c on CBS.