With the fall TV season in full swing, the viewing options seem to be multiplying each week. All the major networks are contending with each other for ratings and trying different show concepts in order to get viewers hooked. One of the more interesting new shows is Paranormal Witness on SyFy on Wednesdays at 10PM Eastern/7PM Pacific.  Now I know what you’re thinking, this is just another lame ghost show like every other show on SyFy. I will admit I had some of the same reservations and was initially skeptical, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the show.

Even though it is the basis of the show and even in the title, viewers should not focus solely on the paranormal aspect, but focus more on it as a part of the overall story. It’s like the fantasy setting of Lord of The Rings is a backdrop to the drama and action that takes place and the main focus. The show tells great stories and I want to know how they ends, which is of course the point of storytelling. These stories are told by the people who lived through them as voice-over narration while actors portray them in reenactments.

The stories are the premise of the show and the most interesting so far are the ones about the car crash and the poltergeist. The car crash story is a great example of the dramatic emphasis the show places on these stories as the tight camera angles and frantic cuts to and fro draw in the viewer. Not to spoil the ending, but it’s one that certainly elicits sadness and sympathy and does a good job of interlocking several accounts to tell a complex story. It isn’t just about a ghost or a haunting, it’s about the human elements involved.

The episode about the poltergeist is perhaps the best one so far in the series. Essentially, weird things start happening in this family’s house and it starts out small, but soon lives are threatened. The pacing of the story is very well presented and the tension continues to build until the climax. This story also shows the generally good acting on the show. The actors who portray the daughters and mother in particular give very good performances and they make you believe how terrified these people must have been when they first experienced these events.

The title and paranormal aspect of the show should not be basis for one to dismiss the show entirely as they would be missing out on a very entertaining show. SyFy is taking a chance by putting forth something that seems like another of their ‘ghost’ shows that they depend on. However, the acting, camera work and storytelling all work together to produce a show that I would highly recommend to anyone.

 


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