Archive for May, 2008

A Paranormal Bedlam, Act III

May 29, 2008

Previously, we went on an exciting investigation with “Ghost Hunters” at the former Weston State Hospital, now renamed the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum by its charming owner, asbestos heiress and mud bog racing enthusiast Rebecca Jordan, who is also, by some incredible coincidence, a lunatic. During the night, wild and crazy things happened. Strange voices were heard, mysterious footsteps were chased, orbs and shadows darted about, Jason and Grant saw a backwards-jetting apparition, and none of this was visible or audible to us. So – not completely convincing, but lively. Also, four out of seven TAPS members qualified for NAMI rehab boot camp.

Disclaimer: The quoted dialogue belongs to Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc., who should be looking over their shoulders for the imminent arrival of the NAMI goon squad after these loathsome production and editing choices, and also for the wheels of karma, which can pack a really good wallop.

Now’s the time for all that vaunted TAPS scientifical methodology to show us why they are so much better than all those other paranormal groups “out there.” Because it’s evidence analysis time.

THE ANALYSIS

WESTON, WEST VIRGINIA

TRANS-ALLEGHENY LUNATIC ASYLUM

MONDAY 10:25 AM

TAPS is staying at some hideous “post-modern” chain hotel which evidently didn’t give them a good enough rate to warrant having their name prominently displayed.

Steve, Dave and Joe and their equipment are spread out at a large table in a function room, instead of being jammed around a desk in a guest room.

MB: Which makes that signless shot of the hotel more perplexing.

TM: Don’t you know, they wanted everything comped, including an all-you-can-eat breakfast, and didn’t get it. Payback, bitches!

Steve interviews: “Today, Tango and I have Joe Chin with us and I’m gonna offer him some training and try to get him up to speed on how to review the evidence. We’re gonna start him off light on audio.”

TM: Heh – start him off light with audio.

MB: Watching videos of nothing is hard.

Steve in scene: “Now, Joe – uh – when you’re listening to the audio you wanna get yourself used to all the noises you’re hearing, you wanna get yourself used to what investigators are in the room. An – anything you can ever think of that you hear that doesn’t sound like it fits, make note of it. Okay?”

Joe has been nodding: “Okay.” Yeah, this is really complicated, but Joe is strong, and shows no sign of breaking under the pressure.

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A Paranormal Bedlam, Act II

May 25, 2008

Previously, in the Mme. Blabhblatsky/Talking Mongoose recarp of Episode 409 Haunted Asylum of “Ghost Hunters,” we tried to adjust to radical changes at TAPS after traveling forward in time a jolting three years. Our favorite nerds were gone. Jason had strange facial hair. An “actress” was “acting” on this “reality” show. And in this episode, TAPS were hitting a new low as they joined forces with asbestos princess and velociraptor Rebecca Jordan, owner of the recently re-christened Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum and Mud Bog Racing Ground in Weston, West Virginia. Ms. Jordan gleefully told us of lobotomies and other zany bits of her new toy’s history. Grant Wilson had a good laugh over “date night.” Dave Tango pretended to hang himself. Everybody was having a really good time at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, and they like saying that name a lot. Because lunatics are so – entertaining!

Speaking of lunatics, disclaimer: Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. owns the quoted dialogue. And again, ew.

The investigation begins.

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A Paranormal Bedlam, Act I

May 22, 2008

The “Ghost Hunters” fourth season episode “The Haunted Asylum” is recarped by Mme. Blahblatsky and the Talking Mongoose.

The first half of the second season has already worn Mme. B. down to a nubbin, so she is taking a respite in the future, also known as the present. I promised her more excitement here.

It should probably be noted that Mme. B., who does the transcribing and general recap, has not seen any of the fourth season, and only a few episodes of the third season. Since I take care of the computer end of things, I am a little more up-to-date on changes, but I haven’t warned her adequately, I’m afraid. Things may get ugly before we’re done. (TM)

Disclaimer: Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. owns the quoted dialogue. We sure don’t want it ascribed to us. Ew.

Narrator: On this episode of Ghost Hunters, TAPS is in West Virginia for the first ever investigation of this imposing asylum, where disturbed spirits wander the abandoned halls. Will the team keep it together when the former patients start playing mind games? And who gets floored while provoking these tormented souls?

MB: Oh, nice. Now they’re provoking dead mentally ill people? Do mentally ill people not have it bad enough when they’re alive?

TM: I told you.

MB: Oh my god. What is that thing on Jason’s face? Crap – there’s Kristyn. But who’s that other woman? Who’s the guy with Steve? Where are the people I don’t mind?

TM: Um. They went away. They moved on. They’re in another place.

MB: Do you mean they’re dead?

TM: I think they’re dead to TAPS.

MB: Oh! Well, good for them.

TM: Maybe. Maybe not.

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Below the Normal

May 13, 2008

Below the Normal

The Ouija Board for Episode 207 of “Ghost Hunters” as recarped in Above the Normal, in which Mme. Blahblatsky and the Talking Mongoose attempt to ascertain the entertainment value of the episode, if any.

TM: Wha? Above the normal? Paranormal means above the normal?

MB: I don’t know. Jason has his own dictionary, I guess.

TM: Above the normal. That doesn’t make any sense.

MB: I guess it does in Jason’s world.

TM: Oh, right. That world where we differentiate between paranormal activity and haunted.

MB: Also, situations and scenarios.

TM: And the world where you can lunch on Harry’s New York style wieners in Altoona.

MB: ???

TM: That lunch in “Altoona,” when Jason and Grant were eating platters of chili dogs, and I found out about Altoona’s claim to Texas wieners for you? Harry’s was not a place in Altoona. It’s in Warwick, Rhode Island. I’m outraged.

MB: You weren’t outraged about the Wilmington Experiment.

TM: North Carolina didn’t involve lying about lunch.

MB: So what did they do, exactly?

TM: They were in Altoona. Jason and Grant supposedly were having an executive lunch and bitching vociferously about the Mishler Theater “disaster” and Brian losing “thousands of dollars of equipment.”

MB: I remember that.

TM: Well. They weren’t in Altoona at all. They were back in Rhode Island. The lunch was a total hoax. Think of all the heartbroken fans who have searched Altoona fruitlessly for Harry’s New York System Wieners so they could lunch where their idols had downed dogs.

MB: They had Texas wieners instead?

TM: They must have. I wonder if Pennsylvania Texas chili dogs are better than Rhode Island New York chili dogs? Probably. Rhode Island food is weird. Now, about that door.

MB: What about it? Actually, I have some questions. What is it about doors and ghosts? Do ghosts open doors to get attention, or do they just feel compelled to open doors? Do they only open doors for an audience? Did they know that camera was there? Or do they open doors any old time? What’s the deal? I want to know.

TM: I was going to say it all seemed a tad too convenient, if you know what I mean.

MB: I don’t.

TM: A double-doored closet? Come on.

MB: Too convenient for what? “Foul play?” Crap. You of anyone should be able to see the flaw in that. It’s too easy. Too obvious. Why? How? Who? What about the sound of the thumb latch being used an hour later that rendered Donna and Jason babbling idiots?

TM: Look here. In 1997 Norma Sutcliffe was claiming her house was sans spooks. “Nothing happening here,” she said.

MB: So now you think she’s gone to pretending it’s haunted when it isn’t? How is that logical? Maybe she had just moved in. Maybe she was embarrassed. Maybe she didn’t feel like telling the Providence Journal she had a haunted house, and she got over it later. A lot of people don’t tell strangers about their ghosts. Some think you might be asking for trouble doing that. Because you kind of are! Given the way most people feel about ghosts. I blame the Reformation, you know.

TM: I bet the Warrens weren’t Lutheran.

MB: Look. A clothes hanger “leaped from a closet.” Maybe the same closet.

TM: I like the bleeding orange. Cool stuff like that never really happens, damn it. Well, what is Ouija going to say about this episode? I don’t think I paid enough attention to vote.

MB: I don’t know. It didn’t make me want to scratch my eyes out, because of the door, but the Tanguay thing was so lame.

TM: Poor Tanguays.

MB: Indeed. Video games and electromagnetic-hypersensitivity – if that doesn’t sound like the bottom of the barrel being scraped.

TM: They haven’t blamed heavy metal music or swamp gas yet.

MB: That list is already getting too long, you know. We need another system.

TM: I have a brilliant idea. How about normal, above the normal, and below the normal?

MB: What’s normal?

TM: Boring but not scratch-your-eyes-out unbearable. No worse than watching paint dry. Above the normal is better than watching paint dry. Below the normal is bad enough to make you prefer watching paint dry.

MB: Okay, give this one an above the normal, but not too much! And now, I really am bored. I’ve had it. I don’t want to do the next damn episode.

TM: You want me to do it.

MB: I don’t want to do it at all. I want to do something else.

TM: How about Top Chef? Top Chef is on!

MB: No. I mean – another episode. An interesting episode.

TM: Oh. Well. Second season?

MB: I don’t care.

TM: Ah. I’d suggest the third season Manson murders one because I am so looking forward to seeing you get apopleptic about K-2 meters, but as it so happens, I just watched one that will make your hair curl.

MB: I like curly hair.

TM: Mmm. Well, this is the bad permanent kind of curl. The permanent that makes you shriek and throw things and consider shaving your head.

MB: But not boring?

TM: Nope. Not boring.

MB: Pft. Bring it on.

Next, Mme. Blahblatsky finds herself transported into the middle of the fourth season!

Above the Normal

May 9, 2008

Mme. Blahblatsky recarps the seventh episode of the second season of the rehearsed reality show “Ghost Hunters. For some reason, the Talking Mongoose is sulking about Altoona and refuses to talk. I don’t know why.

Disclaimer: Pilgrim Films and Television is the proud owner of all the dialogue quoted below, captured in print for the ages by moi, Mme. Blahblatsky. Apologies to the ages.

The narrator (whose name is Mike Rowe, by the way, as his stellar performances should not go uncredited) attempts to infect us all with his unbridled enthusiasm for the show.

Narrator: Last time, on Ghost Hunters, Brian walks away from Jason and Grant and his life at TAPS. And on this episode of Ghost Hunters, TAPS is called in to help a terrified mom, but will Brian’s sudden departure and Steve’s promotion cause friction on the team? Then TAPS calls in an old friend to help investigate a creepy cabin. Jason and Donna have an eye-opening experience. But will Dustin be able to keep it together after an unexpected encounter?

We see Brian (sob) walking off into the twilight, a kid thrashing around in his bed, Kristyn and Steve having words, Donna having fits, and Dustin having fits. So! Promising!

Credits: Ack. Kristyn Gartland is back. So is Andy Andrews. And Dustin Pari now gets his own cool whirl-around-and-freeze “tech specialist” shot.

Jason and Grant are addressing Andy, Kristyn and Steve at headquarters, Warwick. They have a case in Springfield, Massachusetts. The family in jeopardy have a 6-year-old son.

Jason: “He’s getting yanked by the legs, uh – and the feet, poked in the feet. Now it’s actually escalated to the point where he’s getting poked in the head.”

Grant: “Supposedly Zach’s bed has started shaking violently a couple times. The mother can’t go down in the basement because she gets I guess ‘violently ill’ is the way it was described.”

Jason: “For all we know there could be carbon monoxide or anything, you never know.”

Steve offers to break out the carbon monoxide detectors, which must have been gathering dust somewhere down in the basement tech department. Andy looks drugged.

Grant: “So let’s go there. Let’s help this – uh – kid out, I mean, that’s what it all comes down to. It’s a small place. That’s why the team is so small. We invited Kristyn along because she had some paranormal experiences when her son was around, I imagine, the same age. For any insight, we can turn to her.”

Oh, yeah, Kristyn will be a big help. Just like she always is.

Jason: “Finally, Steve – he’s taken over the tech department. Movin’ on up.”

Kristyn, in a high-pitched fakey cheer: “Yayyyyyy. Good for you, buddy!”

I would gag, except I hate gagging.

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