It’s not every day a show opens with the line “Normal cops by day, paranormal cops by night. We don’t rest until your case is closed.” “Paranormal Cops” shows us why.
Tuesdays at 10:30
The producers of this new A&E program wanted to put a new twist on the typical show about the paranormal (a broad topic covering everything from psychic kids to haunted houses), so they opted to put two common TV ideas together: cops and ghosts. While the notion is unique, there’s a reason this show hasn’t been done before — it just doesn’t make sense.
This new reality series follows Sergeant Ron Fabiani and other off-duty cops as they drive around in a van and “help” people who have unruly ghosts living where they work. Their first client is Roger, a nighttime security guard at Big Timers Sound Shop, who feels a “presence” when he’s working his shift. This presence has apparently gotten so bad that he wants to quit his job, but can’t because of his wife and kids. So what does he do? He calls in the Paranormal Cops, of course.
For lovers of cop shows, “Paranormal Cops” apes programs like “Cold Case” that investigate crime scenes and work to put offenders in jail. But in “Paranormal,” the criminal is a ghost and the team never does anything to get rid of it. Nothing is solved and criminals are not locked up.
Unfortunately for paranormal aficionados, the actual “ghost” encounters are obviously faked by a team of producers. Videos of dust or bugs flying around at night are presented as spirits and any hint of activity in the warehouse is so exaggerated that it’s cheesy and hard to watch. The team looks plain crazy as they discuss how to figure out if a ghost is present and where it came from. Needless to say, Roger is probably the sanest character on the show.
The tackiest part of “Paranormal Cops” is when the task force investigates the shop in a nighttime walk-through with the assistance of a medium who uses ridiculous phrases like “I feel a weird presence in this room” or “There is something that I’m not fond of” to convince the viewers of a spirit’s existence.
The crew uses questionably legitimate high-tech equipment that lights up whenever a ghost is near. The combination of this “ghost communicator” gadget, which looks like an old-school snake light, and the medium’s interpretation of ghostly messages results in an overly dramatic, obviously unreal investigation.
By the end of their stakeout, the Sergeant and company bump into a spirit who says the word “Rosario” a few times. The crew’s background research conveniently reveals that Big Timers was once a mafia casino run by mobster Rocco Debrazia, who was murdered on the premises. Rosario was the name of his best friend who would often come into the casino. What a shocker.
The only hint of anything entertaining (but only because it’s the most idiotic thing ever) is the moment when Sgt. Fabiani and Roger review sounds collected from the former crime scene. Instead of whispers of murder or how the ghost died, Rocco’s ghost instead tells the cops to “Go fuck (themselves.)”
During the wrap-up meeting, Fabini and his team conclude that … wait for it … ghosts exists in Roger’s workplace. Yes, let’s do an entire show about how there is a ghost inhabiting this building only to conclude there is an actual ghost. Apparently, the producers of this show are geniuses too. Is “Paranormal Cops” actively trying to make itself look idiotic and pre-scripted?
If this is what Fabiani and his gang do with their spare time to contribute to “public safety,” someone should tell them to get a real hobby.