Here is a random unknown fact about me--I like watching goofy TV shows. I'm a total trash TV junkie! I know, I know! It's completely tragic, but it's like walking away from a chocolate pudding pie . . .I JUST CAN'T!!
So, tonight I was catching up on the DVR buffet and came upon my latest and greatest addiction: GHOST LAB.
For those that have never heard of the highly charismatic Klinge Brothers, you're in for a treat. I've only been watching the show for a few weeks and have discovered a 60min treasure chest of innocuous entertainment.
Take for instance, the episode I watched tonight. The two corn-fed, beefy brothers (which the chubby-chaser in me appreciates greatly) dragged their team of analysts to the wonderful Alcatraz Island for an investigation into the repeated paranormal activity that occurs within the compound.
Now, of the shows I've seen, the Ghost Lab team has stuck to "safe" places. Riverboats, buildings, plantations. You know, the garden variety haunts. Well, this time they decided to bring it- scary, old army fort/prison style!
During their four days on Alcatraz, they did their investigations at night and in the dark. Um . . .yeah. No thanks. I sat in a state of mortified awe, watching these blokes scour the depths of what could be one of the scariest places known to man! And I have to admit, it was very interesting to see what evidence they procured. The EVP's (some fancy acronym for hearing a ghost's voice) were F-R-E-A-K-Y! The guys were hearing growls and even moaning. Plus, something kicked a camera over!
Ok, at that point- all you'd see of me would be my big booty doing a swan dive off the cliffs, headed for the stinkin' mainland! Great Whites, be damned! Get the %$#@ of my way!
But the worst part was not what the "ghosts" did to the team members, it was what my Brothers Burly did to one of their own teammates!! Ghost Lab has only five members: fours guys and one girl. Katie is as cute as a button and has my undying admiration. Just keep reading and you'll see.
At the request of Beefcake Brad, she hauls her cookies down to the DUNGEON and cools her heels in the DARK, ALONE!! Yes, ALONE!!! And did I say it was dark?!
The purpose was to draw out the spirits of the past prisoners by provoking them with questions. A standard ploy the team uses. However, the motivation for sending sweet Katie down into the bowels of Hell was to tempt the spirits with-
Yes, they used her as ghost bait!!! I seriously hope they gave that lovely gal a raise or at the very least a glass of whiskey and a handshake.
Not only did the little lady do what they asked, but her presence brought forth an EVP that had the boys frothing at the mouth like a frat boy at a keg party. Later, the team called Katie in and had her listen to what the spirit said.
The poor girl looked terrified. Did that stop the boys from playing the EVP's back to her?
You guessed right!! They played it and she listened!
"I want you," and "I have you now," were what Mr. Scary-Prisoner-Ghost said to the Courageous Katie. I had goose bumps the size of Alaska running the length of my body! I swear she had no color left in her face after she heard that!
Hang on it gets better!
Katie must have stones as big as an elephant because she went back for another stint in the prison. But, this time, I noticed she had one the team members with her. WTF!!! I'd want Dr. Peter Vankman with me, for crying out loud!
She sat in the hospital section calling to the ghost and this time, there were lights on! Someone ought to give that girl an award. Period. Well, after awhile she began to hear the same sounds she heard the night before while sequestered down in the dungeon!
I was thinking she wouldn't want to hear what the EVP's said this time. I wouldn't blame her. In fact, I was wanting her not to listen.
But- she did.
"I want her," was the crystal clear reply.
The boys hooped and hollered over their success . . . and she looked like someone had smacked her with a two-by-four.
I guess all is fair in ratings and sanity.
Ok, so how does this pertain to writing? Simple. Ghost Lab is obviously done for viewer entertainment- like all other TV shows. Whether or not the outcomes of each investigation are tangible and not put on for ratings is left open to interpretation, but what those boys have figured out is how to draw their viewers in. And that, my friend, is what all authors desire, as well.
We cast our nets and can only hope our stories, our characters, and our creativity appeal to readers. While most might scoff at the show's premise, one can't argue the mojo the team has going on. Ghost Lab has their target audience pegged. DO YOU?
Now, it's your turn. What draws you in as a reader and a viewer? What part of your work do you hope catches your readers' attention?