Ghost Whisperer: The Fourth Season Review

Ghost Whisperer banks on the viewer's belief in the redemptive power of good deeds and the talent of the busty Jennifer Love Hewitt. If four seasons down with a fifth one under way is any indication, the series has a definite following. And, considering the test of loyalty the fourth season poses to its fans, the fact that it didn't spin out and lose its fans after killing off one its main characters says a lot for the show's future. Either way, what you get when you tune in to Ghost Whisperer falls somewhere in between Dead Like Me and the 2008 film Ghost Town: a woman can converse with ghosts and help them complete their "unfinished business" (thanks Casper) so they can pass into the Light (a blatant representation of heaven).

This may be one of the few seasons of a show where jumping in without any foreknowledge of the story or characters can prove to be a huge impediment.  Obviously there's some truth in this for all television shows, but for Ghost Whisperer you really need to give yourself a briefing on the past season's happenings before jumping in.

TV viewers familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer will remember that Buffy just happened to live in the town located on the Hellmouth, the portal leading to Hell from whence came many a demon and evil ghoulie, which helped explain why she encountered so many evil things. For Ghost Whisperer there's no such handy device, instead you'll just have to believe that Melinda (Hewitt) chose to live in Grandview because it's got a rather impressive death and haunting count. With her husband Jim (David Conrad), Melinda talks with ghosts in an attempt to solve a mystery and release the living from torment at their hands. As season three came to a close Melinda was learning about her ghost whispering heritage and how it is she came to possess this ability and her purpose.

Season four jumps in to gear with the introduction of a new character and the departure of another...or two. Rick Payne (Jay Mohr) who has held a consulting position in Melinda's ghost business has decided it's time to move on after a few events in the last season forced him to rethink his life. Just as one man leaves, another man, Eli James (Jamie Kennedy), finds himself thrust into the world of spirits in a way that means a new partner for Melinda. Eli gains the ability to listen to spirits after surviving a near-death experience. Melinda helps Eli learn to cope with the voices of the spirits living in the world and he in time becomes a valuable asset and comfort for Melinda's fourth season loss.

**Spoiler Starts**

The death of Jim, Melinda's loss. It's the event which forms the rest of the season and how Melinda handles each case from there on out. Interestingly enough it happens very early on and shows that the writers of the series are willing to take the necessary steps to keep the audience on their feet. Was it a ratings grab? Sure, there might have been some truth in that - but it worked. The fourth season became the highest watched of any of the seasons and provided a terrific springboard for the remaining episodes of the season.

**Spoiler Ends**

The show gets by on its highly emotional drama and really makes no attempt to hide what it is. It's a melodramatic show about people, ghosts and the problems that exist in between those two communities. If the concept behind Ghost Town or Dead Like Me appealed to you then you actually might find a close match in Ghost Whisperer.

DVD Bonus Features

The fan-favorite webseries "The Other Side III" is included in its entirety and it should be noted that for anyone beyond the show's diehard fans it's of little interest. The webseries exists within the Ghost Whisperer universe but deviates from the perspective of Melinda Gordon. There are three interactive activities included on the discs with "Grave Mistakes", "Haunted Dollhouse" and "Fashion Style Guide" allowing you to examine the wardrobe of the show or help Jim escape a haunted dollhouse. Left? Right? Help him escape. As you might expect, Jamie Kennedy gets his own little featurette as the cast's newest addition. Also, as if to help the fans cope with the loss that occurs in the fourth season, there's a behind-the-scenes featurette where cast and crew members discuss the emotional impact the season will have on its viewers. However, the best thing in the extras, if you trust an ex-X-Files junkie, is an interview with Mark Snow concerning his score for the show.

"Ghost Whisperer: The Fourth Season" is on sale September 22, 2009 and is rated NR. Drama. Directed by Eric Laneuville, Ian Sander, Steve Robman. Written by P.K. Simonds, Mark B. Perry, Laurie McCarthy, Jeannine Renshaw. Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jay Mohr, David Conrad, Camryn Manheim, Tyler Patrick Jones, Jamie Kennedy.

Oct
04
2009
Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.

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