June 13, 2011

The Truth is Out There

A dark corner. Something in the shadows. We are all fascinated by what we cannot understand. Ancient cultures tried to explain these phenomena by creating mythical gods that control the universe. Whether Zeus or Thor or Set, someone had to be controlling the lightning.
So now that science can explain a fair portion of our world (or so we think), what are we left to imagine? Can the world really be a series of chemical formulas, numbers and equations? What lies beyond the veil of modern science, things that will go unexplained for hundreds of years?
Thankfully, we have a little thing called film and television to help spark our imaginations and help us to see the possibilities of the world beyond science. Maybe they aren’t the most realistic of situations, but in 20 or 30 years, who knows? Maybe we’ll have unlocked some more of the universe’s mysteries. I know that I’ll be one of the first people to try to buy a teleportation device when it comes out! (Oh, the wonderful idea of having dinner in Italy and doing homework on a beach in Hawaii, after which I could go back to my bed at school. Not that I’ve thought about this constantly.)
So today, I’m going to focus in on our (and by our, I mostly mean my) fascination with the strange and possibly paranormal. Not that I actually believe in ghosts, but hey, I like to think of myself as open-minded. If a ghost floated down in front of me, would I deny it was there? No. Probably not.

Here are some television shows that take the paranormal just beyond the science, giving them an eerily realistic quality. They're also just overall great shows:
1.  The X-Files

If the 90s were defined for teenagers by Beverly Hills, 90210 (also starring Shannen Doherty of Heathers fame), they were defined by the rest of a paranoid America by The X-Files, which aired from 1993-2002 on Fox. Listen, just because a show is over, doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching. Some of my favorites have been older series I merely stumbled upon, and this is definitely up there. I’m currently in the middle. In the show, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is an FBI agent and believer in the paranormal who gets teamed up with Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), a skeptic. They have cases that need to be solved, yet at this point, I still don’t know whether or not “I Want to Believe” that the cases involve the supernatural. The show starts off as a “monster of the week” format, meaning the episodes could stand alone but have a backing arc that lasts throughout the seasons. It’s really an amazing show and I highly recommend it.

 2.  Alias
J.J. Abrams’ first baby follows Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), an agent for SD-6, which she believes is a part of the CIA. That is, until they brutally murder her fiancĂ© and Sydney makes the epic choice to stay and infiltrate the evil organization on behalf of the real CIA. So, one might ask, how is this a paranormal show. I have one name for you: Rambaldi. That’s it. If you haven’t seen the show, I don’t want to say anymore. Just give it a shot. It gets slow by the middle of season 4, but even then it’s worth watching.

3. Fringe
Okay, so I just started this show this weekend so I can’t vouch for all three seasons, but my good friend Danielle says that its amazing. I trust her judgment and from what I have seen, so far so EPIC! Seriously, the show already taps into the paranormal while still within the confines of the FBI. At first, I thought it was just an X-Files rip-off, but as I watched, I saw that this show (yet another product of J.J. Abrams’ genius) is different because it fully embraces the paranormal as “fringe science.” There don’t seem to be any questions as to whether or not I believe. By Episode 2, I have no choice but to believe. I can’t wait to sit down and watch another episode (or 2, or 3, or 10 – who knows how addicted I’ll get?). And the best part is, this show is still on the air so you have all summer to catch up for Season 4 this Fall.

And that’s it for now. I just want to make a proposition. Next time you see something strange, don’t just knock it aside as nothing. Perhaps it is something. Something that if you touched could take you to another dimension or take over your mind or…
On the other hand, maybe we’re better off leaving the unknown – unknown.

1 comment: