Saturday, January 8, 2011

Graduating from Paranormal Television...

With a new year there are bound to be some changes. Some are good or bad while others can only be described as indifferent. While we loathe change it is inevitable. Even in the paranormal most things eventually come to an end. At least that's true with television. This weekend marks one such final curtain call. Fans of the A&E show Paranormal State were likely caught by surprise when Ryan Buell announced he won't be returning for another season of the series.

"It wasn’t easy coming to this decision," Ryan said on his blog. "There are a lot of factors involved. The main one, of course, is that I’ve become a different person. I have different goals and views on things... But now it’s time to move on to other possibilities." While he is closing out the chapter on his televised ghostly exploits he reassures everyone that his days of investigating haunted places are far from over.

"I have other projects that I’ve had to sit on because I’ve been so preoccupied with 'Paranormal State'... Deciding to do 'Paranormal State' was a big commitment. It took over our lives.” Without the hectic filming schedule, Buell said he'll be able to focus on many other things he has wanted to give more energy to including private investigations and UNIV-CON. "There are some truly exciting and remarkable projects coming up, so please do not take this as a permanent goodbye. It’s simply time to close one door and enter a new path in life."

In many ways, this is a wise decision. And I don't mean that in any derogatory way. I respect Ryan for having the clarity to step away gracefully and forge ahead with other planned pursuits. It's far better than clinging to a single achievement and becoming that tired old one-trick pony. Yes, it's disappointing to me for paranormal television to lose its one openly non-heterosexual personality. But this isn't something for me or anyone else to decide. It's purely Ryan's own decision. It's his life, after all, and he's the one who has to live it as he sees fit.

Perhaps one of the more amusing points Ryan made was this:

"Do I believe in the paranormal? Yes. I have received much criticism for standing up for what I believe in. People claiming that I’m crazy for believing in ghosts; some investigators thinking I’m crazy for believing in demons; some people who convinced themselves that I faked evidence; some people who just thought I was plain nuts as a whole."

On one hand, I can relate wholeheartedly to what he says. And then there's the section I highlighted in bold. Well... for the record I don't think that belief in demons or angels makes someone crazy. Do I agree with people when they label something as demonic or angelic? Not really. I believe more in a sense of good and bad and find it perplexing when virtuous or evil behaviors are assigned a non-human entity. Humankind is quite capable of both. Though I imagine that my own view is colored by my own religious beliefs... or lack thereof.

As Ryan Buell spends the next few days in front of a camera for the last episodes of Paranormal State, I wish him all the best. And here's to hoping for more interesting adventures in the future.

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