Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Psychic, huh? Find some missing babies.
So as anyone who knows me is aware, I’m a sucker for TLC shows. From “19 Kids and Counting” and “Little People, Big World” to my current fave, “Sister Wives,” I can’t get enough of the “reality” TV offered up by the cable channel.
But try as I might, I can’t get into “Long Island Medium.” And here’s why – I’m pretty darned sure she’s a fake.
Theresa Caputo is a bleached-blond, gum-chomping Long Island mom who just happens to communicate regularly with the dead. As another blogger put it, she’s sort of a UPS delivery person for the deceased, dropping in at homes and businesses to tell people such things as, “Your grandfather visited me and wants me to tell you you’re a great dad.”
Nice sentiment, but I’m calling “foul” all over the place. As a chronic information-gatherer, I can tell you with great certainty that virtually anything Theresa tells anyone can be found online … maybe not specifically, but if you dig a little, it’s there.
Case in point: Theresa and her teenage daughter walk into a bakery to buy some cupcakes. They order, and Theresa says, "I need to do a reading." The cupcake people look at her strangely and she says, "I'm getting a vibe -- is this a family business?"
Prior to the trip, she or a producer or an assistant easily could have Googled the store. "(Store name here) has been in the (name here) family for three generations," the website could have read. There's your "psychic" reading.
The rest of the cupcake visit goes much the same way. The owner, her husband and an employee appear to be in their 50s; "Did an older person in your family recently pass?" Theresa asks. It's a pretty safe bet that in the last few years, someone might have lost a parent or aunt or uncle.
Gasps all around: Amazingly (!), the owner's father had died in the past year. And wouldn't you know it: He's there! At that moment! To talk to the owner, via Theresa the Psychic!
"All I wanted was a cupcake," the teenage daughter tells the camera. Indeed.
Don't get me wrong; I think Theresa probably feels things strongly and may even have some sort of intuition. And she's not doing a bad thing; telling a grieving woman that her dead husband is OK and loves her very much can't be anything but comforting.
But it's also sort of a no-brainer. If she's truly a psychic, why isn't she finding missing college students or kidnapped babies?
I don't fault Theresa for taking advantage of a good situation. She's an Italian girl, so of course she's smart! She has two kids to put through college. She's not hurting anybody. So what's the harm?
The harm, I guess, is that people are on TV with their grief laid bare, and other people -- including me -- are tuning in to watch it. Maybe I'll feel differently if Theresa calls me and tells me my late dad is trying to get ahold of me. In the meantime, I don't think I'll watch anymore.