My last post didn't go as planned but I had to guess that Nick's credibility riding solely on that brick at the start of his career would not be something to fuck with, real or not.
Anyhow, the news dropped all over the place (Twitter) with the Destination Fear news being that the show is cancelled per Travel Channel and Discovery+ where Zak Bagans has signed a new 3 year deal to create 100+ hours of content. (1) I don't think anyone over the age of 35 and has spent 20 years consuming paranormal content is hardly surprised. The fluidity of paranormal TV is not only in flux with the reshaping of how TV shows are consumed, but it seems to simply be following the usual pattern of itself. It ebbs and flows. The late 2000's into the early 2010's saw an influx of new shows, Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters both rose up quickly, Paranormal State and subsequently Psychic Kids and Celebrity Ghost Stories rocked the content consumption of ghosts. The shows waned, one big one held on (GA), and others have come up in the wake of Destination America taking on supernatural reality content.
Now, we ebb again. After the Second Wave™ of paranormal TV, Paranormal Lockdown, Ghost Stalkers, Ghost Nation and that ill-fated Ghost Hunters(ish) reboot, we're seeing the last of that wave start to calm in the chaos of stormy television seas. Mergers, streaming, etc, everything is moving a little faster and a little more at the mercy of the masses who consume this type of content. The popularity hasn't necessarily waned, but the crowd of paranormal enthusiasts has extended further into the crowd of paranormal investigators, and as this line blurs further, we see what holds power when the old guard crumbles.
Sounds so poetic for something that feeds ridiculousness into people for hours on end, but hey, it's just TV and it's existed longer than I've been alive by a bunch, so let's get sarcastically eloquent about this. Why not.
So, what's gone on? DF said their show is done and took an L to crowdfund to the tune of a RIDICULOUS amount of money raised to pursue making their show themselves. They're moving to youtube. So I suppose I should say "Welcome to this algorithm, at least Nielson isn't over here fucking shit up!" No but in all fairness, I could care less where folks are throwing their content, since like, A SINGLE PLATFORM exists for long content unless you want to pretend Vimeo has any sort of sense of community. (Lol.) In that sense, many people who are fellow spooky creators have said their piece all over the web since then in reaction. One argument I keep seeing posted are some very upset folks who think raising more money on top of owning the equipment to create a show on a free platform is grabbing at gullible fans in a way that's wrong. There are other creators who are upset the DF crew is going to YouTube at all - saying their fanbase will already earn them top dollar on the platform before the thousands who have toiled away there with videos for years, making nothing. Their built-in fan base will push them to the top and earn them money so why pull in so much so quickly?
I see this point of do, honestly. I'd have to be a fool not to, since Ryan and I are literally paranormal youtubers who've toiled for years and at our own expense to create our content and participate in this field regularly. Here's the but - I also recognize that this mindset isn't healthy or necessarily accurate. I feel the pain of a paranormal YouTuber with low views, broh, I am human, so is Ryan. I also recognize how that thought is based on my own perceptions, not that of others. There's far more at work in terms of what who how and where content is pushed beyond simply the people behind the videos, and it's stuff most of us are at the mercy of. There are options to of course pay for resources to gain those top places on these platforms, (what, you think there aren't inside ways people rise up through algorithms? How stupid do you think we are? Marketing and insider information makes a lot of people a lot of money.) I don't think I'm very upset with folks who do the same thing we do, and were just forced to lose their source of income and employment all at once and are still hell-bent on pursuing what they like to do. Which is what we like to do.
So where do I get mad here, you know?
The overarching aspect of this move and the way the DF crew altered how they'll present what they create, is that they're likely taking a bit of stab at one of the most influential paranormal investigators there are, ZB, and pulling at the fabric of traditional television models even more. For that, we kinda have to do a few fist-pumps and go HELL YEAH BURN IT DOWN, because it means we're all actually closer, metaphorically, in pursuit of what we love: the paranormal. They're on our level now, whether they have the expensive cameras or not. They now control AND create, that's the difference from before and that's what put them with us in this community of creators and investigators who do both of those things passionately already.
As far as what Nick Groff went and said, I think honestly he just validated from his own face in front of a ring camera what anyone over 35 (or younger, you may be have picked up on this long ago and be young), already thought to be true. "Groff Adventures", I cackled.
I don't know guys, this all seems like good news so far. Dave Schrader is considering a similar move after his show was cancelled as well. The widespread effects of how many people lose employment when a show is cancelled and how many people's lives suddenly go into flux is probably more far-reaching than most of us would assume. It's a little strange to see the upper echelon of paranormal celebrities crowdfunding, true, but I think we're actively participating in creating a wider paranormal community we might want and need, and doing so without the oppressive circumstances of board rooms and ratings and advertisers and schedules and sponsors. This could be an epic turning point, and I want to see where it goes, for everyone.
Thanks for reading,
PS: I don't need to sugar coat my thoughts on ZB, who I think I've written about maybe one time on this blog in 6 years but my take is this and only this: he has perpetuated a misogynistic, racist, anti-semitic and offensive, archaic Christian ideology through paranormal investigation for over a decade and thousands of men have emulated his tactics. Cancel him.
Hi, back after this blog sat for a day to remind you that while Ryan and I are a single unit in our work, we are in fact two different human beings with two different opinions on the current whatever-the-hell is happening in the paranormal TV world. He cuts no corners and minces no words, I'm proud. 💪