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Cherry Pop

'Ghost Whisperer: The Complete Fourth Season'
(Jennifer Love Hewitt, David Conrad, Jay Mohr, Camryn Manheim, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / (1959) 2009 / CBS - Paramount)

Overview: Melinda Gordon communicates with earthbound spirits, ghosts who cling to the living because they have unfinished business that prevents them from moving beyond the familiar plane of existence that we call life. In Season 4 (2008-9) Melinda recently has revealed her gift to her new friend, Delia Banks (Camryn Manheim), a single mom who works in Melinda's antique shop. However, Melinda fears the consequences of drawing Delia into this unconventional world.

DVD Verdict: I've had an embarrassingly deep affection for 'Ghost Whisperer' since the first episode. I generally like 'edgier', more clever programming, but Ghost Whisperer has always provided the uplifting, inspirational, poignant and just plain entertaining mood-boost that even a cynic like I am found really refreshing!

This season, though, was a crushing disappointment. In what seems like a desperate bid to be 'SHOCKING', the show killed off dull but sweetly supportive Jim...only to transplant him into another body and waste untold amounts of melodramatic screen time on 'Jim is Sam but really still Jim' nonsense that's somehow even stupider than it may sound. This predictable, repetitive melodrama took valuable screen time away from developing the show's ghost stories or actually exploring the spirit world.

Combine this with the introduction of the least appealing regular in this show's history---the vaguely unpleasant Eli, who's like Professor Payne of earlier seasons but without the humor and charm---and you have a season that had even a diehard GW lover like I am ready to give up on the series.

OK, for a more indepth profile of the downfall, first off, Dr Payne leaves on sabatical because Jay Mohr left the show. Eli James (Jamie Kennedy) joins the show as a man who cannot see ghosts but only hears them - and then, in REAL LIFE dates the lead actress herself! Then the powers that be decided that Jim needs to die. And instead of him moving on into the light, he jumps into the body of another man who has died.

But, instead of us seeing the new guy, we keep seeing David Conrad - I suppose this is least we forget that it is truly Jim Clancy. He spends half the season with amnesia - not knowing that he is really Jim and thinking he is the other guy and so on!

So, I'd recommend spending your money on earlier seasons, which feature interesting ghost stories and a blend of mood-boosting sweetness and charm that's lacking in this one. [PA] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

The Other Side webseries III - experience the third installment of the webseries that ventures beyond Melinda Gordon's Ghost Whisperer world
Grave mistakes - a spooky interactive game through a haunted cemetery
Interactive haunted dollhouse - help Jim's spirit escape from a ghostly dollhouse!
Interactive fashion style guide - see the Ghost Whisperer character's costumes come to life
Season 4: Love Never Dies - cast and crew interviews on the show's dramatic forth season
The Jamie Kennedy experiment - a behind-the-scenes look at Jamie Kennedy, the newest member of the Ghost Whisperer cast
Scoring the spirit world - composer Mark Snow discusses Ghost Whisperer's haunting score