It’s a bit difficult to discern what’s more frightening about this A&E series: the teens who talk to the spirits of deceased children, or the camera operators and director who’ve decided that the only way to give these kids credence is to zoom in on the pupils of their eyes. Either way, it doesn’t take a medium to recognize that “Psychic Kids” edits its subjects in a way that makes their conversations and interactions with the dead — or is that undead? — feel like badly conceived science fiction.
We know very little about the three girls introduced in the episode, except that they communicate more readily with their spiritual cohorts than the living. Moms are taken aback at what their daughters are experiencing and feel helpless about what to do next: get a proper medical diagnosis or open up a tarot card storefront?
While the kids complain of headaches in trying to process the voices coming into their heads, viewers will no doubt reach for the Advil as well. The music, which feels as original as something born out of “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” tries to spook things up but only turns the teens into one-dimensional characters.
Eventually, all three kids — ages 8 to 12 and living in remote areas of the country — are brought together to a distant hotel with a history of paranormal activity. It’s there that they start discussing their otherworldly conversations with a psychologist and college professor who try to interpret what’s going on and provide reassurance to the parents that everything’s going to be OK.
The subject matter of “Psychic Kids,” which A&E is positioning as a companion piece to its series “Paranormal Tales,” is open to interpretation by believers and naysayers alike. Still, there’s little doubt that if production values were improved, the supernatural road these kids travel — any way you interpret it — would’ve been more compelling.