Psychic Matchmaker premiered on TLC last night, with 2 back-to-back half hour episodes. The show follows Deborah Graham, wife of one, mother of two, and psychic matchmaker of … many? I’d assume many, since she’s ostensibly successful enough to get her own reality series.
In the first episode, “I Need a Man,” Deborah tells us that South Florida (where she’s based) is one of the hardest places in the world to find love. I’m not exactly sure why that would be, and she doesn’t explain it, but that’s her story and she’s sticking with it. Is it all the alligators? The humidity? (Those are about the only 2 things I know about Florida. Sorry, Floridians! To be fair, I bet all you know about Milwaukee are beer and … beer.) No matter—what she says next explains the whole gist of the show: “It’s not about your job, it’s not about your looks, it’s about your psychic connection and how compatible your energy is with someone else’s. That’s where I come in.”
Deborah claims to know nothing about her clients before meeting them. (That’s funny, I claim to know nothing about my online dates before meeting them, but in truth I always find out a few key facts, just to make sure I don’t end up shackled to a wall in someone’s basement, like Sloth in The Goonies or something. Does she really not Google anyone? If that’s the case, yay Deborah for being honest!) She says that her psychic abilities start the second she looks into someone’s eyes, and in this episode, she’s looking into Julie’s eyes for an initial consultation.
She takes Julie’s hands and says she’s going to start channeling. (She never says whom she’s channeling. Does this strike anyone else as odd? Or have I just seen too many psychics, and this would occur to nobody else?)
She says that she sees that Julie is all about helping, and giving. She helps people find homes. (I think, “Awww, hey. Julie helps the homeless.”) Julie confirms that she’s a real estate broker. Huh? I’m not sold here. Deborah sees she has animals. Yes! She has 2 dogs! (OK, is it just me, or is this just too general? I think if you ask 90% of single ladies if they have pets, they’ll say yes.) Julie thinks it’s CRAZY that Deborah saw that she has dogs and knows that they’re her babies. (Side note from single lady: All single women with pets say that their animals are their babies. Sigh.) I notice that Deborah didn’t seem to know that Julie has 2 Yorkies, or even that she has 2 dogs; she just says “animals.” Am I overthinking this? Yes?
Julie moved from Russia at a young age (9-1/2) and Deborah tells Julie that she can tell that her relationships have come and gone because inside of her there is a block: sadness, loss, emptiness – and it all started in her childhood. Again, this can be applied to a gigantic chunk of the population, but do go on, Deborah. Convince me.
Julie confirms that she’s had loss. At age 6, her parents divorced. (Deborah does somehow pinpoint the age, and that there’s a separation between Julie and her father, so ding ding ding: one point for Deborah!) Since Julie came to America after the divorce, she was totally separated from her dad, and never had a father figure. She had to grow up too fast. Deborah tells her that this has created an imbalance in her energy, and that the pain and hurt have never left her, so she tends to connect with the wrong men. (We all connect with the wrong men, until we connect with the right one, so score one more for generalities.) Deb sees that Julie wants an older man (to be a father figure), but says she needs someone younger, and more vibrant, to make her feel like a little girl again.
Here, we meet Deborah’s family: husband George, and daughters Jessica and Scarlett. They’re supportive of her, especially George. Her marriage to George was actually arranged by her parents 20 years ago (which makes me wonder about her twin flame soulmate thing in the second episode, but more on that later). George asks her to please not bug the new single people that will be at their barbecue later that night (it kind of freaks people out), and she says she won’t, but guess what, guys? She does. She totally does. Because she’s a psychic matchmaker, on a TV show. To be fair, aren’t the single people at the barbecue kind of expecting this, what with all the cameras and production assistants and the whole, uh, psychic matchmaker hosting the barbecue?
At the barbecue, she tells George that she feels the psychic energy coming on (and explains to the camera that we have psychic matches all around us – finding the right psychic aura match is what’s difficult. She sees Terrence’s aura, and she knows he’s here on this earth to help people, and to do God’s work (he is a counselor and minister, indeed). But alas, he is too old for Julie. Then she finds John. John’s a skeptic but somehow is okay with all of this (maybe because of all the cameras, and the fact that he’s on TV?) and she sees that he has a very vibrant spirit. She knows that he was married before, and is connected somehow to his ex-wife’s child, and that he’s a fun, non-serious guy with a young spirit. He might be a bit older than she’s looking for, for Julie, but maybe not.
The next day, she walks around South Florida – to the gym, to the store – looking for men. There’s a whole montage of her talking to dudes, actually. She meets Benjamin, age 30, at the store, and knows he’s from a broken home. Benjamin is adventurous, and wants to see the world, but not alone. Benjamin says that he’d normally be weird about this kind of thing, but he feels totally normal about this. (Is it the cameras, Ben? Is that why you are okay with this?) Now she has to decide between the two.
She ultimately chooses Benjamin for Julie, and sets them up on a blind date. They go on a gondola ride, and drink champagne, and chat about their jobs and lives, and at one point they run out of things to say, and it gets a little awkward. (That happens on first dates. On one first date, we got so desperate to find something to talk about, that my date and I discussed the parking situation at our local mall for a good 10 minutes. And then we never spoke again. At least I got a delicious latte and some insight on the best place to park when heading to Trader Joe’s, on that one.)
Aw, Benjamin likes Julie! He “finds” a bottle in the water that he planted prior to the date, with a note inside asking her on a second date. Julie decides she does find his youth appealing, and thinks he’s gorgeous, though she seems to be hung-up on his age. At their post-date check-in, Deborah asks Julie how the date went, and notes that Julie has a change in her aura. Julie agrees, despite Ben’s age, to go out with him again, and right before the credits, we read that they have a second date planned. Somehow, I have this feeling that date number 2 won’t really happen, but I’m no psychic. I’ll leave the psychic stuff to Deborah.
Episode 2, “I Can Feel His Presence” speaks a little more closely to me than episode one, as it focuses on Michelle, who is trying to find love after losing her soulmate. She has been a longtime client of Deborah’s, and started seeing her at some point after losing Steve, her fiancé, 16 years ago. She was only with Steve for one year, but it was the best year of her life, because as Deborah put it, Steve was her twin-flame soulmate. (More on that in a bit.) Michelle hasn’t had any romance since Steve, because she hasn’t been able to let go of his memory or his soul. Her heart isn’t fully open, and that has thwarted the success of every relationship she’s gotten into.
Deborah meets with Michelle in order to help her open her heart, and release Steve. She holds Michelle’s hands and says she can feel Steve’s presence, and says she knows that the lights in Michelle’s house have been going on and off, and also confirms that the radio in Michelle’s car has been going on and off as well. This, Deborah says, is Steve telling Michelle to release him, and so Debbie asks for permission to help release him. And then the scary sh*t starts up. A light breaks and hangs off the ceiling, and the cameraman says he didn’t knock it down. Spoooooky. (At no point do we see the production assistant claim to not have broken the light, and so that’s what I suspect. I was a broadcasting intern myself at one point; I did some weird stuff. I’m sure that the intern on this show has a long road ahead of him or her, full of light-breaking and ghost-faking, for those 3 credit hours.) Debbie says that after the light broke, a calmness came over the room.
Deborah has bad news for Michelle: she can find love again, but it’ll never be the way it was with Steve, because he was her twin flame soulmate, and she already found (and lost) him. A twin flame is the strongest connection you can have with someone—your other half. This other person is your completion. Supposedly, you only have ONE in the world. IN THE WORLD. Full of billions of people. Sigh… okay. I’m trying to buy that one. (I do believe in soulmates, but that seems kind of far-fetched, doesn’t it?) Here’s what I don’t get: Deborah’s marriage to her husband George was arranged. So Deborah’s parents went out and found her ONE true twin flame soulmate out there in the world for her? How magical. My parents, love them as much as I do, couldn’t even get me the correct CD for my birthday in high school. I asked for Toad the Wet Sprocket; I got Silverchair’s Frogstomp album. I’m sure glad they didn’t go twin flame soulmate shopping for me, too. (Love you, Mom & Dad!)
So here’s what Deborah and Michelle agree to: dancing and flying. Michelle hasn’t danced in years (that was her and Steve’s thing), and she has to face that fear, so Deborah agrees to try flying (she’s petrified of it) in return. But before they head to dance class, we see Deborah driving down the street. She feels energy wherever she goes; she has no control over her psychic abilities. So she sees a man walking down the street (and pulls over and tells him that his energy is vibing, and asks if he’s single). I wonder how many guys she had to ask this question, that we’ll never see, before she asked this guy (Justin, who seems to be to be an actor, but he’s TOTALLY REAL you guys, it’s reality TV after all). She feels like Justin has lost someone recently (yep, his dad, with whom he had a strong spiritual connection). Justin always attracts the wrong women (again, my contention is that we all attract the wrong people until we finally attract the right one, but that’s just me) and he’s tired of living alone. (And I am tired of clichés, because I’m tired of dating. Oh, hey, wait, Justin has also lost faith in dating.)
Deborah thinks that Justin might be good for Michelle, because he can help her with her loss, but also seems to have a thing for Ramphis, the salsa instructor at the dance studio. Maybe HE will be good for Michelle. (Nope. Nopenopenope. Bucket of nopes. Just my opinion.) The instructor is very charming, friendly, and helpful (as you’d expect him to be), and Deborah says he has a beautiful gold aura, as he is patient and charismatic. (Deborah also does that crazy thing where she starts reading the other people at the dance studio, but we’ll gloss right over that.)
Ultimately, predictably, Michelle has a great time and does a great job dancing. This one-time event has healed her totally (just kidding, but it sure seems like that may be what Deborah thinks). Deborah is torn between which of these men she’s going to set Michelle up with (they are both compatible with Michelle’s energy), but ultimately picks Justin. On the date, at the zoo, Michelle and Justin get pretty comfortable talking to each other and wind up talking about their losses – unusual for a first date, but (I think) a harbinger of good communication ahead. Michelle feels peaceful and confident after the date, and is ready for a new start. (We find out at the end of the show that she and Justin officially become a couple.)
In exchange for Michelle facing her dancing and dating fears, Deborah agrees to fly in a plane, and gets into her friend’s plane (he operates a flight school), but there’s “too much energy” and she has to get out of the plane before it even takes off. Michelle’s okay because Deborah at least tried, even though she doesn’t really live up to her end of the bargain. (This irks me a little bit, but that’s just me.)
Did you watch Psychic Matchmaker last night? What did you think?