‘The Lowe Files’ review: Rob Lowe goes ghost hunting

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Opening with the strains of the song “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” this rather odd series features Lowe — who, not silly, quickly rattles off a list of his credits — and his college-aged kids John Owen and Matthew. Narrated fervently by Lowe (who is also among the producers), the concept is for the trio to explore the paranormal and other “unsolved mysteries” together, beginning with an episode that features the title “Haunted Boys’ Reformatory” from Hardy Boys.

“What sets us apart from other idiots who take cameras to haunted mansions and castles etc.” asks John Owen, as they joke around in the car.

Well, for starters, Dad is asked to pose for pictures when they stop for coffee and donuts, and the family has their own “personal shaman”, billed as a “spiritual intermediary”, who they bring with them to investigate unruly minds.

The main problem with actors taking part in these kinds of exercises is that there is always the nagging feeling that they are having fun, despite the on-air disclaimers that the program is “100% authentic”. and that “nothing was staged for television”. The elder Lowe also somehow manages to look dashing and handsome, even when seen through some weird night vision photography while wearing a silly beanie.

The glut of unscripted programming devoted to the paranormal has made it difficult to bring something new to the equation, where actor name recognition and family dynamics come into play. The sitcom qualities, however, disappear. faster than you can say gh-gh-ghost once objects start moving and lights flash in that aforementioned dorm.

Well-known performers who get into reality TV usually do so either because the phone has stopped ringing just as regularly, or to give their offspring a boost, à la (in an early and often imitated example) Ozzy Osborne.

Lowe is shooting “The Lowe Files” as an opportunity for a great big shared adventure. Still, after his sitcom ‘The Grinder’ goes south, it’s probably not the worst way to help boost his sons’ profiles and keep himself in the spotlight, even if said light comes from the glow. familiar with a greenish night vision lens.

“The Lowe Files” airs August 2 at 10 p.m. on A&E.

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