Demi lovato wants you to believe. Unidentified, the singer’s four-part documentary (“documentary”), has been released in its entirety on Peacock, and while the series may have all the journalistic rigor of Syfy Ghost Busters or from Animal Planet Mermaids: the body found, Lovato’s charisma is hard to resist.
Unidentified feels, in a way, like a strange Franken show, a spiritual hybrid of celebrity documentaries and paranormal explorations like Find Bigfoot and unresolved BuzzFeed. Lovato, who recently declared herself non-binary, explains at the top of her show that while they were in Joshua Tree on their 28th birthday, they saw a UFO and now believe they might have experienced an alien encounter.
The first few episodes of the show feature Lovato’s cronies: her sister Dallas and her “skeptical” best friend Matthew, who actually loves to talk about how convinced he is about two minutes after witnessing … anything. We watch the singer as they undergo regressive hypnotherapy in an attempt to retrieve any lost memories of the creatures that Lovato will repeatedly and seriously call “aliens.”
As Lovato points out, Hollywood hasn’t always been receptive to their fringe interests. A clip of Late night with Seth Meyers 2014 finds the comedian joking with the singer for believing in aliens and also, err … mermaids. And because this is a Peacock show, Meyers finally shows up to deliver a mea culpa in light of the reports that have started to surface about UFOs.
Weather Unidentified begins, as its title suggests, with a focus on aliens, it doesn’t take long for Demi, Dallas, and Matthew to begin communicating with spirits in Vulture City, where Lovato makes a connection to the spirit of a sex worker in a brothel whom they quickly discern “has trauma.” (And yes, Demi definitely sings “Skyscraper” to the ghosts as an “offering”).
I’m afraid, right now, I’m giving the impression that I didn’t enjoy The Demi Lovato Paranormal Show. Reader, let me be clear: I loved every minute of it.
At a time when so many celebrity documentaries (read: brand building exercises) feel so self conscious, it’s kind of refreshing to see Lovato embark on something less serious. Your myth reinforcement team can “ooh” and “ahh” to strange sights and sounds with the best of them. That, more than anything, becomes the gift he continues to give as they tour California’s most credulous attractions, guided above all by the conviction that these inexplicable phenomena are here to help us solve our apocalyptic existence on this mysterious planet. And you know what, why not?
Speaking of which: Did you know that 80 percent of Earth’s oceans remain unexplored and that there is a place in that ocean that may or may not be an alien base? Check out Lovato’s episode on USO (which are “Unidentified Submersible Objects”) for more information!
Lovato, like so many stars who grew up young, survived an unimaginable amount of personal turmoil in the public eye. Hollywood seems to have become somewhat protective of them in recent years, particularly after their terrifying overdose in 2018. Unidentified make it clear that Lovato Joshua Tree experience and its aftermath has become part of her healing journey. (It culminates in a community meditation, in which Lovato goes to spot UFOs after a group meditation with fans to manifest a stronger connection with aliens)
“It culminates in a community meditation, in which Lovato observes UFOs after a group meditation with fans to manifest a stronger connection to aliens.“
But honestly, it’s wonderful to see a celebrity we all know who has endured so much having a good time.
In a moment of Unidentified, long before they approach that glow-in-the-dark pyramid of meditation, a hypnotherapist tells Lovato that they are “glowing”, and for the four hours of this series, they really are. Dressed in a dizzying rotation of flashy sunglasses and clothes that would make any zoomer drool (I guess like a woman who just turned 30), Lovato spends the entire series laughing, beaming, screaming with excitement and wonder. His joy, both earned and contagious, goes a long way for this series; It may not convince a skeptic to believe in aliens, but it beautifully articulates the meaning one can find in the paranormal when they stop questioning and begin to believe.