The fall season ushered in a handful of new pilots including CBS’s Ghosts, an adaptation of the British comedy of the same name.
The premise is fresh and intriguing, so it’s not entirely shocking that CBS wanted to embrace it as an American comedy, but you have to wonder why they chose to blatantly copy the original instead of letting it serve as inspiration.
I haven’t watched the BBC One sitcom, but based on the trailer, it’s evident that CBS opted for “copy and paste” rather than “making it your own.”
It’s a strange choice considering the original got such astounding reviews. Why mess with perfection? Why remake something that already exists?
Admittedly, however, the Rose McIver-led drama fills a void left behind by The Good Place, yet another brilliant 20-minute existential comedy).
And if there’s anyone who can sell us on the belief that she can see dead people, it’s the woman who ate brains in order to solve crimes on iZombie.
A more perfect role doesn’t exist for McIver, who flawlessly takes on the character of Sam, a young woman who inherits the Woodstone Mansion after the Great Aunt passes away.
Sam’s impulsive nature tells her to give the rundown home a little TLC and turn it into a bed and breakfast, which doesn’t exactly sit well with her boyfriend Jay.
He approaches the idea with an open mind, but he’s a bit more realistic in terms of how much TLC this place actually needs.
Old homes mean more repairs, which, in turn, means more money.
However, his perspective changes when Sam trips over a vase and tumbles down two flights of stairs.
While she’s in a coma for two weeks, Jay begins to see potential in the old mansion. He consults with a contractor before depleting all of their funds into the property in hopes of eventually turning a profit.
Millennials, that’s what they get for watching so much HGTV, am I right?
Of course, the plan hits an unexpected snag — ghosts.
When I tell you I’ve never met a more eclectic group, I truly mean it. The ghostly ensemble consists of former residents who have died on the property over the course of several decades.
Issac, the leader of the pack, is a gay colonial soldier. Thor is a bloodthirsty and primitive Viking, while Trevor is a pantsless yuppie. He’s also the most recently dead, so none of the other dated ghosts ever know what he’s referring to when he mentions the internet or Tara Reid.
It’s a miserable existence that they all brush off with plenty of sarcasm and shenanigans, usually at the expense of what they call “the livings.”
Most of them have an affinity for Sam and Jay, the lovebirds… that is until they hear her idea to turn the place into a hotel.
Horrified that their home might soon be overrun by people that will cramp their space and worse, walk through them, they decide to “haunt” Sam and Jay. After all, that’s what ghosts do!
Except these ghosts aren’t all that great at haunting, which ultimately leads to Sam’s accident.
Sam is out of commission for two weeks, which is when we learn that she died for 3 minutes before being resuscitated.
Her brief brush with death provides her with new and unwanted powers — she’s the first living person that can see the ghosts.
Sam is basically straddling the line between the living and the dead, which naturally freaks her out.
Screaming at the top of your lungs seems to be the only appropriate reaction to seeing ghosts walk through a wall.
The accident provides the plot with a lot of potential.
Obviously, Jay is likely going to think this is a side effect of Sam hitting her head. He might also consider that it’s some kind of mental break.
Meanwhile, Sam has several options — she can befriend the ghosts, she can try to help them pass on, or she can decide to sell the property (though it’s unclear if she can see ghosts everywhere or just in the mansion). The possibilities are endless.
The ghosts are intriguing in their own right because you want to know more about them.
Hetty, for example, is a distinguished woman and Sam’s distant family, but we don’t know what her “powers” are nor do we know how she passed.
The aforementioned Issac died of dysentery, so his secret weapon is producing foul-smelling gas. Anyone else now wondering if you’ve ever walked through a ghost fart? Same.
Since Thor was struck by lightning, he can manipulate electricity. Meanwhile, Alberta, a Prohibition-era singer in her past life, can project humming into the living world.
Both Pete and Flower — the cheerful boy scout killed by a rogue bow-and-arrow (had to hurt!) and the 60s hippie who was mauled by a bear when she wandered onto the property during a bad drug trip — seem like they’re going to be a handful.
There’s also a headless man, but we don’t really get too much info about him as he loses his head early on and isn’t seen again.
As I said, it’s an eclectic bunch, which will likely be overwhelming for Sam when she realizes she’s the only one that can handle them.
And while the ghost’s biggest fear was having their space overrun by people, a new fear possibly materializes when they realize Sam can see and hear them.
How will this impact them? Will they be thrilled to have a connection to the living? Or will they use this to their advantage and kick her out?
The pilot is straightforward, cheeky, and balances the right amount of levity against a more serious tone.
Just when you think the whole episode will consist of jokes about seeing dead people, you suddenly find yourself thinking about how short our time on Earth is and the possibility of life after death.
Were you sold on the pilot? Will you be adding Ghosts to your weekly must-watch list?
Ghosts Season Finale Recap – [Spoiler] Gets Engaged (222)
We were on the brink of an emotionally touching season 2 finale of Ghosts when all of a sudden—bam—a cliffhanger no one saw coming, though, a moment we’ve been dreading since bonding with the ghosts.
On Ghosts Season 2 Episode 22, Sam and Jay fought to keep the Woodstone Mansion after a woman named Kelsey arrived claiming to be the daughter of David Woodstone and therefore, the rightful heir to the fortune.
In one moment, Sam’s whole life came tumbling down as she faced the possibility of losing the ghosts forever.
A DNA test later confirmed that Kelsey was telling the truth, which meant that they would be forced to move out of the B&B and give it all up to her.
And that’s when being able to see ghosts actually came in handy. When Jay mentioned that David knocked up Kelsey’s mom, an exotic dancer, at Scores, Trevor immediately shut down the possibility by explaining that his buddy was banned from the establishment.
With reasonable doubt at play, Sam and Jay decided to get the truth directly from the source: David himself. It was a long shot, sure, but when they rolled up to the gentleman’s club where he died (he had an aneurysm with his head stuck between two boobs in case you’re curious!), they found him still stuck between worlds… though he was certain that spending eternity at a strip club was pure heaven so there’s that.
David then confirmed that there was no way Kelsey was his daughter because he was sterile, or, as he so classy explained it, “shooting blanks.”
Armed with the truth, Sam and Jay confronted Kelsey, who ended up cracking and revealing that the Woodstone estate attorney was the mastermind of the plan. With his gambling debts looming large and a massive offer from the Four Seasons to buy the mansion, he decided to trick Sam and Jay into essentially giving up the house. What a sneaky snake.
If it wasn’t for the ghosts, Trevor in particular, they would’ve never even known that they were being played.
Nearly losing something—or someone—you love always puts things into perspective, so Sam was feeling a bit sentimental and reminisced on how much the ghosts meant to her. They were her family who have seen her go through the good times and the bad. Even Jay has bonded with them in some way, though it’s unfortunate that he misses so much of the action because he can’t see them.
And at that moment, the cliffhanger of all cliffhanger’s happened as one of the ghosts got sucked off! The look of sheer horror on Sam’s face seems to be cause for concern, but the truth is, there are so many ghosts living inside that mansion that it doesn’t have to be any of the core ghosts.
I can’t imagine that the creative forces would want to eliminate one of the ghosts just as the series is finding its groove and entering its prime.
Then again, they have all been growing and becoming better humans, and that means that eternity isn’t exactly forever.
Alberta finally forgave Hetty for keeping the identity of her killer secret. Hetty thought she was doing the right thing by protecting her son, but she now saw the error of her ways and realized she did her friend a huge disservice. Alberta wanted “blood,” but when the Ghost Court ruled to banish Hetty to the forest, she couldn’t imagine a life without her. Maybe that was the outstanding issue keeping Albert and Hetty tied to the mortal coil.
There’s also Isaac, who finally took the next big step in his relationship with Nigel by proposing to him! While this is obviously cause for celebration, it might also be what sets Isaac free as he’s struggled with accepting his sexuality through much of his post-death life. Or it could be Nigel, which would be a bummer for Isaac as he finally opened up to someone and entrusted them with his heart.
At any rate, it could be any of the ghosts, but I don’t want to panic prematurely. This could all be a false alarm!
- Now that Isaac is $10k richer, he can definitely afford the King-sized bed!
- Thor’s comment hoping that David didn’t get “sucked off” at the Gentleman’s Club is one of the reasons Ghosts is the best comedy on television.
- Why would Jay think eating strip club sushi was a good idea? And why didn’t the ghost who died after eating it warn Sam?
- Jay saying he hopes Trevor was the ghost that got sucked off is just cruel.
Ghosts has one of the greatest ensemble casts with every single actor really coming into their character this season. I can’t wait to see what the third season has in store for us!
Ghosts Review – Alberta’s Descendant (218)
Alberta-centric episodes never disappoint.
Ghosts Season 2 Episode 18 delved deeper into Alberta’s murder, uncovering a shocking potential turn of events as her descendant, Alicia, visited the Woodstone Mansion.
Alberta was delighted at the chance to get to know Alicia, her baby sister Reese’s kin, but things didn’t unravel as expected.
For starters, Alicia set her sights on Creepy Todd, making some cringe-inducing goo goo eyes his way, though, to be fair, Sam did normalize him on the podcast and edit out all of his weird quirks, so on the surface, Todd seemed like a regular dude… maybe even a catch. The duo had a lot in common, including digging deeper into Alberta’s past, but Alberta couldn’t stand by and watch the only relative that she’s met in decades fall into the hands of her stalker. The solution? Illuminate Todd’s eccentric nature to Alicia. The ghosts, and Sam, devised a plan to “cod block” any potential romance by telling Alicia everything there is to know about Todd… including that he has a back tattoo of Alberta, that he lives with his mom, and that he has Alberta’s toenail framed in his museum.
That’s all Alicia needed to hear to understand that the image she had of Todd based on the podcast was far from the reality of the situation. Sam was a good friend for sparing Alicia from going down that path, while Alberta felt like a good “mom” for helping her dodge the bullet. It’s the least she can do.
Though, she quickly learned that parenting wins are short-lived as Alicia decided she was going to give up her established career as a lawyer to pursue singing. You would think that Alberta would be tickled by Alicia’s interest in the craft and following in the family’s footsteps, but Alberta is a real one who didn’t want to see Alicia destroy the great life she’s built for herself for a career that could be filled with disappointments. She knew all too well how hard it was to break through in the industry.
But when she finally heard Alicia sing, there was no denying that the soulful talent ran through her veins. Alberta’s spirit lived on in her, and the only shame was that Sam and the ghosts were the only people to witness that magical duet. Just imagine if Alicia knew that she was harmonizing with Alberta’s ghost!
At that moment, Alberta realized that Alicia had the gift and she needed to take a shot and pursue her dreams!
Thankfully, we were able to witness the moment as well, which brought the storyline full circle.
Had the episode ended right then and there, it would’ve gone out on a heartwarming note, but Alicia decided to guest on the podcast about Alberta’s murder, and the foursome—Jay is now included and very eager for his time on the mic—pieced some clues together and made a shocking discovery.
Alicia revealed that Reese, Alberta’s sister, dated Earl after Alberta’s death, which was news to everyone. And Reese’s real name was Teresa, which means that she could be the “T” from the love letters, and thus, she could be the accomplice in Alberta’s murder.
Hearing the poor woman utter, “My own sister murdered me,” sent chills up my spine, but that just means that this is one hell of a good murder podcast—and even better promotion for the B&B.
Could Alicia be the key to solving Alberta’s murder? And will it turn out to be an inside job—a crime of passion, love, and desire?!
The other exciting development in the episode involved Hetty coming clean about her dalliance with Trevor. And to that, I say, about time!
Nigel, Isaac’s boyfriend, walked in on Trevor and Hetty’s lovemaking in a previous episode, so he felt that he had the upper hand by threatening to expose them to the group unless they agreed to give him what he wanted—a room with a TV.
While Hetty was more than happy to oblige to his demands, Trevor wasn’t as enthusiastic, and he began to realize that Hetty wasn’t just keeping the relationship a secret because it was “hot,” she was effectively doing so because she was embarrassed by him.
Understandably, a woman like Hetty wouldn’t be comfortable admitting that she actually has feelings for Trevor, but I love that he understood his own value and stood up for himself by putting an end to their “fa doodling” because being kept a secret on purpose was hurtful. He deserved better… even if there aren’t that many options around.
The moment led to some great character growth for Hetty as she finally mustered up the courage to tell the other ghosts that she was sleeping with Trevor.
And the surprise on their faces was well worth the wait and thoroughly enjoyable. I especially love the support she got from Isaac, who was genuinely happy for her. Their friendship is so genuine. And I personally cannot wait to see how this relationship progresses now that everything is in the open because while it may be unconventional, there’s a real connection between Hetty and Trevor that deserves to be explored outside of the bedroom.
And that, dear Nigel (or as Hetty referred to him, British twerp/dirty little teapot), is a checkmate! This rivalry is just as thrilling as I expected.
As for the funniest moment in the episode, it was Thor weighing in with advice as he is the father of an adult male baby ghost. Just say that in Thor’s accent, and I promise, it’ll keep you laughing for hours.
What did you think of the episode?
Ghosts Recap – Weekend From Hell (217)
Ghosts gets better and better with each passing week, delivering yet another home-run episode.
While I love all of the ghosts equally, I’ve found that I enjoy Alberta and Hetty-focused episodes the most, so Ghosts Season 2 Episode 17 was a true delight.
Though, much like Hetty, I’m thankful that Elias’ return from the underworld was short-lived—that man was insufferable.
And during his short visit, he essentially created hell on Earth for everyone involved. It’s not surprising that Hetty hated his guts and even hesitated to save Pete’s life if it meant spending the rest of eternity in her ex’s presence. Let the lady think on it!
Eventually, Hetty did the right thing by Pete, although, I hardly think her decision to forgive Elias had much to do with saving Pete and everything to do with saving herself. She wanted to help, sure, but when it came down to it, the only thing that truly helped her forgive her late husband was the knowledge that it would also help set her free from his grasp. She’s been harboring so much hatred and resentment toward him, allowing him to still have a hold on her, which was only hurting her in the long run.
I was expecting Elias’ return to somehow impact her dalliance with Trevor, possibly unearthing the unconventional—yet wickedly fun and unexpected—relationship with the rest of the ghosts, or, at the very least, making Trevor jealous. Both Hetty and Trevor are downplaying their tryst, but it’s clear that they have some very real feelings for each other, and I want the series to explore that plot line deeper. Frankly, Elias’ arrival would’ve been the perfect backdrop for it.
Unfortunately, Trevor was far removed from the drama throughout the half hour, but to be fair, a lot was going on at Woodstone Manor—there were more pressing issues in the kitchen that we’ll get back to in a second.
Elias revealed that his whole “I’ve changed” shtick was a complete lie because, as we know, people, especially men like him, don’t change. He was trying to trick Hetty into signing the forgiveness papers so that he could score a “get out of hell” free card, and when she caught on, he used his devious ways to trick poor Pete instead. The former troop leader is such a good person that he willingly sold his soul to the devil to save his grandson little Pete after he found out about his tragic accident. Turns out, that was also a trick on Elias’ part—yes, hell apparently is all emails and meetings that should’ve been emails—because he’s a sneaky bastard who did more than prove that he’s right where he belongs in the fiery depths of the underworld.
Even after Hetty agreed to forgive him and formally sign the contract, Elias still attempted to drag Pete back down with him, and it was genuinely nice to see Pete fight back with a jab between the eyes and a shot at the genitals. It was equally as hilarious to realize that Elias decided hell was better than staying at the Manor where he would be bullied by Thor, though, it makes sense because you know Thor would’ve genuinely enjoyed it. Violence is his favorite pastime.
As mentioned before, a lot was going on at the Manor, and over in the kitchen, Jay got “Flowered” a.k.a he walked through Flower and got high, and then made a really exceptional meal for the guests that he had absolutely no recollection of cooking. The ghosts could’ve prevented it by just warning Sam, but as we’ve learned, they’re all pretty bored and always looking for some kind of entertainment, particularly Sass! He’s the naughty one that’s always suggesting they let a questionable situation play out just for fun.
When the guest revealed that she called the Menu Hunter, a well-known TV food critic, to check out Jay’s cooking, he was understandably nervous. The ghosts suggested simply recreating the situation that led to the magic in the first place, but Jay was having what Flower referred to as a crisis of confidence—he didn’t think his cooking was good enough to impress the Menu Hunter—and no amount of drugs could fix that.
While Sam always does her best to include Jay in all ghostly activities, this time, she tapped into her inner nerd to give him an inspirational pep talk, which was a welcome change of pace. And while his lamb chops may have been the best she’s ever had, once Elias walked through her with his powers of horniness, well, let’s just say it was a meal she’d never forget and vividly enjoyed.
There really never is a dull day in that place.
Other Memorable Manor Moments
- Elias saying that Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping” was the worst thing about hell was only made funnier by Trevor’s admission that he loves the song. Hetty’s past and current lovers couldn’t be more different, but I guess that’s for the best.
- Poor Jay was just trying to have a bonding time with the ghosts and had no idea that all hell was breaking loose around him.
- Alberta saying that Hetty can’t “let Pete go down on us” was too damn funny, but it was nice to see everyone stand up for Pete and urge Hetty to do the right thing by one of her own.
- Flower suggesting that “more drugs are usually the answer” is so on brand.
What did you think of the episode?
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