The new CBS sitcom “Ghosts” adds a few clever twists


Kudos to the authors and actors of “Ghosts”, who have added a pinch of fun and originality to this ancient trope: otherworldly ghosts that can only be seen by a (living) person.

That’s the premise of this new sitcom, which premieres Thursday, October 7th at 9pm on CBS. Here’s the setup: Stadtslicker Samantha (Rose McIver) and her husband Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) inherit a stately, if somewhat dilapidated, mansion in the hinterland. It was bequeathed to brave Samantha by an aunt she barely knew. Samantha sees a chance to make her dream come true and wants to turn city life into a chic B&B – she will run the business while Jay, a chef, takes care of the culinary end. And they’re obsessed with HGTV (see the references to Chip and Joanna Gaines) so that’s it.

The eponymous “Ghosts” are a colorful group that bickers with each other (a lot of rolling eyes), but works as a team – and is not too happy with the new residents of the house and their plans for a B&B. Think of “What We Do In The Shadows” with ghosts instead of vampires.

There is the 19th century matriarch Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), Samantha’s relative, who criticizes the “cheeky hairstyle” of her relatives; chic Isaac (outstanding Brandon Scott Jones), an 18th-century contemporary of Alexander Hamilton (whom he is extremely jealous of); Diva Jazz Age singer Alberta (Danielle Pinnock); 80s Wall Street party guy Trevor (Asher Grodman); Sasappis (Roman Zaragoza), a sarcastic Indian; Flower (Sheila Carrasco), a 1960s hippie who ended up literally hugging a bear; Pete (Richie Moriarty), a boy scout with an arrow through his neck; and Thorfinn (Devan Long), a guttural Viking who died in a lightning strike.

Utkarsh Ambudkar and Rose McIver as Jay and Samantha on the new CBS sitcom "Ghosts."
Utkarsh Ambudkar and Rose McIver as Jay and Samantha on the new CBS sitcom “Ghosts”.

They are only visible to Samantha (“a living person” in her colloquial language) after she fell and hit her head – as were the depressed ghosts who lived in the dark basement and all died of cholera (a spirited “up / down” “” Scenario). Jay can’t see the ghosts, of course, but he follows his wife’s “visions” of not fully engaging with her but keeping the peace (he will eventually) as they begin to plan their new life.

We have seen this scenario before (“The Ghost & Mrs. Muir”, “Ghost Whisperer”); What makes everything work in “Ghosts” is that the main characters (ghosts) are all personable and funny, in a way that is unique to their personality (Devan Long, as Thorfinn, exaggerates the Viking bit), and it gives a blob of modern pop culture references to keep the dialogue fresh. For example, when was the last time a character on a television show wondered how many RBIs Mets star Keith Hernandez (that’s Pete) had in 1987 – or referred to Dartmouth as “[cough] Security School “(Trevor). And Isaac is a one-man pitcher of comedic throwaway lines in the style of the vicious David Rose (Dan Levy) from “Schitt’s Creek”.

It’s all fun and every episode (I’ve seen three of them) travels in one snappy clip. I’m not sure where or how far a sitcom of this type can go once it’s established, but “Ghosts” is worth a look.


Comments are closed.