Kudos to the writers and actors of “Ghosts” for incorporating a sprint of enjoyable and originality to that age-aged trope: otherworldly spirits who can be viewed by only a person (dwelling) particular person.
That’s the premise of this new sitcom, premiering Thursday (Oct. 7) at 9 p.m. on CBS. Here’s the setup: town slickers Samantha (Rose McIver) and her partner, Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), inherit a stately, if a bit ramshackle, upstate mansion. It was bequeathed to the spunky Samantha by an aunt she scarcely understood. Samantha, sensing the chance to live her aspiration, wants to chuck the city existence and restore the position into a stylish B&B — she’ll operate the small business though Jay, who’s a chef, will take care of the culinary close. And they’re obsessed with HGTV (cue the references to Chip and Joanna Gaines), so there’s that.
The titular “Ghosts” are a motley crew who bicker with just about every other (loads of eye-rolling) but function as a crew — and are none-much too-pleased with the house’s new occupants and their programs for a B&B. Assume of “What We Do in the Shadows” with specters rather of vampires.
There is 19th Century matriarch Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), Samantha’s relative who criticizes her kin’s “saucy hairdo” foppish Isaac (standout Brandon Scott Jones), an 18th Century present-day of Alexander Hamilton (of whom he’s very jealous) diva Jazz Age singer Alberta (Danielle Pinnock) ’80s Wall Road celebration dude Trevor (Asher Grodman) Sasappis (Roman Zaragoza), a sarcastic Native American Flower (Sheila Carrasco), a ’60s-era hippie who fulfilled her stop by actually hugging a bear Pete (Richie Moriarty), an aw-shucks Boy Scout with an arrow by his neck and Thorfinn (Devan Very long), a guttural Viking who achieved his stop in a lightning strike.
They’re obvious to only Samantha (“a residing,” in their vernacular) immediately after she falls and hits her head — as are the frustrated ghosts who dwell in the dark basement, all of whom died from cholera (a spirited “Upstairs/Downstairs” scenario). Jay, of training course, cannot see the spirits but goes together with his wife’s “visions,” not very getting into them but holding the peace (he’ll get there, ultimately) as they start to plan for their new life.
We’ve witnessed this circumstance before (“The Ghost & Mrs. Muir,” “Ghost Whisperer”) what helps make it all get the job done in “Ghosts” is that the lead (ghost) characters are all likable and witty in strategies that are distinctive to their personalities (Devan Extensive, as Thorfinn, overdoes the Viking little bit), and there are dollops of present day-working day pop-lifestyle references to retain the dialogue fresh new. When was the past time a character on a Tv set present, for instance, questioned how numerous RBIs Mets star Keith Hernandez had in 1987 (that is Pete) — or referred to Dartmouth as a “[cough] basic safety school” (Trevor). And Isaac is a one-man pitcher of comedic throwaway lines in the vein of snarky David Rose (Dan Levy) from “Schitt’s Creek.”
It is all in great fun and each individual episode (I viewed three of them) travels alongside at a brisk clip. I’m not positive in which, or how far, a sitcom of this ilk can go when its premise is recognized, but “Ghosts” is truly worth a seem-see.