Ghosts

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Ghosts TV Poster Image
Haunted comedy has some laughs, some stereotypes.

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Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes like family, community, history, and the opportunity to make the most of life are also present.

Positive Role Models

None of the ghosts are bad or cruel, and sometimes help when they can (or when they see fit). They all have their own personalities, but some are quirkier than others. One of the ghosts doesn’t like Irish people. 

Diverse Representations

The ghosts represent different groups that are consistent with those living in the Northeastern part of the U.S. over different time periods in U.S. history. The cast is racially and ethnically diverse, and includes members from Black, AAPI, Latino, and Native American communities. There are, however, some stereotypical characterizations of the LGBTQ+ community, and a generic representation of a member of the Lenape tribe.

Violence

Nothing bloody, but living people fall and get hurt. Ghosts sometimes try to haunt, causing some physical discomforts to the living. One guest is sometimes seen headless, while another has an arrow through his neck. Some look like they did when they died of disease. A lot of this is so over the top it's more funny than creepy. 

Sex

Some sexual innuendo in the form of jokes. One of the ghosts died with his pants down and tries to be sexually provocative, and blurring over his genital area suggests nudity.

Language

Words like "hell," "damn," "crap," and "bastards" are used. There are some bathroom jokes, too.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One ghost talks about being high when alive, and often acts like she still is. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ghosts is a comedy series about a couple that ends up living in a house already occupied by ghosts. It has some sex jokes, physical comedy that includes people getting hurt (no blood), and a social group of ghosts, some of which look more ghoulish than they really are. There's also some strong language ("hell," "crap," etc.) and references to drug use. Like in many sitcoms, there are some stereotypical portrayals designed for laughs.

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What's the story?

Adapted from the British comedy of the same name, GHOSTS stars Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as young professional New York City dwellers who find themselves living in the country with some unexpected guests. When Sam learns that she’s inherited a country estate from a distant relative, she and her husband Jay decide to check out the property in order to decide what to do with it. What they don’t realize is that Woodstone is a rundown manor already occupied by unliving residents, including Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), the former lady of the house, a viking named Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long), refined colonialist Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones), singer Alberta (Danielle Pinnock), Lenape tribe member Sasapapis (Román Zaragoza), and a hippie named Flower (Sheila Carrasco). Rounding out the gang are youth leader Pete (Richie Moriarty), the leather jacket-wearing Crash (Hudson Thames), and the obnoxious Trevor (Asher Grodman), the newest member of the group. As they make their presence known, Sam and Jay soon realize that their lives are about to get more interesting in some very unexpected ways.

Is it any good?

This lively but predictable series comes together well thanks to a quirky ensemble cast, quick banter and solid one-liners. As Sam and Jay navigate their new life in their stately home, the ghosts try to make their connections to the living in different (and often hilarious) ways. Also adding to the fray are a ghoulish, but friendly, group of cholera victims living in the basement. Like most situation comedies, there's some reliance on formulaic humor, some of which isn't sharp enough to steer it away from creating some stereotypical, cliched moments. Overall, it's not as good as its British counterpart, but this version of Ghosts still delivers some lighthearted and enjoyable entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ghosts. Do you think they're real? Is your idea of ghosts anything like the way they're represented in this series?

  • Ghosts features unliving characters from different time periods in U.S. history, and who represent different communities that lived in the N.Y. lower Hudson area over generations. Are these portrayals historically accurate? Or are they based more on stereotypes about the people who once lived there for laughs?

  •  

  • How does the British version of the series been adapted to appeal to North American audiences? What are some key similarities and differences between the two?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love spooky stuff

Themes & Topics

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