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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Real Ghostbusters is an animated series spun off the mega-popular 1984 movie Ghostbusters (the "Real" was added to avoid confusion with an unrelated cartoon of the same name). The core characters remain the same, though the cartoon is skewed toward younger kids and as such, drops the swearing, the smoking, and the sexual innuendo. While the Ghostbusters do spend their days vanquishing evil, the monsters and phantoms they encounter are often quite silly (some of them even make wisecracks) and not too scary.
What's the story?
Are annoying ghosts getting all up in your grill? Grab your credit card and give a call to the Ghostbusters -- a supernatural clean-up crew made up of brainiac Egon, wise guy Peter, sweet Ray, and level-headed newcomer Winston -- and they'll be over in a jiffy, "Proton Packs" in hand, ready to vaporize any and all paranormal pests. The team lives and works out of an old fire station, and they are assisted by their sassy secretary, Janine, as well as their nerdy accountant, Louis. They also have a live-in mascot of sorts: Slimer, the popular green ghost character from the original movie.
Is it any good?
If you're judging this show strictly on its own merits -- and not as a guilty pleasure for fans of the original movie who are feeling nostalgic -- it's merely OK, and definitely dated. But for true Ghostbuster devotees, it can be fun to see how the show expands on (and in some ways, rewrites) the mythology of the original movies. The cartoon ran for a somewhat astonishing seven seasons, which gave The Real Ghostbusters plenty of time to explore the day-to-day operations of the Ghostbusters' business and the characters' backstories. Some familiar adversaries from the past appear, like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and meddling EPA agent Walter Peck, along with countless new creepy-crawlies. The troublemaking ghost Slimer (who was a bad guy in the film) gets a personality makeover and serves as a pet and mascot, helping the guys hunt and contain his spooky brethren. He has, however, retained his never-ending hunger for junk food.
Talk to your kids about ...
How are females portrayed on The Real Ghostbusters? The secretary, Janine, is frequently compelled to borrow a jumpsuit and fill in as a Ghostbuster when the guys need to be bailed out of one scrape or another. Is she seen as a member of the gang, or as more of a mom type?
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