New CBS sitcom benefits from colorful characters
“Ghosts” is more soulful than you’d might expect.
Sure, the CBS comedy, which premiered in October, is about ghosts having to put up with the living couple who just moved into their big house. But the ghosts are far more interesting and have more depth than viewers might realize.
“Ghosts,” which airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on KCOY-TV (Channel 12), is a single-camera comedy, meaning there’s no studio audience and the producers and crew are free to use various indoor and outdoor locations in Montreal, where it’s filmed.
It stars Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as Samantha and Jay, a couple who decide to convert a rundown country estate they inherited into a bed and breakfast. But after an accident in the house, Samantha gains the ability to see the ghosts, and she soon convinces Jay that they have spirits among them.
What makes “Ghosts” great and funny is that each spirit has a unique, colorful personality.
There’s Pete, the upbeat scout troop leader (Richie Moriarty), who was killed by an arrow during an archery lesson (and the arrow remains stuck in his neck).
Pete keeps a smile on his face, but one episode shows how much he misses his wife and daughter, demonstrating how “Ghosts” can add some unexpected depth.
Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long) is the Viking who’s obsessed with cod. He’s impulsive and blunt and downright sensitive. At times, he’s the funniest character on this show.
Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) is a 1700s militiaman with a ton of insecurity. He’s upset that historical figures such as Hamilton have had more attention than him. Where’s the musical about Isaac?
Flower (Sheila Carrasco) is a hippie. Enough said.
Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) is Samantha’s ancestor who’s a society woman and wife of an 1800s robber baron. She’s quite proper, but can adjust to the times if prompted.
Alberta (Danielle Pinnock) is a Prohibition-era lounge singer who’s convinced she couldn’t have simply died from a heart attack. There must have been foul play! She says what she thinks and doesn’t tolerate fools.
Trevor (Asher Goodman) is the finance expert and party animal from the 1990s. He’s very interested in women, and his interests don’t go much beyond that.
But there’s even some unexpected depth in Trevor because “Ghosts” has this way of showing that even when you think you’ve figured out a character, the individual surprises you.
And Sassappis (Román Zaragoza) is the Native American observer of everyone, with a dry wit. Without cracking a smile and saying just a few words, he’s hilarious.
And that doesn’t include the ghosts in the basement.
What’s intriguing is that ghosts develop friendships each other, and the show benefits from unlikely pairings. Characters as different as Thorfinn and Sassappis can find common ground.
And the ghosts learn from Samantha. These are spirits who can evolve while still keeping their original charm and quirks.
The executive producers have created a series that is binge-worthy. It’s easy to get hooked on watching one episode after another on Paramount+, where the episodes go after they air on CBS.
And “Ghosts” deserves bonus points for recognizing sitcom history. A recent episode pointed out “Newhart,” the 1980s sitcom starring Bob Newhart as a Vermont inn keeper surrounded by zany characters (and featuring one of the best series finales in history).