Cancelled After One Season, ‘Ghosted’ Deserves a Second Life

Like Adam Scott and Craig Robinson, comedy and the paranormal go surprisingly well together.
July 25, 2018
7 mins read

Finding the perfect show to watch can be difficult. Some days, you might be in the mood for a supernatural thriller. Other days, a fun buddy-cop film might be more up your alley. For those days when you are caught somewhere in between, Fox’s paranormal comedy “Ghosted” is your saving grace.

But, before getting you revved up for a binging spree, I should mention that the show only has one season — and that seems to be all it’s going to get.

“Ghosted” stars Adam Scott and Craig Robinson, two actors known for their comedic roles in shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn 99.” The pair plays up the classic believer-skeptic duo —popularized by “The X-Files” — as Max Jennifer, a former professor and absolute believer in science undiscovered, and Leroy Wright, a hardened ex-cop and nearly unflinching skeptic.

Max and Leroy become partners when they are recruited for a mission by a secret government agency called the Bureau Underground, which works to save the citizens of the United States from paranormal terror. At the time that this takes place, Max is a former well-respected physics professor but, after his wife is apparently abducted, he starts ranting about aliens, losing his job and credibility. Leroy, on the other hand, was one of the best investigators in the LAPD, but was fired after an issue involving his lack of capacity for teamwork.

As the pair navigates the spooky intricacies of the Bureau, they also come to terms with the fact that being partners — and friends — is a challenge in and of itself.

The show has run for only a single season, with the final episode being released at the end of July. For a show trying to juggle humor, danger and friendship, this season has been relatively well balanced, as Max and Leroy learn to work together while also unlocking the secrets of the supernatural world.

That being said, the story would benefit tremendously from a second season. Sure, some shows can exist beautifully with only a few short episodes, but “Ghosted” was just getting on its feet halfway through the first season, and quite a lot of plot lines will be left hanging.

Mysteries like Max’s alien-abductee wife, a bugged office that alerts the general public to the Bureau’s existence and a government conspiracy involving time travel are just a few of the most promising stories to be continued. There wasn’t a chance to delve too deeply into these mysteries, but the show’s set-up for greater, world-wide danger was really beginning to blossom. Unfortunately, all will remain unsolved.

Although the final episode is yet to air, it’s likely that not every question will be answered in the typical 20-minute time slot, which makes the cancellation all the more devastating. “Ghosted” was handling thrilling secrets in a fresh way, and instituting action that could be drawn on for years.

The most interesting facet of the show, in my opinion, is the fact that the Bureau Underground isn’t taken seriously at all. Although the Bureau is a government agency, there is no hullaballoo when its information is leaked to the general public. Luckily for the agents, people love them; unfortunately, their fellow government agencies do not.

To have a show where the supernatural-fighting characters are not secret, not taken seriously and not particularly tough is immensely refreshing. Take series like “The X-Files” and even “Supernatural,” for instance. The shows feature troubled characters who work behind the scenes, and nearly every episode — despite having moments of humor — is dark and death-filled. For “Ghosted” to take a funnier, less gritty approach is a nice escape in a world where life is already pretty gritty.

But not everything is peaches and cream, either. Max and Leroy fight with one another, and deal with being the new guys on a team where being well-trained doesn’t always help. After all, the first episode deals with a talented agent being abducted by some kind of evil alien force. The unexplained and unexpected are always around the corner for these characters, and no amount of experience can help them see what might happen next.

In fact, the show picks up a lot of momentum with the bugging of their office; “Ghosted” goes from a monster-of-the-week mash-up to a more refined series with an edge. The last few episodes of the season tease time travel, government cover-ups and possible catastrophe. Max even meets his future self peeing in the woods.

Another big reason to love “Ghosted,” aside from the camaraderie and storytelling, is the diversity of the cast. There are women in “unusual” roles, like tech and leadership, and many characters are people of color, too. Plus, they’re all hilarious, with different personas ranging from Ally Walker’s no-nonsense leadership to Adeel Akhtar’s clingy desire to have close friends in the work place.

Truly, the biggest mystery of all is why Fox decided to cancel a show with so much promise. “Ghosted” garnered around 3 million viewers, and with a slew of well-known cast members meshing together in perfect paranormal harmony, the show gave viewers a lot to look forward too. However, the plug has been pulled, and “Ghosted” will reach it’s finale on Fox this month.

But, maybe, in the same way an old fling might suddenly return with a middle-of-the-night text, “Ghosted” could be revived by another network (I’m looking at you, NBC). Until then, fans can re-watch season one on Hulu and fantasize about the outcome of Max and Leroy’s escapades into the paranormal.

Abby Hall, Hollins University

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Abby Hall

Hollins University

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