Ghosted

3 out of 5

Created by: Tom Gormican

Part of the problem is that Brooklyn 99 sort of cornered the market on the toothless, dumb/smart ensemble comedy.  The other part of the problem is that Ghosted – which is absolutely, tonally, an easy leap from Brooklyn 99 – lacks that show’s already ingrained cop show setup, and instead tries for a high concept Ghostbusters / X-Files thing that requires waaay too much setup, considering how silly it is.

And Toothless ain’t a bad thing; it just means that you’re never in doubt of any element of the show.  Some shows push beyond certain barriers, but it’s not required, and ‘toothless’ is a far, far cry from the primetime, laugh-track variant, which dives further under the covers of weekly comfort into something that’s wholly predictable from set-up to execution every step of the way.  The cast and writers of Ghosted are too self-aware and smart to allow that to happen, but they’re also out for easy laughs, so it’s a pleasing blend of character actors earning chuckles, jamming over juuuust interesting-enough scripts.

The show also adapts along the way (maybe in part to a changed showrunner) from a goofier, creeper-of-the-week format to more long-game conspiracy humor; while the former juxtaposes deadpan humor with hijinks, the MiB concept is too big for 20 minutes and never makes the proper impact.  The latter, meanwhile, doesn’t subjugate these guys and gals behind a creature reveal, allowing them to shine.  …Ahem, maybe bringing it closer to a Brooklyn 99 format.  And Ghosted could’ve been a good substitute for that show, considering its channel reorganization, but it lost too much of an audience behind that barrier-to-entry premise and waited too long to find a good footing, thus resulting in cancellation…

Pretend I gave you a summary of what the show was about somewhere up above.

 

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