Despite launching with an interesting, original premise by spinning the X-Files formula into a comedy, Ghosted struggles early on to find its comedic rhythm and barely recovers until well into the latter period of the season. For a show that advertises itself as a comedy, the bitter irony here is that Ghosted simply isn’t very funny. The rapid pace this sci-fi show adopts is relentless too, accentuated by the 25 minute run time for most episodes that aim to squeeze as much content as possible in the shortest time frame possible. Although Ghosted does improve slightly as the series wears on, the issues are simply too numerous to ignore.
At the heart of Ghosted is the over-reliance on its comedic duo of Max (Adam Scott) and Leroy (Craig Robinson) who prove you’re only as funny as the script you’re dealt. Whilst the two individual actors are genuinely funny people, the script they’re given here does their comedic prowess no favours. Of course comedy is subjective and some people may find this show funny but the lack of consistency with the jokes or coherent theme to the sort of humour Ghosted is aiming for makes the show a tough sell. The series jumps between slapstick, awkward and physical humour without ever settling on a dominant theme and this indecisiveness makes Ghosted more difficult to watch than it should be, especially given the decent cast on show here.
The pilot episode jumps straight into the meat of the plot with a tiny snippet of both character’s lives before both of them are kidnapped and thrust into the arms of a secret government authority. Tasked with investigating paranormal activity, the pair seek out wild and wacky monsters every week in a script full of jokes and standard visual effects that aren’t terrible but also aren’t anything to write home about either. Whilst the refreshingly straightforward approach to the plot is certainly a welcome one, the lack of characterisation or back story for any of the characters does hurt the longevity of Ghosted. Its not helped by the fact that many of the jokes are dragged on unnecessarily and outstay their welcome and others simply don’t work and come off as cringe worthy.
For all its faults, Ghosted does have a weird quirky charm to it. The plot lines are suitably bonkers and its genuinely intriguing to see exactly what the monster of the week will be in each episode. As the series draws closer to its conclusion, the duo do settle into a more consistent rhythm after the chaotic opening few episodes and the series does improve slightly but to say the beginning of the show is painfully inconsistent and awkward would be an understatement. Ghosted is in such a rush to throw the two lead characters into funny situations and hope they spark comedy gold that they forget about a lot of the key components of a show to make it a comedy worthy of longevity. There’s little to no back story or rationale behind many of the actions and coupled with an incredulous plot line, even by comedy standards, make this a tough one to recommend.
Whether the majority of people can stick it out and see this comedy through to its conclusion which, in all fairness, does do a good job of improving from poor to mediocre and eventually settling into a consistent rhythm with its joke is anyone’s guess. Ghosted’s never truly funny even during its best moments and the fault rests solely at the poorly written scripts rather than the two lead actors who do their best job at trying to elevate what they’re given to work with. The lack of logical reasoning or backstory for any of the characters don’t help either and with so many issues plaguing Ghosted, it sadly makes it one of the worst comedies this year.
Verdict - 3/10