The Student
Review
Ghosts: Series Two Review
by Molly Turley, 15/10/20

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you’ve got it, haunt it. And the second series of Ghosts certainly does haunt it. After a year, The BBC’s wonderfully silly sitcom is back, much to the delight of many avid fans. From the creators of the almost cult-like classic Horrible Histories, the show has remained true to its origins, offering the same manic slapstick that was so appealing and immersive the first time round. And now, the team has returned for more hysteria, giving viewers a much-needed boost in the midst of all this uncertainty.

After a rocky start, newlywed couple Alison and Mike are finally settling into their inherited estate, Button Hall. As the second series evolves, the living couple seem to have found a harmonious middle-ground of sorts with their ghoulish counterparts, but now, the living and the dead combined have to face a bigger enemy: paranormal “experts”. At the same time, these new episodes have focused more on the backstories of the ghosts. After all, I think the first thing we all wanted to know was: how did they die? Series Two not only answers these questions, but delves deeper into the lives of the beloved spirits, all while not detracting from the constant peril that Alison and Mike seemingly can’t avoid.

One of the main working points of the series is just how absurd it is. Despite Alison previously wanting nothing to do with the ghosts, this season she has completely changed her tune, utilising them to generate money to fix up the house. The only problem? The ghosts don’t like that idea. The premise is, indeed, laughable, but it works – even for the dead, your life is a living nightmare it seems, and it’s the hilarity of this idea that drives the show.

One stand-out episode for me was ‘Bump in the Night’. When burglars break in, it is up to the ghosts to warn Mike, who is passed out in bed upstairs (and can’t see them). As the ghosts scramble together to save the house, everything seems to descend into hilarious mayhem, featuring moments such as the ghosts trying to speak on the phone to the police until realising that, of course, they’re dead; or the ghosts trying to get the “plague girl” to sing the iconic phrase “burglary in progress” into the phone line. It is all of this ludicrousness that makes the show as comical as it is, and it is the type of “traditional” comedy that has been missed by many.

But while there is no denying that Ghosts is a riotous laugh, there also seems to be a new, more sensitive, dimension. In particular, the third episode of the show concerns the Captain’s past in the war, and while there have been hints previously, the storyline is still stunning and heart-wrenchingly beautiful (no spoilers!). The fact that the creators have elected to add these more emotional moments to the series just further aids in making Ghosts as beloved as it is, and adding a complexity that similar shows don’t seem to offer (making it all the more appealing). 

It is an understatement to call Ghosts a spooktacular sitcom. From the incredible cast to the daftness of the plot, the new series is perfect for cheering anyone up right now. Yes, the show uses the same scapegoat for each crisis (that being the ghosts), but the writing is so fresh that it doesn’t feel obvious. With a third series already commissioned for 2021, I know that I can’t wait to see what hijinks happen next – can you?

Image credit: Russotc0 via Pixabay