Allison and Mike are a young couple looking for an apartment and getting bogged down in the odyssey of renting under draconian conditions that anyone who hasn’t had a house drop into their laps out of the blue knows all too well, (out of the blue meaning family inheritance or a generous financial contribution from your folks). But then an apartment actually does fall into their laps out of the blue. And not just any apartment: a mansion. Allison and Mike, naturally celebrate the fact like they’ve just thrown the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. However, there’s only one slight setback: it’s haunted by ghosts.
Many of you reading this might think, ‘so, what’s the big deal? You can live with ghosts. After all, you can’t see or hear them and to be honest, I’ve had far more annoying roommates.’ But you’d only say that because you’ve no idea just how many spirits inhabit this mansion, which has been accumulating the dead for centuries. Our band of banshees come from all ages, so we have a romantic poet from the 19th century who died in a duel sharing space with a captain who fought in World War II, a stone age man, a nobleman who was beheaded during Tudor times, a politician who was the protagonist of a sexual scandal in the 90s, a woman of nobility from the 17th century who was burned at the stake accused of witchcraft, and that’s just for starters. Each one with their own particular take on things and ways of understanding the world.
As such, it’s hardly surprising that the series they star in, “Ghosts” (available on Movistar next February 26), might smack of being as crowded as the standalone cabin scene from the Marx brothers classic, A Night At The Opera, only here instead of stowaways, waiters and manicurists, it’s populated by spirits who refuse to leave our world. The mansion is their home and, although they rarely see eye-to-eye, it’s clear to everyone they have no intention of letting Allison and Mike ‘squat’ in their mansion, let alone turn it into a hotel, which is their plan. Based on this premise, the series builds berserk and hilarious situations. Every fresh attempt by the ghosts to expel the living from their domain ends in gut-busting scenes with the poor spirits defeated. It’s like The Canterville Ghost revisited and filtered through the strainer of the craziest British comedy. Logical considering that series creators are those responsible for recent shenanigans such as Yonderland and Horrible Histories. In the style of other groups of British comedians, in addition to the screenwriting, this motley crew are also the stars of the show, and as such, know perfectly well how to take advantage of each member’s comic abilities, with some of the cast playing multiple characters.
The series also explores each ghost’s past as every episode reveals how one of our specters died, so that we better comprehend just why they’ve been prowling among the living. The whole concept of unfinished business allows the series to introduce a minimal dramatic depth to the characters, although this aspect is never overdone as it’s evident that “Ghosts” is a comedy and, unlike others, the goal here is to make audiences laugh out loud, which it does, and often. At a certain point in the story, due to an “accident”, Allison can suddenly see and communicate with ghosts, so that she can get to know them beyond the scares they give them (the fact that only she sees them also helps to create even more crazier situations). And by getting to know the spirits, the series can delve into what a ghost’s day-to-day looks like: they celebrate the day they died as if it were a birthday, they don’t like Christmas because of all the memories it entails, etc., while simultaneously developing the storyline of Allison and Mike, as they come a cropper time and time again trying to turn the mansion into a business. In the interim, they begin to grow fonder of their housemates, and so do we.