12:12pm PT by Daniel Fienberg
Take Me to the Pilots '17: Fox's 'Ghosted'
(I'll remind you at the top of every single one of these: These entries are not reviews. They're gut reactions to not-for-air pilots that could change in big and small ways between now and September or October or midseason. Full reviews will come then. They'll be longer. And more carefully considered. The opinions may even change. Who knows?)
Show: Ghosted (Fox)
The Pitch: "Adam Scott & Craig Robinson vs. The Paranormal"
Quick Response: Why is that so difficult? See that pitch? That's basically the premise of a show I would watch. Anything more than that is gravy. And the pilot for Ghosted is complete and total gravy, giving viewers 22-ish minutes of "characters" and "premise" and other stuff that verges on total MacGuffin status. I'm already there! You don't need to sell me! It barely matters to me what Adam Scott's Max and Craig Robinson's Leroy do for a living before or what conditions make them amenable to inquests into the paranormal or gifted in their new pursuits. The pilot to Ghosted, however, thinks I care, and it thinks my caring is more important than laughs, so I spent a half-hour being told things I'd probably have taken on faith and following an initial investigation that couldn't be less interesting. Scott and Robinson are both fine in the pilot, and I like both of them enough that I'm prepared to assume that when they're given funny stuff to do, they'll be funny doing it, but instead the pilot tries to convince me not that they're funny, but that it makes sense for them to be investigating the paranormal. But I don't care if it makes sense! I just want it to be amusing. Unfortunately, the pilot fails at the one other responsibility it has that's more important than making it plausible, and that's establishing the few supporting characters, the parts that aren't played by Robinson and Scott, in ways that make me think they're going to be worthwhile facets of the show. Neither Ally Walker nor Adeel Akhtar is bad, but neither adds anything. The role played in the original pilot by Edi Patterson was actively unamusing and, not surprisingly, the part has been recast (which won't necessarily help) and is being tweaked (which may).
Desire to Watch Again: High! Some retooling to the pilot could help, but what might help even more is just starting the series at episode two with Max and Leroy on the job and doing what they're going to do in the series. Audiences are smart. You can have characters battling the supernatural and not require me to watch their interview process, at least not immediately.
Take Me to the Pilots '17: NBC's 'The Brave'
Take Me to the Pilots '17: CBS' 'Young Sheldon'
All of my 2016 Take Me to the Pilots Entries