"One of the best comedies of the decade has come to an end … and we’ve
laughed, cried and laughed even more. Farewell you sweet, life-affirming show –
TV won’t be the same without you
I am trying to narrow down my favourite scene from Ghosts
. Perhaps it’s 1980s
Scout Master Pat (Jim Howick) creating his own radio station – adverts included
“Buy cheese. Please” – then realising no one can hear him on account of him
being dead. It could be whenever 17th-century witch trial victim Mary (Katy
Wix) accuses swans of being “Lucifer’s lackeys” or calls a camera a “one-eyed
metal cow”. Then there’s the episode where the plague sufferers who live in the
basement become stans – ie obsessive fans – of tortured romantic poet Thomas
(Matthew Baynton), only to lose interest when they actually hear his poetry.
The beauty of Ghosts
– the much-loved BBC sitcom whose fifth and final series
airs this month – is that this description could either be a highlights reel of
top television or the ramblings of a particularly intense fever dream.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of Ghosts
, the premise is simple enough:
when you die, you spend the afterlife haunting the location of your death …
wearing the outfit you died in. This is particularly unfortunate if you are the
90s Tory MP Julian (Simon Farnaby), who wanders around without trousers after
dying in a sleaze scandal, caught for ever (literally) with his pants down.
Our ghosts are spending eternity in Button Hall, a dilapidated stately home
recently inherited by young couple Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell
Smith-Bynoe). After falling from a window and nearly dying, Alison develops a
new ability: she can see ghosts.
What follows is a classic ensemble comedy that is somehow both gently
reassuring and gag-heavy. Recent years have seen the dominance of the
“dramedy”, where some of the best comedies being made (such as This Way Up
) tackle serious issues such as suicide and sexual abuse.
Like other “comfort blanket” shows such as Ted Lasso
and Schitt’s Creek
goes counter to the trend: when the world is a bin fire, comedy
doesn’t have to have a worthier aim than to make the viewer smile."
It is an excellent show! The US version is also quite good.
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics