Attack of the Clones
“Ghosted” on FOX
Thanks to semi-
The supernatural sitcom stars Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) as Max Jennifer, a disgraced Stanford professor now working as a lowly bookstore employee. He, like Fox Mulder before him, is a dyed-in-the-wool “believer”—
So why are a conspiracy nut who works in a bookstore and a disbelieving former cop so important to this super-secret organization? They aren’t, apparently. “Ghosted” is mostly a comedy, and the “joke” is that Max and Leroy are sort of the “C” team, brought in to handle the dumb cases when all the real Bureau Underground agents are busy. Hey, we all love our ragtag losers, and “Ghosted” certainly works that vibe. There are also hints of backstory on our main characters. Turns out the crazy theories that got Max kicked out of academia are mostly true. And it seems that Leroy got his former partner killed, which explains his thorny love/hate relationship with Max.
The tone is fast and silly and tries to thread the needle between goofy and scary. The scary parts are less successful—mostly because we’ve had our fill of TV ghosts, demons, mutants, aliens and pseudo-vampires over the last decade or so. Robinson and Scott are reliable comic performers and do their best with what they’re given. It’s going to take some time for the stars to work their way into these hastily drawn characters. Robinson’s credulous crime-fighter feels particularly formulaic—
If you’re an insatiable fan of the genre, “Ghosted” will more or less do the job it was hired for. And it will probably get better over time. But, given the level of comic talent involved, it just makes you wish FOX would invest a little more effort, inject a bit more originality in its shows. Heck, even that last season of “The X-Files” felt more like a lazy knockoff of “The X-Files.” Just because they’re genre shows doesn’t mean they have to remain mired in the same-old same-old.