Ghost (The CW) pilot preview: Might as well be called The Conjuring new generation

jess

Created and executive produced by Kevin Williamson (The Following, The Vampire Diaries, Dawson’s Creek, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer). Directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones, Containment, The Flash, Arrow, Smallville…). Also executive produced by Lauren Wagner (Stalker, The Following). For The CW, Warner Bros. Television & Outerbanks Entertainment. 58 pages.

Description: In New Orleans, a young woman seeks help from a parapsychologist when she begins to experience paranormal phenomena after she almost died on a car crash one year before. Only to discover he may be a fake one. Together, they embark on an investigation inside a house that is supposed to be haunted…

With Megan West (How to Get Away With Murder), Matt Passmore (The Glades, Satisfaction, Underbelly), Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl, Complications, Kingdom)…

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If you read my review of Time After Time (still here), you already know all the love and admiration I have for Kevin Williamson. Clearly, Ghost is not his best work. It might even be one of his worst. But he’s THAT good that even one of his worst script is not that bad after all. I get why The CW ordered the pilot, though I’m not sure it would be a good idea to pick it up to series. Can people be that interested in a drama dealing with ghosts and haunted houses every week? I’m not sure. Yes, there was Ghost Whisperer, but it was a police procedural before anything else. It’s not the case here. It could get boring very fast, except if they decide to tackle other kind of supernatural activities at some point. But then, they would lose what makes it special, different. And I don’t see it having 22 episodes per season. It looks very much like a midseason entry, at best. Or it would be perfect for a summer run, but The CW doesn’t do that a lot so far.

Honestly, it’s a tough script to judge on paper. It’s based on suspense, fear. It’s written like a horror movie and Williamson, Scream’s creator, knows a thing or two in that department obviously. But he’s way better when there are serial killers involved. I’m still looking for the thrills. The quality of the final product is highly dependent on the director’s vision and execution anyway. Who happens to be David Nutter here. He’s the Kevin Williamson of the drama pilots’ directors. Everytime he directs one –every year– it’s ordered to series. So there’s every reason to be confident. If the frightening scenes don’t work though, then the whole series is a deadman walking.

It’s very much like The Conjuring in fact, but less efficient and instead of having investigators in their fifties, they are much younger and sexier. Because we’re on The CW. We can’t blame them for that. It’s already a tough sell as it is not to add more difficulties. I’m not a fan of the cast by the way. Matt Passmore is a good actor, but I have a hard time finding Jessica Szohr a good enough co-lead. it’s hard to tell about Megan West, as the heroine. So far, she has only played the dead -but alive in flashbacks- Lila in How To Get Away With Murder. But I’m always game for gingers!

Ghost is very character-driven. They all have a difficult and dark past we’re progressively introduced to. But everything about them is desperately predictable, from their reactions to their decisions, as is the progression of the investigation –and the ghost does everything by himself, they don’t have much work to do– and the twist in the end, that I saw coming since the first pages. And I think everybody will. It makes the whole pilot a bit uncomfortable to read. They withhold an information but we’re not that dumb, we know what’s happening. Weird choice.

I’m surprised to read that Ghost is a strong contender at The CW. So far, it’s the less compelling of the crop in my opinion and it doesn’t have any longtime potential. If they can make the pilot work somehow, I don’t see the series going very far. Too many things are missing and there’s no real argument to come back to it…

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