As an avid Horrible Histories fan, when I heard the news last year that the cast were reuniting to make a sitcom about ghosts, I was beyond excited. Finally there was another way for me to watch my childhood heroes on the TV without sitting in front of old Horrible Histories episodes for hours on end. Safe to say, it did not disappoint. Season One of Ghosts followed the story of a young married couple, Alison and Mike, who unexpectedly inherit an old and dilapidated country house with broken sewage pipes and ghosts… lots of them. Having loved every second of its first season, I was over the moon to hear it was coming back for a second series. The only worry I had was that, having set the bar so high with Season One, could Season Two really fill the footsteps of its predecessor?
In hindsight, I can’t believe I even doubted for a second that Season Two wouldn’t live up to mine and so many other fans’ expectations. Whereas in Season One the first two episodes had been spent setting up the plot, and the other four on establishing characters and their relationships, Season Two was able to delve straight into the fun. The comedy in Ghosts is silly, yes, but it’s also incredibly clever and witty. A lot of its humour comes from the clash of culture between the many different eras each of the ghosts died in, especially when compared to the modern day. There seems to be endless possibilities of where they can go with it, so you never know where the next laugh is going to come from, which is part of what makes it so hysterical.
The comedy in Ghosts is silly, yes, but it’s also incredibly clever and witty
And though, of course, I had expected it to be hilarious, I was surprised at how heart-warming I found it as well. Despite the fact that there’s almost always one of the ghosts getting in Alison’s way and causing some sort of awkward situation in her life, it’s clear to the audience that she’s actually become quite fond of them. Her relationship with Kitty, an endearingly naive and childish ghost from the Georgian era, is especially sweet and there’s something quite touching not just about the way Kitty considers Alison to be her best friend but also in the way Alison (sort of) reciprocates it. There also seems to be a shift in how Alison responds to the ghosts’ demands of her compared to Season One. Whereas before she’d obey their orders to shut them up and get them to leave her alone, she now seems to do it out of a mutual respect and because she actually wants to be mindful of their wishes. Her interactions with them are no longer just out of the necessity to get on with her life but instead because she genuinely seems to enjoy their company.
I often found myself moved at the most surprising times due to Ghosts’ brilliant way of handling death in such a non-morbid but still sensitive manner
The biggest strength of Season Two though was the way in which each episode was structured. I loved the insight into the life of Pat, a scoutmaster from the 80s, and the story of his death in the third episode of Season One and had hoped for more episodes like it in Season Two. Once again Ghosts did not disappoint, not just with the new stories being told but also with the way in which it was done. The success of the parallels between the episode’s plot and the story of the featured ghost’s life or death, and the way it was told so that it perfectly reflected the ghost in mention, is a real credit to the show. Yes, it’s funny, but it’s also poignant. Similar to Season One, I often found myself moved at the most surprising times due to Ghosts’ brilliant way of handling death in such a non-morbid but still sensitive manner.
To put it simply, the second season of Ghosts is pure brilliance. Brilliant writing, brilliant characters, brilliant comedy, brilliant everything! It’s no secret that 2020 has been a terrible and terrifying year for everyone across the globe, and though Ghosts can’t exactly fix that, its six new half-hour episodes of pure joy and escapism help to shine a little light on a world that often feels completely dark.