Watch the BBC Ghosts First series on HBO Max

The Captain, Kitty, Fanny and Mary all prepare to haunt Alison and Mike.

Screenshot: BBC One

Just in time for a spooky season, CBS is preparing to release its adaptation of Ghosts, the 2019 BBC One comedy about a cash-strapped married couple that unexpectedly becomes the latest, modern-day owners of a sprawling and once luxurious country mansion that just so happens to be infested with a bunch of ghosts. To watch the CBS trailers’ Ghosts, you might feel like a lot of work went into changing the story to work better for American audiences, and to be fair, that could have been CBS’s goal with the project.

But it would be almost irresponsible to dive into CBS ‘ Ghosts without at least giving the original a chance, not only to see the differences between the two, but to really appreciate how charming the 2019 series was and understand why it’s been airing for three seasons. That much.

Ghosts follow as Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and husband Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) leave their old city life for a new start at Button House, a decrepit old mansion that has long since fallen into disrepair. advanced before its previous owner (the last living Button) has died at the age of almost 100. While selling the property as is would give Alison and Mike the financial boost they both desperately need, something about Button House speaks to both of them, and they don’t need much. to decide to keep and renovate it. that for themselves.

While everyone is free to try their hand at reinventing ghost stories, BBC One’s Ghosts apparently had no interest in trying. Instead, he takes a much simpler approach. At the same time as the show features Mike and Alison, it also begins to spotlight the important and titular cast of the deceased spirits who have spent their lives at Button House without being seen by the living.

One of the reasons that people alive tend to avoid Button House is the many reports from locals of a gray lady who can be seen wandering the hallways at night and can be heard screaming as she falls from one of the second story windows in the moonlight. As alarming as the Gray Lady’s reputation is, the reality is that Lady Fanny Button (Martha Howe-Douglas) is a rather harmless appearance who just can’t help but relive the last traumatic moments of his life while his phantom companions in the house try to sleep. Fanny, like all the other ghosts in Button House, is tied to the property due to some sort of unfinished business that she cannot complete due to her inability to fully interact with the living world. The presence of Alison, one of Fanny’s descendants, both delights and alarms the ghost because of what it might mean for the future of their family estate. Alison keeping the house would mean Button House stays with the family, which Fanny would be very fond of.

But Alison and Mike’s plans to make it into a hotel are the sort of thing that Fanny and other ghosts like Mary (Katy Wix), a Stuart-ghost era who was burned at the stake under the pretext of practicing witchcraft, want to avoid because of what the living can be a nuisance to the dead. In the beginning Ghosts‘series premiere, Fanny, Mary and other ghosts like Captain (Ben Willbond), a locked-in WWII Army officer, come together to hunt Alison and Mike using the hilt of abilities that death brings them together. offer. Robin (Laurence Rickard), a caveman who died on the land where Button House was eventually erected), can interfere with the lights by focusing, lewd ’90s MP Julian Fawcett (Simon Farnaby) can move small objects by concentrating enough to make her finger point tangible, and every time people walk past Mary, they smell puffs of the same smoke that choked her while she was roasted.

Mary the Ghost explaining how the living smell of burning when they walk through her.

Screenshot: BBC One

Together the ghosts all to try haunt Alison and Mike out of Button House, but since neither of the ghosts can manifest enough disturbance to be noticed, it all seems to be in vain. All of this changes, however, and Ghosts really hits her stride once Alison has an accident and a near death experience that suddenly gives her the ability to perceive her and Mike’s new roommates.

Although Ghosts isn’t exactly a parody of a series, many of its best jokes are subtle deconstructions of the haunted house genre and ideas about ghosts that come to your mind when watching stories about them. Pat (Jim Howick), the ghost of a camp counselor who perished in an unfortunate archery accident, doesn’t really consider him to be Button House’s ghost leader, but he best represents the how each of them truly enjoys each other’s company, regardless of whether they are dead or not, which is one of the more subtle truths Ghosts begins to establish itself very early. No one is really commenting on the fact that Kitty (Lolly Adefope), a wealthy Georgian-era socialite, is a black woman who historically doesn’t seem to make much sense at Button House because everyone is way too busy to be annoyed by Kitty’s incessant questions and her overexcitability. The ghosts’ familiarity with each other makes them close to each other, especially in times when they must decide how to proceed once it’s clear Alison can see them all.

What seems to be the biggest difference between BBC One Ghosts and the CBS adaptation shows how comfortable the two shows are and are just stories about a bunch of people hanging out in a house together. As interesting as some of the Button House mysteries are, most episodes of the BBC show are really about Alison and Mike learning that something else about the mansion is beyond their ability to fix, and they’ll have to think a new way to make quick cash, like renting the place to a film crew Downton abbey-like period drama.

The new adaptation’s other most blatant way of deviating from its predecessor is that the ghosts exclusively haunt Button House’s basement after they die at some point during the bubonic plague’s spread across Europe. . While the ghosts of the BBC One plague Ghosts are all played by the same actors playing the ghosts upstairs, the CBS show drops the running joke by bringing in other actors instead, which has the overall effect of making the haunted house a much more space. transient.

Everytime Ghosts reminds you that it is possible for one of their spirits to move on to the next stage of the afterlife, it is less about pointing out what is at stake as each other’s relationships grow stronger, and more to laugh at the fact that some people really can’t cope no matter how long they try.

Which undoubtedly makes BBC One Ghosts something worth checking out whether or not you plan to tune into the CBS premiere is the fact that it’s been going on for a while. CBS ‘ Ghosts might turn out to be the short film you want to watch every week once it premieres on October 8, but the first three series of the BBC One original are now streaming on HBO Max.

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