TRACY: ‘Ghosted’ brings some laughs, bit lackluster

Adam Scott (left) and Craig Robinson (right) create a traditional on-screen relationship between a dork and tough guy. Photo via

There’s something charming about FOX’s new “Ghosted,” a supernatural buddy cop comedy airing Sunday nights. It isn’t exactly great, not yet anyway, but through the show’s first four episodes it has potential to be one of the best new shows this fall.

After getting fired from Stanford University for telling others that aliens abducted his wife, Max Jennifer, played by Adam Scott, works at a local bookstore trying to keep a low profile. His cohort, Leroy Wright, played by Craig Robinson, was demoted to a mall police officer after being fired from Los Angeles Police Department. The two are at rock bottom when a special division of the government, that deals with the supernatural called “The Underground,” suddenly kidnaps the pair. If Max and Leroy can help the Bureau out with solving their cases, then the Bureau will help them get their lives back to normal.

The chemistry between Scott and Robinson is terrific. One’s a dork and the other’s a tough guy. But the two of them bounce jokes off each other, so it’s always amusing at the very least.

The best example of this is in the third episode, “Whispers,” where the two leads search for a killer that steals the heart from its victims. Max comes up with the idea that they’re in town for a bachelor party, and Leroy wishes he could fly back to LA. During a photo shoot, the two of them get into a banter about poses they should do, with Leroy threatening to kill Max.

One of the show’s bigger issues so far is that Leroy seems to be the one that’s always in danger and Max always has to come to the rescue. In one episode, when Max and Leroy are trying to find a child bitten by a poisonous cat that turns people into zombies, Leroy gets bit, causing Max to panic. In another episode, Leroy tries to date someone, but ends up getting possessed by her and attempts to throw Max off the balcony of a hotel. In the most recent episode, a giant bug attacks Leroy, causing Max and the members of the Underground to try and save him.

Four episodes in, this feels a bit repetitive. It’s still entertaining to watch Robinson and the gang into full panic mode but I do wonder how long this premise can last.

My love for the Carmichael Show is well-known, and I’m happy to see Amber Stevens West in another series. After a brief appearance in the pilot episode, she’s started to get more grounded within the show’s universe, with a brief subplot in “Whispers,” where she and Addel Akhtar’s character are trying to find the head of the Underground’s daughter. West’s character also showed up to save the day when a poisonous virus turning people into zombies possesses Leroy. I can only hope future installments continue to develop the character.

Ghosted right now is doing okay just coasting along with its cast, but it needs to set up some serious stakes. There’s a twist at the end of the third episode that seems to hint at where the show is going for the long-term, and that was exciting to see. Each episode of the show improves a bit from the last one, with the most recent episode being the best of the show thus far. With the World Series coming up, Ghosted will be taking a brief break with the show returning next month; but, if you’re a fan of the X-Files or science fiction shows in general, you may want to give this a try.