tek's rating: ½

Ghosted, on FOX
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Leroy Wright (Craig Robinson) is a former missing persons LAPD detective, who was fired after his partner was killed in the line of duty. Now he's a security guard at a mall. Max Jennifer (Adam Scott) is a former Stanford professor of astrophysics who was fired after he claimed his wife was abducted by aliens. Now he works in a bookstore. One day, they're both kidnapped by a secret government organization called the Bureau Underground, which investigates and deals with paranormal activity. It is run by Captain Ava Lafrey (Ally Walker). Other agents include Dr. Barry Shaw and a weapons and tech expert named Annie Carver (Amber Stevens West, whom I know from The Carmichael Show). The reason Leroy and Max have been kidnapped by the Bureau is because a field agent named Mike Checker had disappeared right after sending a message to HQ saying that if anything happened to him, the Bureau should get those two men to help find him. It's unclear why he said this, because neither of them have any idea who he is. But anyway, Lafrey wants them to work the case for just two days, in exchange for which she promises to get them their old jobs back. Leroy is reluctant, but Max agrees almost at once, at least partly because the Bureau are the only ones who believe him about his wife's abduction. By the end of the pilot, Leroy and Max have found Checker, but can't stop his abduction by what appears to be an alien spaceship. And the two of them are hired by the Bureau as field agents, because they still want to get Checker back. Meanwhile, they'll be assigned various other cases to investigate. The show is mostly a comedy, and most of the humor comes from Leroy and Max's very different personalities. (Max is eager to become friends with his new partner, Leroy is not. But eventually they do become friends.) The paranormal elements of the cases they work can be somewhat interesting, though.

The show began in October 2017; after the ninth episode aired in January 2018, the show went on hiatus until June. That time was spent retooling the show, under a new showrunner. When it returned for seven more episodes, it was a bit different. There was less field work, and it became more of an office show, with more oddball characters in the office. Max discovered that the Bureau's headquarters had been bugged, and he wanted to investigate that. However, Captain Lafrey was replaced by some guy named Merv Minette, who ordered the team not to investigate it. Lafrey remained in a demoted position, though it's unclear exactly what her role was, now that Merv was in charge. And Merv really didn't seem to take seriously the supernatural stuff that was the whole point of the Bureau's existence, so I'm not sure what he even expected his employees to do. Anyway, there were actually six episodes under the new showrunner, the last of which could be seen as a season finale as far as the show's new direction was concerned. But the week after that, the actual season finale aired, which had been filmed earlier, when the old showrunner was in charge, and it totally ignored the events of the previous six episodes. Which was weird. But at least it offered some answers to the questions that had been raised in the pilot episode.

But even before the season ended, FOX had cancelled the series, so there will be no season two. It's unclear how (or even if) the different styles and plotlines of the different parts of the season might have eventually been resolved, if there had been another season. And I'm really not quite sure which version of the show I preferred. I thought they were both okay, and they both had potential for improving, but neither version was great. It was reasonably fun, though, and I'm mildly disappointed by its cancellation.

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