Entry updated 18 July 2022. Tagged: TV.
US animated tv series (2021-current). Disney Television Animation (see Disney on Television). Created by Bill Motz and Bob Roth. Directors include Johnny Castuciano, Stephen Heneveld, Sam King and Dave Knott. Writers include Paul Chang, Sammie Crowley, Cynthia Furey and Peter Limm. Voice cast includes Ashly Burch, Jules Medcraft, Lara Jill Miller, Dana Snyder. Twenty 22-minute episodes (usually two stories per episode). Colour.
Misanthropic ghost (see Supernatural Creatures) Scratch (Snyder), tasked with keeping the town of Brighton (USA) miserable, is hit by a ball of Thai/Irish tween positivity in the form of Molly McGee (Burch) when her family move into his house. He dramatically but recklessly curses her, asserting he will haunt her for the rest of her days. Molly has no problem with this and praises his performance, whilst Scratch realizes his wording was ill-chosen as he is now compelled to go wherever she goes. Grudgingly on his part, enthusiastically on hers, they become friends.
At school Molly befriends shy Libby Stein-Torres (Miller) and comes into conflict with mean girl Andrea Davenport (Medcraft). Adventures are had: Scratch possesses the unconscious body of Andrea (see Identity Transfer); the ghost of Abraham Lincoln helps Molly with her school work; Scratch attends a ghost seminar; Molly's (good) and Libby's (bad) luck (see Psi Powers) are swapped; Scratch becomes cute, catastrophic for a ghost; Molly, Libby and Scratch go on a Comet watch – unfortunately Libby is not good at staying up late and hallucinates being in one of her favourite Fantasy books, A Song of Snow and Humidity (see George R R Martin)
On a skull-shaped rock floating in a grey void, the Ghost Council – headed by the silent Chairman, who feeds on misery (see Vampires) – meets to ensure ghosts are maintaining high misery levels on Earth. Scratch is failing in this duty, so the season one finale has him prosecuted by the Council; whereupon Molly temporarily becomes a wraith (her physical body surviving as a kind of Zombie), allowing her to move through a Dimensional portal into the ghost realm (see Eschatology). Her natural ebullience means everything she touches there turns joyful, except the Chairman, who dissolves – literally killed by kindness.
Though generally cheerful and optimistic – most segments have an upbeat song – the first season often covers darker topics: at Libby's family Hanukkah celebrations her mother recounts how the Menorah was one of the few things her grandparents could take as they fled their home – we see a brick going through their window and people panicking in the streets (see Holocaust Fiction). In another episode Molly's father injures himself and the family are in desperate straights trying to pay the medical bills: to do so, they fail to pay their mortgage bills and are evicted, having to live in their car. A theme of the series is good citizenship, with the McGees actively engaging in their town's community, which is repaid when they are saved by the generosity of the townsfolk; an echo of It's A Wonderful Life (1946) is presumably intended.
This is an entertaining series with a few minor flaws: the sentimentality can be a little sugary, Scratch a little irrelevant at times, and the mildly eccentric townsfolk largely uninteresting; though one does build a Robot. However, Molly is engaging, her family likable, Libby charming, with Andrea getting character development – and the Humour is often very good. [SP]
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