Ghosts’ second season is showing no signs of slowing down, with Season 2 Episode 2, ‘Alberta’s Podcast’. This show knows what works, and just keeps on giving. As expected, the second episode of the season delivers a pitch-perfect combination of comedy and heart. The formula of focusing on one ghost per episode keeps everything moving at a break-neck pace, and sets up a near-endless supply of hilarious and heartfelt stories to tell.
The charm just radiates through every moment. From Jay’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar) mixed pop-culture references of The Hulk and Indiana Jones, to the shade thrown at historians, the comedy is unrelenting. So too, is the heart that brings everything together. You may find yourself loving beloved characters more than you already do. There’s also plenty to love about a character who was…less than lovable when he was first introduced.
Alberta’s Time to Shine:
We’ve always known Alberta is among the best that Ghosts has to offer. Danielle Pinnock is the embodiment of perfection, and we will hear nothing else. It’s long past time that the show unlocked more of her backstory in a Harlem period piece showcasing her incredible talent. What follows here is a heartfelt look at a woman whose size had been a barrier to her achieving all that she was capable. Sadly, fatphobia remains alive and well.
If anything, knowing more about Alberta makes her all the more lovable and relatable. She always had her principles and the code she lived by. That never stopped her from being true to herself, and what was right for her. The message is sweetly and fiercely empowering. We all have to be our own #1 fans. None of us deserves less. It’s so true of Alberta to remind us of this truth.
Not Another Podcast:
Era-specific phenomena like podcasts always bring out the best in the ghosts. The reactions always range from pure bafflement, to comparisons from their respective eras, in this case radio. The development of the podcast is also a great chance for the ensemble to shine. It’s clear that all of these characters, especially Pete (Richie Moriarty) and Sass (Román Zaragoza) all want to fully support Alberta, and rally around her in a really touching way.
Who knew that the show needed creepy Todd to come back to bring this story full-circle? Color this writer surprised. Yet, he manages to flip the creepy fanboy everyone mistrusts upside down, and deliver a surprisingly sweet performance. If we have to be subjected to terrible true crime content that glorifies killers, an Alberta podcast might just be the antidote. The fact that Alberta’s murderer is left as a mystery opens up the possibility for us to return to this story.
An A+ B-Story:
Ghosts always has stong B-stories. This one is one for the ages. Hetty’s (Rebecca Wisocky) sexual awakening via a certain…appliance. What follows is a self-love journey that Hetty deserves. This is also a pointed and necessary commentary on the importance of women’s’ sexual liberation, at any age and under any circumstance. Flower’s (Sheila Carrasco) patience and open-mindedness are a testament to her character.
This story is also a reminder that Hetty and Flower are really well-matched and make excellent friends. These two should spend more time together. Polar opposites in every way, there is so much chaos that they could cause together. Hopefully, this season sees more of them on-screen together, because their dynamic is a compelling one.
Ghosts has delivered two phenomenal episodes in as many weeks to kick off its second season. Each layer that gets pulled back on these characters leads to a deeper appreciation of where they’ve come from. The balance that this show continues to strike between the side-splitting laughs and the thoughtful, heartfelt moments is this show’s strength in spades. There’s no stopping Ghosts when it’s at its best. We’re just along to enjoy the ride.
Ghosts airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.