Ghostwriter | Not the 90s Throwback You’re Looking For


I am a true child of the 90s.

 And one of my most vivid memories is on Sunday nights watching That’s My Dog on The Family Channel (have fun looking that up) immediately followed by Ghostwriter on PBS.

 I mean I LOVED Ghostwriter. Like I had my clue journal and pen on a necklace every Sunday ready to solve a mystery right along with Jamal, Alex, Lenni, Gaby, Tina and of course GW (Ghostwriter for you muggles). For a show in 1992, not only did it promote reading and writing to kids but had a diverse AF cast set in Brooklyn.

Tragically, the show ended before it’s time in 1995 due to the fact that they just didn’t have enough money to continue making this hit show.

 So imagine my excitement when I found out Apple TV Plus had plans to reboot one of my favorite shows of my childhood.

 And then I want you to imagine how absolutely let down I was watching episodes 1-7 when they launched on November 1.

I’m a bit of a purist on my beloved shows of the 90s, but I am also not against updating it for modern times. And update it they did.

In the original show, a group of teenagers were brought together by this ghost who uses the letters around them to send clues to solve mysteries. And only those chosen kids can see Ghostwriter’s messages. In this new version we get a new set of kids brought together that also can only see Ghostwriter’s messages. But to make matters more complicated, Ghostwriter releases story book characters from classic books that only the kids can see, THEN the kids have to figure out the book they came from, THEN read the book, THEN figure out why Ghostwriter sent the characters to them, THEN finally figure out how to get them back in the book. I’m exhausted for these kids.

Look, I get it. The reboot is focused on getting kids reading again. Noble cause. But the original educated me on what’s going on in the world today. 

You know what Ghostwriter taught me as a kid? That people were getting sick in the community garden because a chemical company had illegally dumped and buried partially empty barrels of Tetrachloroethylene, also known as PERC, in the garden. And the Ghostwriter team helped solve who was doing that. Caught ya Mr. Miller! 

Now jump to my real life. Years later, a neighborhood near mine found traces of Tetrachloroethylene in the ditch that ran beside it. And my sister and I immediately yelled out PERC! Cause Ghostwriter taught us THAT.

I’m not gonna poo poo on this reboot too bad. The demographic is obviously for a new generation and not those looking for a feel good throwback. In this digital age, these kids really do need to pick up a book or 10 because I really don’t think they know what paper feels like.

It just feels like they made one of my favorite shows too PG with the book characters running around. Which is a shame, because Ghostwriter was pretty in tune with the world during its heyday and I think the Sesame Workshop really missed the boat on this one.

Side note: for everybody who is irritated that there is another streaming service out there that we have to pay for, Apple TV Plus is free for a year if you’ve recently purchased a new Apple device. Happy watching!


TFS Rating: C