Latest Features

Best Christmas movies streaming this month (November 2020)

Want to keep the peace this Christmas? Look no further. I've picked out the best Christmas movies to bring your family together,...

Best Thanksgiving movies streaming this month (October 2020)

Movies centered around the Thanksgiving holiday are definitely harder to come by than, say, Christmas films. However, there are enough to dig...

Best Stanley Kubrick movies streaming now (October 2020)

Legendary director Stanley Kubrick is synonymous with cinematic history, so it's never a bad idea to see which movies of his are...

Ranking the best movies on Hoopla this month (October 2020)

Hoopla is free and has something for everyone. From Scream to Battle Royale!

“Ghostwriter” review: Apple TV+ series reboot lacks spirit

Ghostwriter is Apple TV+’s reboot of the 1990s children’s TV series, and at least after a review of the opening episode, it’s a flop upon launch.

With the new streamer already renewing so many shows, it wouldn’t be a shock if this didn’t earn a Season 2. However, per Rotten Tomatoes, there are allegedly 26 episodes slated, although only seven are currently available. Now that’s spooky.

- Advertisement -

A number of factors made this new Ghostwriter go wrong, and while the intention was good, the execution wasn’t. Considering the strong quality of Apple TV+ original programming to date, this misfire is puzzling. What went wrong?

The young cast: This ain’t Stranger Things

Maybe we’ve been spoiled by children-driven shows by Netflix’s monster hit. Stranger Things cast some seriously prodigious thespians to carry their show. It seems Ghostwriter hoped to strike gold similarly in its own series featuring fantastical elements.

Unfortunately, those innate expectations, fair or not, were too much for these young actors to live up to. Did Apple TV+ not cast a wide net in auditioning for the leads?

One of children actors’ strengths tends to be their lack of inhibition and natural delivery. They don’t complicate things too much, and that can keep the story momentum going. That’s not the case here.

It’s unclear if Ghostwriter‘s fault is in the writing, and these kids just didn’t elevate the material. That’s hard to do in the first place, but in any event, their acting is just flat, wooden and the chemistry is really off.

Wildly different story — and bad CGI

- Advertisement -

The original Ghostwriter followed a group of young detectives around a Brooklyn neighborhood where they solved mysteries. This 2019 series is more about characters from books who come to life, conjured by the “ghostwriter” who haunts a local bookstore.

This episode focuses on characters from Alice in Wonderland. There’s a jarring cut from a scene in a cafeteria — with our main quartet of kids coming together — to a certain rabbit in the hallway.

Let’s just say the effects budget had to be limited on this one. The rabbit could’ve been done far better, as it looks like effects from 10 years ago.

- Advertisement -

Having a rabbit that appears in such a way is a distraction. As a viewer, I’m trying to stick with these kids and give them a chance. That particular feature took me out of the show, which was already tough to stick with.

Ghostwriter review verdict: Kill


  • Streaming on Apple TV+
  • Written & Directed by Luke Matheny
  • Starring Isaac Arellanes, Amadi Chapata, Hannah Levinson

When the backstory of the show’s creator is far more interesting than Ghostwriter itself, something’s not quite right.

Seriously though, Luke Matheny has a fascinating tale. He quit his job, moved to Paris to shoot a film with his friends, went broke and had to live with his parents. He then enrolled as a graduate student at New York University and won an Academy Award for his thesis short film.

Years later, Matheny ended up at the helm of this project. No doubt that stems from his work on a more successful children’s series, Amazon’s The Dangerous Book for Boys.

For whatever reason, Matheny’s piloting of Ghostwriter just didn’t quite land. It’d be great to see him get a shot with different material at another streamer. Winning an Oscar out of grad school is pretty sick, man.

Ghostwriter just seemed a little too formulaic and stilted — at least in review of its first, 23-minute episode. It just didn’t have me wanting more, as opposed to some of the creatively freer original content Apple TV+ and other competitors have put out in recent years.

Please follow us on Flipboard and Twitter for more news, rumors, and reviews. If you prefer Facebook or LinkedIn, we’re there as well and would love to talk streaming content with you and our group of friends.

Our Latest Podcast - LISTEN NOW

Latest Posts

Best Christmas movies streaming this month (November 2020)

Want to keep the peace this Christmas? Look no further. I've picked out the best Christmas movies to bring your family together,...

Best Thanksgiving movies streaming this month (October 2020)

Movies centered around the Thanksgiving holiday are definitely harder to come by than, say, Christmas films. However, there are enough to dig...

Best Stanley Kubrick movies streaming now (October 2020)

Legendary director Stanley Kubrick is synonymous with cinematic history, so it's never a bad idea to see which movies of his are...

Ranking the best movies on Hoopla this month (October 2020)

Hoopla is free and has something for everyone. From Scream to Battle Royale!

Don't Miss

New on Netflix: “White Lines” Review

Today on Binge Kill Chill (BKC), TC and Swaggy-D review White Lines on Netflix. Giving their quickfire opinions on what it is,...

New on Netflix: “The Wrong Missy” Review

Today on Binge Kill Chill (BKC), TC and Swaggy-D review The Wrong Missy on Netflix. Giving their quickfire opinions on what it...

Pluto TV: The Best Channels, Shows, and Movies Streaming in May 2020

Today on Binge Kill Chill, TC and Swaggy-D take a look at the revamped Pluto TV app. Picking...

Quibi founder blames pandemic for disappointing launch

According to an interview in the New York Post, Quibi's failings are all because of the coronavirus pandemic. We disagree.

“Waco” on Netflix Review, plus “Hollywood” & Much More

Today on Binge Kill Chill (BKC), TC and Swaggy-D review Waco on Netflix and give rapid-fire verdicts on four other shows that...