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The Binge-Watch List: Deadbeat shows signs off life

Monty Ashley | April 28, 2014
It's not hard to find TV shows to watch these days. But finding good ones to watch amid all the streaming video services fighting for your attention and your eyeballs? That's more of a challenge. Every other week, we'll help you separate a would-be House of Cards from the rest of the pack, as we look at which streaming TV shows are worth your time.

What makes it not so great

There's a lot of ghosts causing trouble in the world of Deadbeat, so much so that you'd expect mediums would be in high demand. These aren't the kind of ghosts that show up in a window during the full moon; instead, they're the kind of ghosts that actively make things fly around the room. You'd think that Kevin's proven track record of ghost-mollification would get him some success, but he stays a loser for the whole first season. To be fair, some of his lack of success is probably due to the fact that he's not very good at self-promotion or self-motivation or really anything other than talking to ghosts.

The show's humor is not terribly sophisticated. For example, a Japanese-American ghost is named "Hiro Tamagotchi," and I'm pretty sure it's because of those little digital pets that were all the rage 15 years ago. In another episode, Kevin runs afoul of the Swedish mafia, which is a cavalcade of terrible accents and jokes about eating meatballs. I'm not saying none of the meatball talk was funny, but you should know going in that this is a show that's more interested in dopey jokes than subtle, character-based comedy.

What's the math

Ghostbusters divided by Workaholics divided by My Name Is Earl.

So how is it?

It's OK. Kevin is an appealing character, which is important for a show where he's in almost every scene and spends so much time just wandering around empty rooms waiting for ghosts to show up. If you're going to spend a lot of time with an aimless loser, it's nice to have one who's relatively cheerful. And although the ghosts have a tendency to state the episode's task in very blunt, expository terms, they usually have interestingly convoluted reasons for their goals.

How many hours should I watch in at once?

One. Three episodes in a row would be pushing the limits. That will let you get through the season's ten episodes in just over three sittings.

 

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