This article contains spoilers for the Ghosts season 1 finale.
The series is an American adaptation of the BBC UK sitcom of the same name. Many previous US remakes of UK sitcoms and dramas have not succeeded in the past. But through word of mouth and social media buzz, American audiences have fallen in love with the supernatural residents of Woodstone Manor and the show is now the most successful CBS sitcom in years, especially with Millennials and Gen X viewers. Since the first season finale wraps an intriguing cliffhanger in a heartwarming package, Den of Geek spoke to series executive producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman for some inside Woodstone Manor information.
Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) have spent the whole season preparing to launch the bed and breakfast and that moment has finally arrived. Unfortunately, the road to opening day has a few final obstacles that must be faced. First of all the Farnsbys decide to try to buy Woodstone Manor to try to stop the B&B from opening. Once the offer is rejected, the Farnsbys open up a rival B&B called the “Farnsby & B” to siphon customers away.
At the Farnsby’s house, Sam once again meets a new ghost. We don’t get her name but she’s wearing 1950’s or early 1960’s clothes. Thinking about other dramas from that era set in and around New York, the new ghost looks like one of Peggy Draper’s friends on Mad Men or a side character on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
“We have some stuff planned out for her,” Port says.
“We think she’s a Farnsby.” Wiseman adds, “We actually have a pretty good idea of how she died, but we don’t want to spoil it…”
A good season finale gives space to reflect on the plot journey so far, and this takes a heartwarming twist with the discovery of the termites in the basement. Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long) claims the discovery is due to the “curse” he put on the house at the beginning of the season. Sasappis’ (Román Zaragosa) skepticism that the curse is real is quickly disproven by the chandelier crashing to the floor. Alberta believes the cure for the curse may cause Sam to lose her powers gained from the accident. The ghosts say goodbye and thank you for how much Sam has changed their afterlives since the beginning of the season. All of the jokes and reminiscing convinces her to not go through with the curse reversal. This scene reminds us all of why we all started watching the show and caring about these characters in the first place.
The “say it before it’s too late” feeling also extends to another plotline that has not been fully resolved. Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) convinces Issac (Brandon Scott Jones), complete with some misquoted Hamilton lyrics, that he should tell Nigel (John Hartman) how he feels. Jenkins, another redcoat ghost tries to sabotage things by telling both of them misinformation, but that fails as Issac finds Nigel. Issac finally tells Nigel he likes him in front of all the other ghosts. Hetty is a proud momma bear while the other ghosts may have been initially confused by these developments, they’re happy the air is clear. Fans may have predicted Nigel/Isaac as an endgame but it wasn’t alway the plan at the beginning.
“I think we really liked their dynamic with Brandon [Scott Jones] and John Hartman,” Port says. “It just seemed like a compelling thing that we wanted to explore.”
Wiseman adds: “It became apparent a few weeks into it as we’re breaking story that this is going to be something that we want to keep tracking and it would be. It felt like a nice arc to the end of the season to have [Isaac] finally be able to express feelings. He’s been taking steps with Hetty, so it was, again, not master planned, but it was something that we thought would be a nice capper to the season.”
Sam and Jay decide to settle their beef with the Farnsbys the best way they know how: a pickleball match, which is something that comes directly from one of the creators’ experiences.
“My wife’s relatives spend time in Florida, and they would always come back raving about pickleball and telling me how it’s the fastest growing sport in America,” Port said. “Apparently if you Google it, it is. I’ve never played it, but it looks fun.”
Weisman also admits to not indulging in the game. “I just never really heard about it until this last year. Multiple people mentioned playing it or being introduced to it. When we introduced the Farnsbys in the dinner party episode, we thought it was just a funny, specific [thing] that they were really into it, then we decided to use that as a fun plot device.”
Henry gets injured during the match resulting in Sam and Jay win by default. The duplicate B&B is now out of business.
Woodstone Manor’s first guests interrupt Nigel and Issac’s conversation. Just as Sam and Jay are about to greet them, the floor buckles and they fall into the basement. The final shot of the season is Sam and Jay trying their best to keep it cute as it’s very clear Woodstone Manor isn’t quite ready for primetime. Why were the termites held as a main episode plot point until now?
“The thing that we were working toward for the end of season one was the opening of the bed and breakfast,” Port says. “Once we got the back order of the last five episodes, we thought that was a good amount of time to go from the first half of the season, where we’d been establishing the characters and learning about different fact stories and mysteries, and shift into opening the B&B gear. Then the termites became apparent to them when evidence of physical problems started manifesting.”
“Mark, the contractor, pointed it out to [Sam and Jay],” Wiseman adds. “The house is a money pit. It’s been neglected for decades, and when they inherited the house, they didn’t really go through the normal process of inspections. Afterwards they then kind of went through it, so its problems just spring up all the time. Like they say in the finale, it’s just one thing after the other, it’s like it’s cursed.”
“Farnsby & B” brings to a close most of the questions raised in the pilot. Sam and Jay have embraced the challenges of both starting up a new business and Sam living with neurodivergence in the form of seeing ghosts. Season 1 has answered most of the background histories of the main ghost characters. Most importantly, Ghosts has built a community of both American horror comedy fans and picky Anglophiles (such as myself) who are frequently disappointed with US adaptations that don’t respect the UK source material. We have to wait a few months before we can see our favorites in Woodstone Manor again but keep your eyes peeled for a second part to our interview with Joe Port and Joe Wiseman which will be published soon.