Seeing Ghosts

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a TV promo for a new show, and it caught my attention when it appeared that this show was about a journalist who talked to ghosts. Gee, where have I heard that before?

The show was Not Dead Yet, and it premiered this week, so I watched it. It turns out to have only a few things in common with my mystery series. It’s more of a chick-litty sitcom (though fortunately without the laugh track) rather than a mystery, and it is based on a book, just not mine. The premise is that a woman in her late 30s finds herself having to start her life over again after the boyfriend she dropped her whole life and career for to follow him to London dumps her. Now she’s back, hoping to pick up where she left off, only to find that her friends have married and started families and have moved up to editor positions in the newspaper where she used to work, while the only job she can get there is writing obituaries. Then she finds that she’s haunted by the people she’s assigned to write about. Each episode appears to be about her dealing with some issue in her life and the ghost trying to help by teaching some kind of life lesson. The ghost only goes away when she turns in the obituary, but then the next one arrives when she gets the next assignment.

In the two episodes that were on this week, she didn’t have to solve the murder of any of the ghosts, and she only sees that one ghost while she’s working on the obituary instead of seeing all ghosts, all the time. But since one of her goals is to get out of writing obituaries and become a “real” reporter again, I’m sure there’s bound to be an episode in which there’s a question about the person’s death and she uses the fact that she can interview the ghost to try to solve it so she can write the crime article.

Aside from the reporter who can talk to ghosts, the other similarities to my series are small. She does use pretending to talk on her cell phone as a way to cover up talking to a ghost in public. And there is a character named Lexi, but she’s not the heroine. She’s sort of the antagonist, the daughter of the newspaper owner who’s now running the paper. The heroine and her friends used to hate this woman, but when the heroine comes back to town, she finds that her friends have become friends with her. The heroine is still kind of at odds with her.

I’m honestly not entirely sure how much I like this series and if I want to watch it on an ongoing basis. I like the ghosts a lot more than I like the heroine, who’s a bit offputting. I know that the show is about her being a flawed person who has a lot of life lessons to learn, but she has a few Too Stupid to Live moments. I have a very low cringe tolerance and suffer from secondhand embarrassment, and there’s a lot of that in this show. But I’m still curious about how they handle the ghost stuff, and I’m worried about unintentionally copying something if I write another of my ghost mysteries, so I kind of feel like I have to watch so I know what to avoid.

If you like the idea of a journalist who can talk to ghosts and are okay with her not having to solve their murders, you might want to check this out. It’s on ABC on Wednesdays, and it looks like it streams on Hulu. If you want the journalist to be solving murders, read my Lucky Lexie mystery series.

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