The Real Ghostbusters episode 6 review

The Real Ghostbusters

Episode 006

Production number 75008 – 1986 ABC Season 1

“The Boogieman Cometh”

Written by Michael Reaves

Plot Synopsis:

The Ghostbusters are hired by 2 children to stop the Boogieman from coming out of their closet to scare them each night and Egon is eager to take the case, He and Boogieman have some history.

The Review:

Like “Troll Bridge” this is one of those episodes that everyone seems to remember, and why not? Could there be a more classic or iconic adversary for the Ghostbusters than the Boogieman himself? Well, maybe, but not many! This episode is terrific from beginning to end, great humour, genuine scares and peril and some character development and history to boot.

The episode opens with a little comic relief as the Ghostbusters are chasing a mobster ghost named Louie, who is clearly based on James Cagney. There’s some great quips here and some fun reckless driving from Winston. The boys get back to the firehouse and head to bed after an exhausting day. This is a feature of the show I find particularly amusing: The Ghostbusters sleep in pajamas in the same room. I guess it was easier than the guys each having their own place.

Enter the 2 children who have come to hire the Ghostbusters to rid them of the Boogieman. We get some standard heartwarming moments here as the guys wave their usual fee to take on the case for the kids. What’s interesting is what happens next, when we come face to face with the Boogieman. In a clever turn, the writer used this as an opportunity to give Egon a little back story. It seems that as a child Egon was tormented by the Boogieman as well, and it was that experience that lead him to the study of the supernatural in the first place. Further, Egon clearly has a personal score to settle with the Boogieman and is so gung-ho about it that the guys have to stop him from just charging headlong into danger with no plan.

This is the second episode that deals with a corporeal supernatural entity, the first being “Troll Bridge“. It gives the writer a chance to showcase the ingenuity and genius of the Ghostbusters as they devise alternate ways in which to combat the Boogieman. They can’t trap the beast after all, he’s not a phantom. Eventually they devise a way to seal the Boogieman in his own dimension permanently.

The design in this episode is top notch. The Boogieman is genuinely scary and unsettling. I can remember being freaked out by him as a child, and even as an adult the design is creepy and disturbing. The Boogieman’s realm is very impressive, inspired by M.C. Escher clearly, a world where the laws of physics don’t apply and paradoxes abound. It’s an interesting plot device too, as the Boogieman’s realm is full of doors which open up to children’s closets all over the world. Clearly the inspiration for Pixar’s Monsters Inc.

Another great episode in the series. And only 6 episodes in! It’s no wonder this series quickly climbed to number 1 in the ratings when it was on the air. And of course it only makes it all the more mind boggling that, having the number one animated series on television, ABC felt the need to hire consultants to “fix” the show. The results of which saw the show’s ratings decline sharply. We’ll get into that later though, after the first syndicated season is over. So episode 79 😉

Best line of the episode:

Egon “Why didn’t they believe us?”

Peter “Egon, we told them there was a monster in their kids’ closet, we’re lucky they didn’t have us arrested.”

Rating: 5 out of 5 on the PKE meter


~ by Pagz on November 15, 2010.

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