The Real Ghostbusters Episode 22 Review
The Real Ghostbusters
Production number 76009 – 1986-Syndicated
“Venkman’s Ghost Repellers”
Written by Richard T. Meuller
Peter’s con man father is in town peddling ghost repellent ponchos, much to Peter’s dismay. But when an expedition to the fabled New Jersey Parallelogram goes missing while wearing the fraudulent fabric, it’s up to the ghostbusters to go in and rescue them.
I won’t mince words, this is a disappointing episode. It’s a shame really, because there was a missed opportunity here to flesh out Venkman’s character in a significant way. The introduction of his father could have been great. Instead, it’s… well, I’ll get to that.
This episode was written by Richard Meuller, who also wrote the novelization of the film. In fact, the weakest part of this episode is a hold over from his novelization: Peter’s father. Peter Venkman is an interesting character, and as such the crafting of his backstory needs to be approached carefully. That isn’t what happened here though. Opting for the path of least resistance, Meuller decided that Peter’s father was your classic by the numbers conman/huckster. A more cliched background to explain Venkman’s personality you could not devise.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that his characterization is 2 dimensional and his scheme is ridiculous. Seriously, ghost repellent ponchos? And we’re supposed to believe that he convinced a legitimate scientific expedition to use them? That they would somehow offer protection from a supernatural phenomenon akin to the Bermuda Triangle? It’s a conceit that stretches credibility to the breaking point. Even as a kid I thought this episode was a stinker.
Beyond the paper thin plot there’s also an issue of voice acting. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Lorenzo Music, but he’s a very special breed of voice actor. Most voice actors make their living off the ability to create numerous distinct voices. There are a select few though whose bread and butter comes from their own distinct voice. H. Jon Benjamin is an excellent example of this, and Lorenzo Music is another. Lorenzo always sounds the same, whether he’s voicing Garfield, Tummy Gummi, or Peter Venkman. When he tries to gruff up his voice a bit to play Venkman’s father, the effect is less than what you’d hope for.
The animation in this episode is also not up to the usual standard of the series. The characters are very often off model, especially their faces. It’s more than a little distracting.
I feel bad writing this review, because the individual pieces of this concept have so much potential. Unfortunately the way they’re handled and assembled is just a mess. If you were to skip this episode, you’d be missing nothing.
Best line of the episode:
Honestly, there wasn’t a single worthwhile joke on one liner this whole episode.
Rating: 1 out of 5 on the PKE meter