CBS’ ‘Ghosts’ Season 2 Is the Horniest Show on TV

Dying doesn’t kill your sex life. Or at least this is what the Woodstone Manor inhabitants have discovered in the second season of Ghosts.

Most of the characters on the CBS sitcom don’t have blood pumping through their veins—not to mention physical bodies. Thankfully, lust and love aren’t privy to the rules of metaphysics in Joe Wiseman and Joe Port’s adaptation of the hit BBC British comedy (which you can stream on HBO Max). Now, the permanent residents of this estate are embracing first dates, first kisses, and surprise hookups; these dalliances are another reason to tune in on Thursday nights.

Yes, in a sea of tantalizing streaming options, the Ghosts audience continues to grow, and no doubt the balance of hilarious, heartfelt, and horny moments is a contributing factor. In fact, as the show continues to air its second season, it might surprisingly rank among the hornier shows on network TV.

(Warning: Spoilers for Season 2 of Ghosts.)

Before married couple Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) traded city living for renovating an inherited mansion into a delightful bed-and-breakfast, the previously unseen inhabitants experienced a rather mundane existence spying on the living. An accident in the pilot episode left Sam able to see the dead, and interacting with someone from the present has shifted the perspective of the ghosts who grew up in very different eras. A journey of self-discovery—and, in some cases, self-pleasure—has followed, cracking open hearts, minds, and other parts.

Unlike its streamer counterparts, network comedy still has to work within certain parameters regarding language and content. Often this leads to more inventive dialogue, and suggestive phrasing is one way to get a laugh without making cuts to the script. To “get sucked off” in the world of the dead doesn’t have the same connotation as it does for the living. Here, it is the term for leaving the earthly plane for a form of heaven.

Hell gets an equally euphemistic reference. “He’s gone down on us!” was the shocked response when Hetty’s robber baron husband is whisked off to the underworld. (Just know that I giggle whenever one of these phrases is sincerely uttered.) As the youngest ghost, only the pantless Wall Street bro Trevor (Asher Grodman) is privy to the sexual connotation, and so far, Sam has adhered to his request to keep the rest of the gang in the dark.

Experience is something Trevor doesn’t lack, but not everyone grew up as a straight white man in the second half of the 20th century. Perhaps the most surprising development this season has been the sexual awakening of Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky). During her Gilded Age lifetime, she expected her scoundrel husband Elias Woodstone (Matt Walsh) to use his position of power to horndog it up without ever considering her needs. Until recently, Hetty didn’t even know she had needs.

While Hetty can never remove her tightly tied corset (because it is what she died wearing), this garment proved no obstacle since sex-positive hippie Flower (Sheila Carrasco) disclosed how a noisy washing machine has additional benefits. The brilliance of Ghosts is evident in how that particular episode balances its powerful main story, dedicated to Alberta’s (Danielle Pinnock) struggle to get professionally noticed as a plus-size Black woman in the 1920s, with Hetty’s discovery. Humor and poignancy are entwined during a birds and bees adjacent conversation when Flower, who reinforces there is nothing weak or immoral about a spin cycle getting anybody off.

Rules of this afterlife are a learning curve for Sam and the audience alike as they continue to broach new ground, unleashing new conundrums and revelations. It is no surprise that early in Season 1, they discussed the mechanics of ghost sex. “We can. We just can’t finish. It’s very frustrating,” Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) explained before Sam refused to ask follow-up questions for her curious husband. I, too, have a list of queries, including whether ghost impotence is a thing, as Hetty seemingly had zero issues in that department.

Ghost boners are on the table (so to speak) as Trevor’s pantless state recently revealed—that’s involuntary, don’t read into it,” he protested. Boundaries are pushed while also leaving plenty to the imagination. Again, this is why good writing on a network sitcom should be lauded for what makes it onto the screen.

Hetty is still an etiquette stickler, but has broadened her horizons since her living ancestor moved into Woodstone and gave her access to new experiences. She is a woman who contains multitudes, which means she can plot against frenemy Nigel (John Hartman) for a social slight while also getting satisfied from a recent friends-with-benefits development. In just this season alone, Hetty has gone from a washing machine to watching TikToks of hot lumberjacks chopping wood on Sam’s phone to hooking up with Trevor.

An Afterlife Will-They/Won’t-They

Sitcom romances cover the spectrum, ranging from a slow burn will-they-won’t-they to a surprise shag that makes sense the moment it happens. One of the most endearing and enduring of the latter is Monica and Chandler in Friends. While the ghosts aren’t drunk at a wedding, the circumstances that laid the horny groundwork for this tryst (and repeat hangouts) are equally entertaining.

Only on Ghosts would a Christmas double bill with a romantic matchmaker scenario sidestep the wholesome vibe Sam tries to engineer for the chance to engage in an unprecedented ghost-living coupling. Last season, Jay’s sister Bela (Punam Patel) unknowingly matched with Trevor on a dating app when the perpetually randy ghost used his power of touch to set up a profile. Shenanigans ensued, and Jay had to tell his sister the truth so she didn’t think her brother was catfishing her. An even wackier plan is conceived for the holidays when she visits with a guy friend. Eric (Andrew Leeds) will do anything for his crush, so Trevor puts this to the test with a possession request. Yes, the festive miracle centers on Trevor getting some.

In true Ghosts fashion, the whole thing goes wildly awry, and Trevor doesn’t get his day in a physical body. However, the CBS sitcom still presented a surprise coupling, thanks to Trevor’s encounter with Hetty in a lumberjack video-aided revved-up state. Now, it’s only a matter of time before this ultimate May-December romance is discovered—especially in a house where roommates don’t have to knock before walking through a wall.

In last week’s episode, we learn that Nigel had a liaison with his ex Jenkins (Christian Daoust) while he and new beau, Isaac, “were on a respite.” Thankfully, Isaac is no Rachel Greene, quickly realizing how good he has it after briefly talking to a very forward Puritan next door (“What did you say about an oily lad?! Describe him… slowly” is a line I can’t stop laughing at). Isaac is given space to explore his sexuality; as he has all eternity then, there is no need to rush when he is not ready.

Then there’s the actual living people’s sex lives to consider. Whereas the ghosts are dipping their toes into the flirtatious afterlife waters, the stability of Jay and Sam’s marriage is an anchor in the world of the living. Tension from the ghosts’ many demands is enough to make minor waves, especially when a romantic dinner is postponed in a recent episode so that Sam could help make Thorfinn’s (Devan Chandler Long) relationship dreams come true. The 1000-year-old Viking has long been crushing on Flower—now, this might provoke age gap discourse—and a recent near-death (near, near death) experience led to a steamy kiss and the promise of a date.

Extended TV time is another avenue that has given the older ghost a crash course in pop culture and modern living. Hetty’s favorite is a costume drama called Bodices & Barons (this title is giving Starz historical romp). Thorfinn has brushed up on romantic expectations via reality shows that sound much like the Bachelor franchise. Perhaps not the best guide, but what follows is a charming evening that ends with a kiss that causes literal sparks. However, Flower’s spotty memory means she wakes up the next day with no recollection of the previous night. Before this descends into a movie starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, Thorfinn finds out that Flower is lying, and she remembers the whole night. So why pretend?

It is in these moments that Ghosts reveals its layered approach. It turns out that the last time Flower had just one boyfriend, things ended tragically, and she swore never to get close to one person. “Good things don’t last,” she tells Sam, forgetting that she is a ghost and it doesn’t look like anyone is getting sucked off any time soon. If Isaac is finding out how to embrace his sexuality and Hetty is discovering arousal isn’t dirty, then Flower is reminded of romantic vulnerability.

Romance and horniness are alive and well for the dearly departed on Ghosts.

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