School Spirits – The DVDfever Review – Paramount+ – Peyton List

School Spirits School Spirits centres around teenager Madison Nears (Peyton ListThen Came You), who has a big problem: She’s dead.

Additionally, she doesn’t know why, but what she has worked out is that a missing person investigationis taking place, and that.. alas, you can’t have possession of your phone in the afterlife. That’s a bummer.

Additionally, there’s references to Ghost, such as how you can’t just interact with reality, because “that’s just in the movies”, so if I ever do die, I won’t be able to put on Jeremy Vine‘s Channel 5 show and tweet at him, telling him that he’s a ‘big silly’ because this entitled cyclist keeps cutting people up on the roads, and then lording all over them.

But issues are more pressing for Maddie, when she learns that 3 days after death, she’s doomed to forever wander the school halls. Her bestfriend, Nicole (Kiara Pichardo) can’t hear her, but all may not quite be lost, because she can still at least moan about it all to several others in her position, who like Hotel California, can check out any time you like, but they can never leave.

Yes, it’s like an Alcoholics Anonymous group, but Dead Students Non-Anonymous… if you catch my drift.

But surely, if anyone knows what happened to Maddie, it’s Maddie? Not the case. Her death happened while she was ditching study class, but she doesn’t know HOW it happened.

What’s really annoying, is that she had a boyfriend, Xavier (Spencer Macpherson), and best friend Simon (Kristian Flores), so that’s all out the window, and she’s forced into hanging out with the new bunch. With these other dead students, she starts pieceing the mystery together about how she died, making me wonder…. how come there’s so many dead kids? I didn’t know anyone who died while they were still at school. What a bizarre state of affairs (Dom, it’s a TV show. Calm down…)

That said, they haven’t all just passed over recently, but there’s one girl who died in the ’70s, so spends her days in a state of hippyishness (if that’s a word), while Charley (Nick Pugliese) is a young gay lad who shuffled off his mortal coil in the ’90s, so their points of reference will be different. Meanwhile, her mum, Sandra (Maria Dizzia), is understandably beside herself.

The series also shows some flashback scenes to add to the plot, and while the show is in 16:9, the trips into the past are 4:3.

School Spirits launches with three episodes before going weekly, afterwards. I’ve seen all three, and while there’s an interesting idea, initially, I did find it very slow-moving, and itseems to spend a lot of time not making an awful lot of sense, as well as dragging the whole thing out. There’ll be eight episodes in total, and I don’t think it needed to last so long, but then a lot of shows are like that, these days.

School Spirits is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Paramount+ from Friday March 10th, with three episodes at launch, and then showing weekly.

School Spirits – Official Trailer – Paramount+

Detailed specs:

Running time: 45-50 minutes per episode (8 episodes, weekly)
Release date: March 10th 2023
Studio: Paramount+
Format: 1.78:1 (some scenes in 1.33:1)

Series Directors: Oran Zegman, Brian Dannelly, Hannah Macpherson, Max Winkler
Producers: Don Dunn, Joyce Sawa
Creators: Megan Trinrud, Megan Trinrud, Nate Trinrud
Writers: Megan Trinrud, Megan Trinrud, Nate Trinrud, Lijah Barasz, Oliver Goldstick, Thomas Higgins, Natalia Castells-Esquivel, Bernadette Luckett
Graphic novel: Maria Nguyen

Madison Nears: Peyton List
Nicole Herrera: Kiara Pichardo
Simon Elroy: Kristian Flores
Xavier Baxter: Spencer Macpherson
Sandra Nears: Maria Dizzia
Wally Clark: Milo Manheim
Mr. Martin: Josh Zuckerman
Rhonda: Sarah Yarkin
Claire Zolinski: Rainbow Wedell
Charley: Nick Pugliese
Study Hall Teacher: Carolyn Adair
Mr. Anderson: Patrick Gilmore
Chloe: Alison Thornton
Kirsten: Vanessa Prasad
Dawn: RaeAnne Boon
Mr. Graziano: Jayce Barreiro