While several spoofs of the Paranormal Activity film series have been made, like the Wayans-produced A Haunted House, there haven’t been many comedic shots taken at the ghost-hunting genre of reality television shows. Until now.
A web series called The PET Squad Files debuted on the CW Network’s newly conceived website featuring digital shorts CWSeed.Com in August. While it might be hidden away among the massive amount of content created especially for the Internet, it sets itself apart from the majority by being legitimately funny.
The six-episode series follows the efforts of The PET Squad, PET standing for Paranormal and Extra-Terrestrial, as they seek to capture video evidence of a ghost so they can win the chance to appear with Trynt Champagne on an episode of his popular ghost hunting show.
Along they way they investigate basements, houses, demonic possessions, and more, botching each attempt in epic fashion.
The squad is led by a narcissistic skeptic who is just in it for the chicks, and a special-forces wannabe who chastises the rest of the team for not approaching the investigations seriously enough. Also on the team are a sound man who is frightened of all things ghostly, a hot blond who claims her only function is to be on-screen talent, a cameraman/producer who never removes the cigar from his mouth, and a doofus of a priest who joins the crew halfway through the series.
The series was brought to life thanks to some help from Milo Ventimiglia, who was Peter Petrelli on the show Heroes, and the voice of Wolverine on the animated series from 2011. Ventimiglia told The Hollywood Reporter he was sold on the series when he saw the first 3-minute clip. He assumed an executive producer role and landed the series a home on CW Seed.
The creators, John Dale and Michael Holbert, who also play the narcissistic Spencer Gaunt and wannabe Courtney Shipp respectively, started the project when they realized very little has been done to spoof TV ghost shows.
[Co-creator Michael Hobert and I] saw all of the ghost shows on television and saw how they’ve been on TV for 20 years — maybe less — but there’s still people trying to find and document the actual existence of ghosts and no one’s ever found the f—ing ghost. Co-creator John Dale told The Hollywood Reporter
The show might be about a group of amateur ghost hunters, but the cast is far from amateur. For example Holbert, played Lonnie, a recurring character on the show Scrubs. The bum fuddled priest, Rev. Todd, is played by Sam Lloyd, who played Ted Buckland, also on Scrubs. Both men also have a lengthy history of television roles, and in Lloyd’s case, film roles.
The show also features Kelly Rohrbach, as Jayne Duncan, the on-screen talent, Da’Vone McDonald, as Q Lewis the sound guy, Derek Reckley, as the cigar-chomping Derek Bawls, and Sam Jaeger, as the abs-of-steel-ghost-hunter Trynt Champagne.
I found the show through an advertisement I saw while watching an episode of the CW show Arrow online. Once I watched the first episode, I flowed straight into the rest of the series without a break. I found at least one laugh out loud moment in each short episode.
If you’ve got a sense of humor about this whole ghost hunting on television phenomenon, then you’ll probably find a few enjoyable moments in this web series too.
This is episode 1:
You can find all six episodes here.