"Maddie Nears has a completely normal life. She’s a sixteen year old dealing with her love life, her friendships and her family. But as the show starts, you realize she’s not normal at all. In fact, she’s the opposite of normal: she’s now a new member of the “school spirits" group, stuck at Split River High School to roam around for eternity. " ---Bee Ahlers, 10th Grade
Spoilers for School Spirits, a new Paramount+ series.
School Spirits has it all: action, mystery, romance, drama, humor, you name it. The whole mystery that the show is based on is Who Killed Maddie Nears? And the thing is that even Maddie doesn’t know who killed her. It’s all a blur. While she sits around the circle full of past Split River students, some from the 1960’s and some from 1980’s, she tries her hardest to navigate the whole “being a ghost” thing, supported by another ghost called Charley, a A gay kid who died in the early 90s.
One of the many things to like about this show is the representation it gives to the LGBTQ+ community. Maddie’s friend Charley shows that being gay isn’t all that he is. In movies/shows like Mean Girls or Glee, gay people are often treated like accessories, but School Spirits makes it clear that Charley is an actual person, not the “gay best friend.” School Spirits helped bring normalcy to sexualities other than heterosexual. There’s a focus a bit on the love story between Charley and another student who moved on to being a teacher at Split River High, but it also focuses on a different storyline of him as a ghost.
Something unique about the School Spirits is that they aren’t typical ghosts you’d expect—they can’t alter anything in the school or communicate with the living. That is until Maddie finds out that her best friend, Simon, can see and hear her if they’re in a room where another Split River student died.
What makes the series so bingeable overall is the love story between Wally and Maddie, Mr. Anderson’s secret, and the multiple twists that have everyone on the edge of their seat to see who killed Maddie?
Except, we never find out.
Episode seven was coming to an end and I had my thumb hovering over the “ok” button on the remote to move onto the next episode as quickly as possible, But the next episode wouldn’t start because there was no next episode. I searched the internet to see if the episodes were released weekly. But nope. It was the last episode.
While there’s a good quantity of content, seven forty- five minute episodes, the big drawback of this series is feeling unsatisfied with the supposed ending. Usually when you watch/read something in the mystery genre, the mystery is actually solved by the last episode. Like in A Good Girl's Guide to Murder series or Knives Out, although they have sequels, they still have a solid story that is resolved by the end. But not School Spirits. The problem with having a show that ends on a huge cliffhanger is that you never know how well it’ll actually do. Look at I Am Not Okay With This, Everything Sucks!, or Teenage Bounty Hunters. These all left off on cliffhangers and were canceled within weeks after the release. Talk about annoying.
Even though School Spirits is well made, has an amazing cast, and has a unique storyline, It’s kind of pointless to watch. It was entertaining at the moment because I thought all would be revealed in the last episode. But when it wasn’t, I felt like I had just invested five hours of my life into a show that doesn't have a proper ending. So overall, if you’d like to watch School Spirits, maybe wait until it’s renewed—if it even gets renewed—to start binge-watching.