Have you ever heard of Ghost Hunters? You know, that show that airs on Sci-Fi (or is it SyFy?) and features plumbers chasing ghosts. Think about what I just said for a second, and you’ll get the four-part pilot of Bumps in the Night, a hilarious web series parody of the supernatural show where pool-cleaners chase down spirits who hide out in the summer hotspots.
The show comes from the creative minds of Emmett Furey, Greg Benevent, and John Reha, and the pilot premiered last February. Now the creators of the show, who also play the main characters, are getting ready to release the first round of episodes for the series.
To catch you up: The pilot focuses on three pool cleaners: Greg (Benevent) and Emmett (Furey), our inept ghost-chasers, and John (Reha), the skeptic. Don’t get confused: the actors and the characters share the same names.
When last we saw our crew, they failed to clean their customer Laurel’s (Laurel Rankin) pool but succeeded in chasing away what may or may not have been a real ghost. As a result, both Greg and Emmett lost their jobs. John, who couldn’t stand our ghost chasers, is now a part of the paranormal team, though he still sticks to scientific explanations for spooky actions.
In the first episodes, our overzealous characters will investigate a woman’s haunted garage and will use the paranormal technique known as electronic voice phenomena to hunt down apparitions.
Then there are the characters themselves. What are their backgrounds? Reha said viewers can look forward to more character development in Bumps’.
“We’re really setting up rules for the paranormal and our cast,” said Reha. “We’ll see more of how and why they have this passion and why John is a skeptic.”
Those episodes will be about five minutes long and should be out in the next month or two. At the time of this posting, the creators are planning on airing somewhere between 8-13 episodes. I can see so many ways this pilot could have gone wrong, but didn’t. There could have been drab dialogue and poor writing that sacrificed plot for lame, slap-stick jokes.
Not in this show. The Bumps pilot has two important ingredients for a successful comedy series: A humorous plot and superb character chemistry on a level many mainstream networks wish they could reach, but haven’t. Good casting can make or break a show but Bumps succeeds here. The character Greg is over-the-top and Benevent pulls off the role well. Also, as an introduction to our wacked-out characters, the viewers are given plenty of back-story (through flashbacks) and insight into the characters’ previous ghost investigations to lay the ground for future episodes. Finally, the show manages to hit that sweet spot for a web series: not too long and not too short. The potential for this web series is huge and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
The pilot does have a few flaws I would like to see worked out in the new episodes. Some of the water effects seemed a little hokey; given the mockumentary nature of the show, that could be the point. Also, the writing, while funny, could use a little more polish. Finally, I would like to have seen a little bit more play with the sexual tension between Emmett and Laurel. The creators did say viewers can look forward to more of that tension in upcoming episodes where Laurel will have a recurring role.
“There will be lots of sexual tension … very little romance,” said Reha.
A little warning for those who like to watch on their lunch break: there is a short NSFW moment in part two (above) of the pilot when Emmett investigates some supernatural moans from a Babylonian demon only to find out they’re more natural than he expected.