Review – School Spirits Season 1

School Spirits is the latest young adult drama series to hit the small screens on Paramount Plus. 

Despite being labelled as a show for young adults and is completely set in a high school the series addresses more mature themes and strays away from the typical tropes of the teen drama genre. If you are interested in becoming an investigative detective and delving into the living and spiritual realms to solve a murder mystery from the comfort of your living room, pun intended, then this series is a must-watch for you! 

The show follows Maddie Nears played by Peyton List (Cobra Kai, Bunk’d) a high school student who is stuck in the afterlife with no recollection of who hurt her or how she got there. She befriends Charley, played by Nick Pugliese another student in the afterlife who teaches her ghost ground rules and introduces her to a group of students in similar to her who all attend an afterlife support group. This group consists of Wally, played by Milo Manheim (Prom Pact, Zombies) Rhonda acted by Sarah Yarkin (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and the principal and longest-standing member of the group Mr Martin, played by Josh Zuckerman (Kyle XY, 90210). 

Unlike the other members of the group Maddie discovers that she can communicate with one member of the living world, her best friend Simon played by Kristian Flores who helps her retrace the steps from the day of her disappearance. With the help of her friends in the living world and in the afterlife more about Maddie’s everyday life is unravelled and suddenly everyone becomes a suspect in her disappearance. This includes her boyfriend Xavier, played by Spencer Macpherson (Degrassi Next Gen, Reign) her ex-best friend Claire acted by Rainbow Wedell, her current best friend Nicole played by Kiara Pichardo, a friendly teacher from the school Mr Anderson acted by Patrick Gilmore and even her mother Sandra played by Maria Dizzia. 

The clever writing throughout each episode leaves you on the edge of your seat as crucial evidence is found; new information is introduced which rules people out and frames new characters as the primary suspects for Maddie’s mystery. The highlight is on Maddie’s disappearance but along the way, we learn more about the deaths of her friends in the afterlife support group and try to piece together if there are any similarities between their deaths and what happened to Maddie. 

Peyton List was the show’s heart and soul, pun intended, and acted out a range of emotions throughout the series. Other members of the cast were fantastic with the living group making you question your decision on who was capable of hurting Maddie. Likewise with her friends in the afterlife captured your heart by telling stories of their death, and sharing their achievements and regrets in life. There is so much heart in their performances that it leaves you wishing for them to find some sort of closure and move on to the next phase of whatever comes after life and death. 

The final episode explodes with mystery, drama, emotion and suspense and pops the lid off the barrel, literally- showing us exactly what happened to Maddie’s body and spirit but despite that, it didn’t answer much at all. Quite the opposite actually as it gave us the people responsible but left us with a bunch of “How did?” “How will?” “Have they?” “Can they?” unanswered questions. 

School Spirits is an exciting and suspenseful series that throughout each episode has you feeling a range of emotions, questioning what you know and leaving you second guessing who is behind Maddie’s mystery. The cliffhanger ending of the finale left the fast-loving fans of the show begging for it to survive the afterlife and be renewed for a second season.  

All 8 episodes of School Spirits are now streaming on Paramount Plus. 

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