Apple TV+ Is Rebooting 'Ghostwriter,' Which Makes Zero Sense in 2019

Why ask a ghost questions when you could just ask Siri?
Queens, US

It's official: Ghostwriter isn't just a forgotten relic of 90s pop culture anymore. According to Apple's press conference, the former children's show is getting a reboot in time for the launch of Apple TV+ this November.

The 90s original features a group of New York City kids: Alex, Gaby, Jamal, Tina, Rob, and Lenni, who communicate with a highly intelligent ghost to solve mysteries in their Brooklyn neighborhood. It was essentially New York Undercover, but for preteens, equipping the clique with a superpower that adults couldn't access. They were the only ones with the ability to read the ghost's message. The Atlantic even named it the 90s' "most literary show."

The series is a part of the streaming service's initiative to highlight "all-original stories," although whether a remake counts as "all-original" is debatable. "[Ghostwriter] follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature," Apple said in a statement.

Apple gets points for nostalgia's sake, but the real question here remains: how will the company incorporate the vast advancements in technology—which they've led—into the storyline? Creating a series leaning heavily on the plot of a "neighborhood bookstore" is an ironic choice of setting, considering their iBook integration could well render traditional bookstores obsolete. Ghostwriter's phantom (as colorful as it was) wouldn't scare you like an episode of Goosebumps might, but why should the new quartet ask a ghost anything when they could ask Siri? While the teaser for the reboot doesn't mention which city the series takes place in, Fort Greene's (pre-gentrified) neighborhood was as much of a character on the original series as the children were. It will be interesting to see how Apple defines community on a show that is nothing without it.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer for VICE. Follow her on Twitter.