Boo! Julie and the Phantoms is here to rock your afterlife

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Charlie Monson

There’s no band like a ghost band!

Netflix has done it again folks, Julie and the Phantoms was released on September 10th, 2020, and has become a sort of overnight sensation. Julie and the Phantoms brings back a special sort of magic I haven’t felt from a TV show since the likes of Disney’s My Babysitter’s a Vampire or Wizards of Waverly Place. This show is mainly geared towards kids and young teens, but it was still enjoyable to watch as a teenager.

The show opens in Hollywood, 1995, where we meet the boys of Sunset Curve. The rebellious lead singer and guitarist Luke, funny bass player Reggie, kind-hearted drummer Alex, and quiet guitarist Bobby. They are only a few hours away from playing the biggest gig of their lives at the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles. But things take a pretty sad turn when Luke, Reggie, and Alex decide to grab a snack before the show… turns out shady street hot dogs really can kill you.

“See? You died in 1995. When you were 17. It’s now 2020.” – Julie (Fair use photo from Netflix)

We flash forward 25 years where we meet our main character, Julie. She is a talented musician and songwriter but has been struggling with her creativity since her mom passed away about a year ago. But after she loses her spot in her school’s music program, she is desperate for some inspiration. This leads her to start exploring her mom’s studio, where she finds an old Sunset Curve CD. Intrigued, Julie starts listening to the CD, and seemingly out of thin air the boys are back (alright!); just a little less alive.  

Now, this is where the story starts to get interesting… 

You see, no one can see or hear the boys other than Julie; but everyone can hear them play music (you know, ghost logic). They soon learn, however, that when the boys and Julie are both singing and playing music, everyone can see them. Luke is overzealous when he learns people can hear their music again and is determined to continue his music career with the help of Julie. 

Julie was reluctant to join the band at first, but eventually gave in to their perfect ’90s boy band charm when they helped her win back her spot in the music program; and with that, Julie and the Phantoms was born.

“Everyone can see the way you look at her when you sing,” – Reggie (Fair use photo from Netflix)

Over the course of the first season, we get an incredible array of songs from Julie and the boys, along with plenty of ghost adventures and even a pretty good love triangle (Oooo…). Julie and the Phantoms has something special. I was really surprised by this one because at first I thought it was gonna be another campy, “trying to be cool” kids show as many kids shows have turned into these days.

But in all honesty, I binged this show in less than two days and fell in love pretty quickly. The characters all work really well together and play off each other nicely. Especially the relationship between Luke and Julie, which reminds me a lot of Troy and Gabriella’s relationship from High School Musical. Julie and the Phantoms also explores death in an easy enough way that kids can still understand it, and empathize with the characters. This is really a show about doing what you love and being who you want to be and finding that inspiration to keep going.

My only grievances with this show are that the dialogue between Julie and her peers can be very cringey at times and that some of the stage outfits worn by Julie and rival band Dirty Candy have a tendency to be excessively bedazzled. Of course, those are just my opinions, and they don’t at all take away from what an amazing show this is.

If you are looking for a quick binge that can bring back those special mid-2000’s Disney Channel vibes, go check out Julie and the Phantoms over on Netflix. And before you go, check out the trailer below.