MTV’s new series “Ghosted: Love Gone Missing” (9 p.m. Tuesdays) sounds like a cousin to “Catfish.” The premise is that someone got ghosted by a friend, who vanished from the person’s life without a trace. And the left-behind person wants to know why. The appeal is evident: It’s hard not to be curious about relationships that ended mysteriously.
Each episode tackles one ghosting case, with advice and guidance from the show’s co-hosts: attorney Rachel Lindsay, the first African American “Bachelorette,” and music star Travis Mills and his multitudinous tattoos. In Tuesday’s premiere, a young man in Aurora, Ill., named Resee (inexplicably pronounced Reese) tells how he was ghosted. Struggling with his sexual identity, Resee was in a “dark, dark, dark space” and found a sympathetic ear in co-worker Brendan. They became best buds. Then, one day in 2015, Brendan quit his job and flew to San Francisco to be with girlfriend Maggie.
There was no word from Brendan until this past April, when he invited Resee to follow him on Instagram. Resee messaged Brendan back; Brendan was silent.
Their methodology is straight from the “Catfish” playbook: grill the ghostee, track down people who knew the two guys, pump them for info and create a timeline. But I must say that, for an attorney, Rachel puts a lot of faith in evidence that Judge Judy would characterize as “hearsay.” And I was a little put off by their theory that maybe it was Maggie’s idea to ghost “Resee” as she put her “claws” in Brendan. Ugh.
Along the way, Resee confesses to Rachel and Travis that he loves Brendan.
So this is a sensitive situation. And when they all fly to San Fran in the hope of meeting up with Brendan, Resee is deeply upset and wants to call it off. Rachel, who is a likeable TV personality, gets tough, telling Resee, “I swear you will regret it” if he leaves San Francisco without meeting Brendan. Which does not strike me as a therapeutic approach.
So I was prepared to write this show off — but then something quite amazing happened in the final segment. The setup was cheesy: The hosts ask the ghoster and ghosted to decide whether they want to “make up or ghost” and give their answer via text. The denouement is so deeply moving that I decided not to ghost “Ghosted.”