Review: Syfy’s Spooktacular ‘SurrealEstate’ Sells More Than Haunted Houses
Don’t call Luke Roman a ghost hunter; he’s “the real estate guy” in the spooktacular new drama SurrealEstate, about prepping haunted houses for sale.
In what feels like a campier version of the Paramount+ series Evil, Luke (a dashing, dry Tim Rozon, Wynonna Earp) and his team handle the hard-to-move homes that either just have a bad reputation or actually hold some restless spirits with unfinished business. Through a case-of-the-week format, they investigate the disturbance, find a solution and move on, usually making a nice commission in the process.
Things can get pretty wild. A basement with a portal to the underworld is treated as a typical Tuesday, and the only thing Luke seems scared of is a client suggesting they lower the asking price. He has his own dark past, however, and an unsolved personal mystery that will explain why he becomes so invested in the first case — a home that terrorizes a medical student (Tennille Read) by bringing her textbook to life.
Luke isn’t the only one with an intriguing backstory. By the end of the first hour, we learn the real reason he hired perpetually positive new associate Susan Ireland (Sarah Levy, Schitt’s Creek) — and it’s even more impressive than her ability to close a deal with picky clients.
Fellow team members include snarky office manager Zooey L’Enfant (Savannah Basley); Father Phil Orley (Adam Korson), a gay former priest with mad researching skills; and tech genius August Ripley (Maurice Dean Wint), inventor of the gadgets needed to expel various ghosts. Watching this quirky squad bicker and collaborate is half the fun as they get themselves in and out of dangerous jams, like being trapped in a house that gives you whatever you want so that you never try to leave.
One feature hard-core sci-fi fans may feel Season 1 lacks is a stronger mythology: Characters are often revealed to have powers without any explanation as to how. As the show expands and commits to a full world of horrors, we just accept that there could be legitimate monsters under the bed, and these real estate agents have it covered. Still, we’re ready to make a cash offer for more episodes.
Surreal Estate, Series Premiere, Friday, July 16, 10/9c, Syfy