Growing up in Jersey, I knew of so many people who were said to be “connected.” I can’t imagine that there’s heavy mob activity in North Dakota or Mississippi, so, living here in the Tri-State Area comes with the added bonus of real life exposure to organized crime. It was even in the shows I watched as a kid.
Like a lot of you I was religious about watching The Real Ghostbusters. It was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Seeing that my state was mentioned frequently throughout the series always amused me. I saw both Ghostbusters films in the theater when they were originally released and I obviously realized that they were filmed and set in New York City, but as a kid, New York City seemed like a totally different world. As I got a little older, I realized that New York City was right through the tunnel, or what we used to call “the straw.”
With our close proximity to Manhattan, it was almost a given for New Jersey to get some air time once in a while. Even with all five boroughs for writers to play around with, they still found reasons to send the Ghostbusters over to Jersey. Not much has changed because the Garden State was still the brunt of jokes back in October of 1989 when the episode of Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters “Partners in Slime” first aired.
In the episode, Poso, a Jabba the Hutt inspired ghost, involved in organized crime, wants to become the godfather of all the ghosts and maintain control over them. He figures that the easiest way to go about this is to take over the Ghostbusters operation. To accomplish this, his minions (who resemble 1930s gangsters) pluck Janine and Louis Tully out of a mall (enjoying our minimally lower sales tax while shopping on Janine’s birthday) by trapping them Tower of Terror style in an elevator. Poso then takes them for ransom and won’t let them go until the Ghostbusters fork over their headquarters and their ‘busting equipment to him.
Slimer apprises the guys of the situation. The rest of the episode involves the Ghostbusters orchestrating a pretty elaborate plan to rescue Janine and Louis. The guys release a ghost, Shifter, who used to be Poso’s sidekick. He’s instrumental in their *SPOILER* eventual nabbing of Boss Poso, whose lair is located in Ghost Town, NJ. When hearing the term “Ghost Town,” it might bring to mind a desolate town out west or down south with tumbleweeds rolling across the dirt. Nah, it’s in Jersey and on the Ghostbusters Wiki it’s described as “a run down town in New Jersey.” Gee thanks, not another one! These episodes were only 22 minutes long, so for the sake of time, the Ghostbusters only had to make the trek over the Hudson river to Jersey in a spooky little “ferry” similar to the one Charon paddles around in the original Clash of the Titans.
Four other great things about this episode:
- An Undead Hooker
- Mood Slime returns!
- Cameos by the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Samhain
- A Vigo The Carpathian Shout-Out
The fact that The Real Ghostbusters wasn’t just a knockoff of the feature film was an element that didn’t bother me. I remember some friends in school not liking the show just because it “wasn’t like the movie.” I doubt the people responsible for the show back then expected 6 year old kids to have such discerning taste. After a really good run of several seasons, the show morphed into Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters. The plots began to feature more of the exploits of Slimer and Janine Melnitz. Each episode became a slightly more goofy and child friendly in nature. Not necessarily worse than previous seasons, just infusing more Slimer. The ghosts weren’t as nightmare inducing, and the major villains weren’t as formidable. But you already know that. Maybe Boss Poso shouldn’t have been lumped in with the likes of Tony Soprano and Nucky Thompson after all!
*Read about The Real Ghostbusters and The New Jersey Parallelogram and be sure to Take a look at some animation cels from this episode with Shawn from Branded in the ’80s