Netflix went ghostly in plenty of time for Halloween this year, but Julie and the Phantoms' ghosts weren't of the spooky variety. The musical dramedy stars Madison Reyes as the teenage Julie, who musically works through the pain of her mother's death with the help of her three bandmates... all of whom happen to be ghosts who died from eating bad hot dogs in 1995. Julie is the only one who can see them, except when they're all performing together, and the result is a funny, heartfelt, and wonderfully bizarre series.
The good news about Julie and the Phantoms Season 1 is that the ending proved the show still has plenty of ground to cover in a second season, and the finale almost raised more questions than it answered. The bad news is that a Season 2 isn't guaranteed at this point, especially considering some of Netflix's recent cancellations. For now, let's look at five Julie and the Phantoms questions worth pondering after the first season!
How Long Can Julie's Hologram Story Work?
Julie's public explanation for how Luke, Alex, and Reggie in all their mid-90s glory always pop into existence behind her during songs is that they're holograms. While it makes sense that people would latch onto holograms rather than immediately go for "ghost band," Julie can't dodge questions about how she pulls it off forever, right? The "hologram projector" she set up is pretty simple, and all it will take is something as simple as a power outage for the truth to come out.
Besides, Julie and the guys' goal is to eventually go on tour and record albums (which may or may not include Reggie's "Home Is Where My Horse is"), which would generate a lot of attention and a lot of questions. Throw in that Luke, Alex, and Reggie are pretty recognizable when they're all jamming together and 1995 wasn't that long ago, and it seems like the hologram story is going to have to fall apart soon, even if Carlos is willing to keep his sister's secret.
What Is The Phantoms' Unfinished Business?
Luke, Alex, and Reggie discovered at the end of Julie and the Phantoms Season 1 that playing the Orpheum wasn't their unfinished business after all, so they didn't cross over and were only saved from ceasing to exist by a last-minute intervention from Julie. So, what is their unfinished business? If we're going to be literal, a flier on the wall next to Luke's missing person poster when they took their fateful hot dog bites in 1995 actually says "UNFINISHED BUSINESS" and seems to show a band, but it may not be that simple.
At the very least, we can rule some things out. Playing the Orpheum wasn't their unfinished business, and making peace with his parents didn't send Luke to the other side. Helping Julie come to terms with her mom's death didn't settle their affairs. They still haven't dealt with the sticky issue of Bobby changing his name to Trevor to steal the Sunset Curve music and deny them their legacy, so perhaps that's their unfinished business. I don't think their little haunting and mooning trip really counts as getting closure!
What Will Caleb Do With Nick?
Ghost magician Caleb Covington (played by American Horror Story's Cheyenne Jackson) lured the Phantoms to his club and tried to recruit them to join his house band; when that failed, he stamped them with a mark that would either bind them to his club for eternity or wipe them from existence. With Julie's help, the guys avoided either fate, but Caleb wasn't finished with them. Nick showed up at Julie's house with flowers, only for Caleb to possess him. So what will Caleb do with Nick in Julie and the Phantoms Season 2, assuming Netflix gives the renewal order?
Nick is a good way to get at Julie even if she prefers Luke's dreamy dead eyes, and Julie is a great way to get at the guys. They wouldn't go to Caleb's club to save themselves, but they might do it to save Julie. And what about Nick? It would be pretty dark for Julie and the Phantoms to reveal that Nick was killed when Caleb took possession of his body, although I do think it would be funny to see Ghost Nick try to join the 90s-tastic Phantoms. Another fun possibility would be for the possession to leave Nick with the ability to see ghosts, including the Phantoms.
How Will Bobby Handle Seeing Sunset Curve Again?
Bobby didn't let a little thing like his three bandmates dying via tainted hot dog stop him from becoming a rock legend! He became the target of three angry ghosts when Luke, Alex, and Reggie discovered that his success came from stolen Sunset Curve songs. Although the guys' desire for revenge might be lessened somewhat by their plan with Caleb backfiring on them so spectacularly, Bobby recognized his old pals singing with Julie at the end, and he didn't look happy. How he handles the discovery that Sunset Curve is singing again could drive a lot of Season 2.
Bobby must have questions of his own, considering the ghosts of his friends didn't appear until 25 years after their deaths, and he doesn't seem to be questioning his own sanity. Will he sit on the information, knowing that a lot of his dirty laundry would come out if people start digging into who these guys were and how they died? Or will he do something about it and out them as ghosts? And if the Sunset Curve legacy is the unfinished business, will Luke, Alex, and Reggie have to cross over once they get closure?
Will The Phantoms Keep Feeling?
Not only did Julie manage to stop Luke, Alex, and Reggie from being destroyed, but they somehow gained the ability to feel and be felt after their stamps were removed. The literally glowing group hug was a heartwarming way to end the season for Julie and her Phantoms. Will the guys still be able to touch and feel lifers in Season 2, or was that just while they were glowing and being saved? If they can still feel, can they eat with no risk of death via street dog? And can Julie and Luke actually hold hands?
The boys being solid to Julie could present some humor as well as some new problems in a second season, hand-holding with Luke aside. All it would take would be Luke, Alex, or Reggie to touch her or bump into her during a performance, and the audience could become very aware that Julie's holograms are kinda sorta solid. Still, if they can become solid, could they become visible beyond performances with Julie? Or even come back to life somehow? After "Unsaid Emily," I'm guessing I'm not the only one who'd like to see Luke reunite with his parents!
For now, we can just cross our fingers that Netflix delivers some very good news and renews Julie and the Phantoms for Season 2 sooner rather than later! The streamer has been handing down some notable cancellations lately, but hopefully Julie and the guys will be back for another round of musical adventures. You can always watch and rewatch the nine episodes of Season 1 streaming on Netflix, and check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for some viewing options in the coming weeks!