"The Real Ghostbusters" is a superb show that retains the spirit of the orginal film while brilliantly expanding the range and scope of the concept. Unlike many of its contemporaries, RGB was written also with older viewers in mind, while still being aimed securely at the pre-teens.
What was great about the show was that the GBs often had to use their brains instead of just their proton packs. What could have been a mindless shoot-em-up therefore became so much more. It was refreshing that the ghosts could give the GBs a run for their money - it made it seem as though the guys were in danger of losing for a change.
The show also benefited from its sense of humour. The most obvious source of this was Dr. Peter Venkman with his endless supply of often hilarious wisecracks, but the other three also entertained. The group had a great chemistry and overall you cared for the characters. The voice work - provided by Lorenzo Music, Frank Welker, Maurice LaMarche and Arsenio Hall - was key to this. The actors really got into their parts and made their characters endearing and likeable.
The storylines were diverse and imaginative, and covered a wide range of scenarios which often strayed from the "ghost of the week" formula. Talented writers such as J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5), animation veteran and Star Trek novelist Michael Reaves, and Richard Mueller (who novelised the film screenplay) all contributed. They often took their inspirations from real-life mythology and writing - Lovecraft (Cthulhu), Hallowe'en and the feast of Samhaine, the Bogeyman, and even in one episode Sherlock Holmes! This helped raise the show to an entirely new level. Not to mention the fact that the storylines themselves could be pretty dark. One episode deals with a heartbroken young man taking his anger out on the world by bringing about Armageddon. Or how about the one with Cthulhu? Scary stuff for a "kids show".
And I couldn't talk about RGB without mentioning the superb music. Haim Saban and Shuki Levy provided a number of eerie tracks that boosted the creepiness level immeasurably, as well as some catchy upbeat and "heroic" themes but helped make the show so musically distinctive.
In short, RGB is a great show that trumps practically all cartoons made then or today. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who appreciates good cartoons. A cracking accompaniment to the two Ghostbusters movies and a lot better than the competent but charmless "Extreme Ghostbusters".