CBS’s ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’ promo proves completely baffling

From Thriller to Michael Jackson’s Ghosts, Michael Jackson and Halloween have long been as connected as M.J. and other creepy things. So it’s perhaps fair that even in death, Michael Jackson’s ghost (singular this time) would return again to entertain us with a spooky holiday special. Yet, watching this first promo for CBS’s upcoming Michael Jackson’s Halloween, still it’s hard not to think, Jesus, CBS, what the hell is this?

Set to premiere October 27, the animated special sees two “Millennials” (ugh) who meet at “a mysterious hotel located at 777 Jackson Street called This Place Hotel.” Subtle. From there, they embark on an adventure that seemingly involves a sexy witch, a scarecrow in tight leather pants, Bubbles as a concierge, skeletons, a scientist cat inspired by Jackson’s heavily-buckled phase, an office worker, a militant spider, and eventually, it’s promised, the King of Pop himself. Just as arbitrarily, Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming, Brad Garrett, George Eads, Lucas Till, Lucy Liu, and Jim Parsons provide the voices. And it all looks just as ill-conceived and deep within the uncanny valley as Joseph Fiennes’ recent Jackson resurrection. I mean, if nothing else, why is the skeleton not the bones of the Elephant Man?