‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Review: Netflix’s Satisfying ‘Sandman’ Spinoff

In theory, Netflix Dead Boy Detectives should be a feast for the specters of misery, faceless creatures who feed on pain and suffering. The ghostly protagonists, Edwin (George Rexstrew) and Charles (Jayden Revri), are both teenagers bullied to death at the same British boarding school, seven decades apart. They spend their time finding a solution for other lost souls, like two high school students gunned down in the prime of their lives or a family massacred by an abusive patriarch. And they are constantly on the run from the agents of Death, who would condemn Edwin to hell on a technicality.

Yet the duo only encountered one of these monsters during the eight-episode first season, and perhaps that’s because despite its dark premise, Dead Boy Detectives is the furthest thing from being austere. Dark, of course; bittersweet, sometimes. But it’s never less than entertaining, thanks to an engaging, quirky main cast and a cheeky sense of humor.

Dead Boy Detectives

The essential

An engaging and zany supernatural adventure.

Broadcasting date : Thursday April 25 (Netflix)
Cast: George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri, Kassius Nelson, Yuyu Kitamura, Briana Cuoco, Jenn Lyon, Ruth Connell, Lukas Gage, David Iacono
Developped by: Steve Yockey

In the tried and true TV way Dead Boy Detectives divides each of its eight episodes between monster-of-the-week procedural plots (or whatever we call them in the Netflix era) and serialized teen dramas. The first case we follow is both: after the guys accept the mission to save Crystal (Kassius Nelson) from her evil ex (David Iacono), she becomes the third member of the crime-solving team. Apparently, his psychic powers make him an ideal liaison between the boys and the living, who can neither see nor hear them.

But it doesn’t hurt that Charles, a punk charmer from the 1980s, has a crush on her – much to the chagrin of Edwin, a World War I bookworm whose affection for his best friend has grown more only friendly. And so, in a room rented to a surly goth butcher (Briana Cuoco’s Jenny), the now-trio embark on all sorts of creepy supernatural adventures while sorting out their feelings about each other and themselves.

Originally intended as a spin-off of Doom Patrolthen reorganized as Sand seller a spin-off when Max refused it, Dead Boy Detectives inherited from his two spiritual parents a sensitivity that was a little melancholic, a little frightening and a lot irreverent. Its world seems perpetually shrouded in green and purple shadows, but the details are less frightening than far-fetched. Creator Steve Yockey conjures up a version of small-town Washington where a shopkeeper (Michael Beach) might secretly be a walrus and cats might speak in salty Jersey accents. Her afterlife relies on strict bureaucracy, enforced by civil servants like the night nurse (Ruth Connell, reprising her Doom Patrol cameo). The supporting cast tends to go big, and their momentum pays off with memorable characters like Esther (Jenn Lyons), a vengeful witch with a breathy voice, bitchy jokes, and the wine-drunk grip of a villainess. reality TV, and the King of Cats (Lukas). Gage), a purring shapeshifter whose new favorite toy is Edwin.

Meanwhile, the guys (and girls – Yuyu Kitamura rounds out the main clique while Niko, a sweetly daffy neighbor) struggle with more relevant journeys of self-discovery. The most successful of these by far is Edwin’s, as he shyly opens himself to the possibility of romance. Rexstrew’s shy curiosity reminds us that even though Edwin has been having fun for over a century, he is still, in some ways, just a teenager discovering himself.

But the others are more haphazard, struggling to maintain either their momentum (a story about Charles’ anger issues dissipates almost as suddenly as it appeared) or their clout (Crystal’s revelations about the source of her powers come out too from left field to land with the expected emotional impact). The driving motivation behind the Dead Boy Detective Agency is poignant: “Our deaths didn’t matter, and no one ever solved them,” Edwin explains, and every case they solve is intended to ensure that other souls may not be forgotten as they were. But in general, the series seems reluctant to delve too much into angst, lest it sour the mood.

Instead, it relies on goofy storylines and warm chemistry to deliver good times. “It’s not the Peach Pit,” Jenny sarcastically, but much of Dead Boy Detectives“The appeal is just spending time with these kids. (And they’re kids: “What’s the Peach Pit?” Crystal asks, zoomed in.) They might be brought together by the desire to do the right thing.” even though it’s scary and the odds are bad and we could die horribly,” as Niko puts it But if we weren’t invested in their efforts to, say, put a sea monster to sleep so it would stop. to snack on the townspeople, it would still be worth listening just to sigh with Crystal and Charles as they feel their mutual attraction, or to laugh with Niko as she helps Jenny find a secret admirer, or to relax with Edwin and Niko as they end with Scooby Doo after a long, hard day of solving paranormal crimes.

But the real heart of the series lies in the bond between Charles and Edwin, which over the decades has crystallized into a loyalty even deeper than friendship. At some point in the past, Charles made the decision to forgo a happy afterlife in favor of eternity on Earth with Edwin; after spending some time in the middle of their true blue bond, it’s easy to see why.

As for Dead Boy Detectives on its own, the series might not really inspire that level of devotion, at least in its solid but not sensational first season. But it’s the kind of consistently enjoyable fun that, in Charles’s 1980s heyday, might have made for long-form date viewing – and which we, in the 2020s, can enjoy as a fast and satisfying binge.

Gn entert
News Source : www.hollywoodreporter.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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