Lockwood & Co - Alt Reality Dark Urban Fantasy (YA) - Netflix

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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A tiny startup, run by two teenage boys and a newly arrived, supremely psychically gifted girl, a renegade trio destined to unravel a mystery that will change the course of history.
IMDB rating: 7.6

Lockwood & Co. is a young adult supernatural thriller series written by Jonathan Stroud. The series follows three young operatives of a psychic detection agency (Lucy Carlyle, Anthony Lockwood, and George Cubbins) as they fight ghosts (known throughout the series as Visitors) in London, England.

The series consists of five books: The Screaming Staircase, The Whispering Skull, The Hollow Boy, The Creeping Shadow, and The Empty Grave. The first book of the series, The Screaming Staircase, was published in 2013,[1] and the final book in the series, The Empty Grave, was published in 2017.
 
I know, man. No need to remind me as I've been against the YA stuff in the past and that has been mostly because it just hasn't been that great. Maybe I'm changing because I thought this series is good. To be frank, I didn't even thought about the YA angle until I started write this series and did do some research.

To me, this series was bingeable good. I started watching this on Friday evening, because Netflix recommend it. By the Saturday morning, I was hooked. And I watched it all, back-to-back. It was just eight episodes, but it felt that it could have done more.

Thing is, there just haven't been good enough ghost stories in serial format. Not to my eyes and even though no matter what the Hollywood doesn't seem to be able to make a Ghostbuster series that actually works for the larger audience. Mostly what we have are either comedies or then horror stuff, if I count out all the reality shows that deal with the supernatural agenda. They do nothing for me.

This one however hooked me with its weird Alternative Reality, where the society has accepted that the supernatural is good enough for having a whole culture wrapped around it. In fact, it was eye opening to see these young adults trodding around Southern England, while carrying a sword on their side. To us, that ain't something you'll see happening in London.

Yet there it is in full display Lockwood's ghost hunting team that is rivalling bigger corporate and having a fun as they go through an adventure to lock the secret of most recent hauntings. But unlike Ghostbuster, they don't capture the spirits and lock them away in the public. Young Lockwood destroys them. Either by a sword or then by using "flares."

I know it sounds weird, but weirder still, Mr Lockwood isn't even the Main Character in the play. He's a male lead in a supporting role for Lucy, the seer. She's the real deal with her ability to speak with the Dead. And it gets weird, when they introduce relics that keeps the spirits haunting the places. They are the mystery and partly also a very workable McGuffins in the play.

The head-in-the-jar is a good example. They introduce it as a prop, but by the end, that particular item turned out to be the whole key. The whole series works, beautifully and I fully recommend the series for one day binge as its only eight episodes.

Here's another thing,
Cornish has explained why Netflix’s version of Lucy, Anthony Lockwood (Chapman) and George Karim (Hadji-Heshmati) are slightly older than the original books.

While the ghost-hunters in Stroud’s novels start investigating around the age of 13, Cornish decided to go for a slightly more mature tone for his Netflix adaptation.

Stokes, now 22, portrays Lucy in her later teens, while her co-stars are also in their early 20s.

The director revealed the decision was made in order to stay true to Stroud’s vision for the series as a spooky mystery for younger horror fans.

“I think the books kind of do it for us,” Cornish said of finding the right tone for the series.

“We did age them up a little bit because it helps for a sophisticated, modern audience to help make the characters a tiny bit older than they are in the book.”

And I'm glad they did that because now we, the older people can enjoy the series, because it handles adult problem in mature way, and therefore, the series isn't just a coming-of-age YA angst. They have them, but they are not on the way of the story. The only drawback is the shortness of the series and a possibility that we'll never see season 2.

So, if you happen by it, check it. I warmly recommend this one.

7/10
 
I'm planning to watch this at some point, mostly because of Cornish's involvement.

And mentioning Joe Cornish has just reminded me of this piece of genius, and there's no other obvious place for it so I'll stick it here:

 
I watched this over the weekend too, hoping it might be a winner along the lines of Shadow and Bone or the first series of Locke & Key. I got through it without issue, but I found it only alright. The world is interesting, and I've just finished reading the Rivers of London series so the setting appealed, but I thought the characters let it down - so many times I felt like screaming at them. Probably a low 6/10 for me. Wouldn't surprise me if Netflix cancel it next week, but if it does get a second series I'll add it to my list for those weeks when there's just nothing else to watch.
 
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I've watched the first season now. I hope it gets a second one, because there was lots to like, but also hope it ditches the stupid decisions and cliches that bedevilled the last couple of episodes. Also, Lockwood is meant to be a fencing champion, but he's terrible! You don't slash in a rapier fight, you'll get skewered! Also also, they had what was meant to be a heron call -- it was a goose!

So yeah, I'm picky.
 
also hope it ditches the stupid decisions and cliches that bedevilled the last couple of episodes. Also, Lockwood is meant to be a fencing champion, but he's terrible! You don't slash in a rapier fight, you'll get skewered! Also also, they had what was meant to be a heron call -- it was a goose!

So yeah, I'm picky.
I think they tried to address "the stupid decisions and cliches" by making the main cast twenty-something. So there was at least an effort on trying to make it more watchable for the mature audience.

Also, I get that Mr Lockwood was meant to be some sort of fencing champion, and again, because of their age, I didn't judge on their skill, but rather what they provided to the story. Being a master and showing it in the production is another thing, and it doesn't often really comes to play because the subjects are actors and not masters.
 
I think they tried to address "the stupid decisions and cliches" by making the main cast twenty-something. So there was at least an effort on trying to make it more watchable for the mature audience.
I think the up-ageing worked against it in that respect. I might have forgiven the stupidity more if they'd been kids (though I think making them older did make it more watchable in general).

How old are they meant to be, anyway? The authorities threaten them with "adult supervision" sometimes, which seems odd if they're over 18.

Another weird thing -- it's definitely set in the 2020s, because someone says the 1980s were 40 years ago. But why do all the vehicles have number plates from the 1990s? I understand that technological development is meant to have been held back by the Problem somehow, so I can see them using older cars, but why not make the number plates current?

Again, picky.
 
Another weird thing -- it's definitely set in the 2020s, because someone says the 1980s were 40 years ago. But why do all the vehicles have number plates from the 1990s? I understand that technological development is meant to have been held back by the Problem somehow, so I can see them using older cars, but why not make the number plates current?
LOL. I didn't even look at the licence plates. They never crossed my mind, since rarely they mean anything in the production or in the aftermath. So yeah, you're super picky.

I hope they get a second season and another look into the script, with thought on making it even grander, but not overly so. It is also interesting when you compare the British product to US or Canadian ones, the UK one tries to mimic, but they also twist the details. Like for example the house being used as an office, because Mr Lockwood had no other choice.
 

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