Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 -|Review Score – 4/5
Everybody needs to watch Lockwood & Co. Whether you have a vague interest in horror, a penchant for coming of age stories or a fondness for the found family trope, this YA TV show has it all.
Lockwood & Co is set in a United Kingdom plagued with hauntings. In this world, life stops after dark. The living shut themselves behind iron-bolstered doors and the dead roam the streets. Amongst hordes of corporate agencies that neutralize ghosts, Lucy, George and Lockwood form a ragtag agency of their own known as Lockwood & Co.
This Netflix original has a long list of strengths that could honestly take up most of this review. But to summarize, the show features a spirited energy that keeps you hooked, stellar production value and a polished sense of spookiness.
Two things stand out the most: the characters and the writing.
The heart of this series is the kinship between its primary trio. The three of them are distinct in their uniqueness and share a dynamic that simply leaps off the screen. It’s their trajectory from colleagues to found family that forms the meat of the story. By the end, you badly want to be a part of their time.
A lot of this credit goes to Ruby Stokes, Cameron Chapman and Ali Hadji-Heshmati. These young stars prove their talent by playing the main trio with authenticity and a lot of heart. Their performances are nuanced and a delight to watch.
The second stand out point — the writing. It is impressively deft and compelling, filled with witty but conversational dialogue. The two adapted novels are neatly divided into episodes, each one marked with a stirring introductory scene and a gripping closing one. It suffers from pacing issues and an occasional oversight in logic, but overall the story grabs you and drags you along for all the trio’s adventures.
As an adaptation, the series does surprisingly well. The costumes, sets and lighting do a fantastic job of bringing a ghost-plagued UK to life. Even better, its rapier wielding protagonists and their escapades often seem lifted from the page. A few changes that have been made seem to be done with respect for the source material, like changing George’s character from a Cubbins to a Karim.
But also, there’s a certain cleverness to Jonathan Stroud’s books that hasn’t quite translated. For example, ghost hunting sessions have a specific step-by-step process. The slow, near-scientific method comes with its own thrill and acts as a slow build up to the hauntings. This cleverness, present in the trio’s schemes and plans as well, is a huge part of the charm of the books and it’s missing from the show where they work on instinct more than anything.
Another major change is the characterisation of Lockwood. A prominent part of the show focuses on his recklessness, hinting at suicidal tendencies. While I understand the creators’ decision to lean into the subject of mental health, Lockwood isn’t the kind of person who walks blindly into situations. In the books, Lockwood always has a plan and almost always has a hidden card up his sleeve. Yes, the plans go wrong but that’s the fun of it. The mental health angle is fine, great even, but it shouldn’t have come at the expense of intelligence.
The series could have been perfect. Sadly, being a Netflix original, it clearly had to conform to the streaming giant’s checkboxes. This means that the show leans more teen-drama-y. Subtle difficulties become large arguments and a hint of romance has been turned into an outright arc of its own. It’s sweet and sparky and the lead actors do a fantastic job of conveying butterflies. But it also means we get a lot of clichés — gazing into each other’s eyes, playing doctor for one another, an unintentional ‘date night’ — typical Netflix stuff.
In the end though, none of these points are flaws as much as they are caveats. They don’t stand out as much as float upwards in hindsight. Adaptation aside, the show is thrilling and delightful and absolutely captivating. It’s young adult entertainment at its best.
Feel Free To Check Out More Of Our TV Show Reviews Here!
Verdict - 9/10