Source: Netflix

Review: 'Dead Boy Detectives' Sweet, Spooky Fun

JC Alvarez READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Spinning out of the masterful mind of Neil Gaiman and properly inhabiting the supernatural realm of Netflix's Original Series "The Sandman" comes a whole new take on the afterlife. Enter the excitingly mysterious purgatory of the "Dead Boy Detectives."

From super-producer Greg Berlanti and his Berlanti Productions (the originators of the DC expanded universe in primetime) and Steve Yockey the creator of HBO Max's hit comedy "The Flight Attendant," comes a thrillingly dark comedy that is a scary good time of a whodunit.

The vacuum left from the run of "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" has just been filled, and it stars two sweetly charming ghosts – with British accents – who will give the Hardy Boys a run for their money. George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri play teenage sleuths Edwin and Charles, a couple of phantoms that have become best mates in the hereafter. They have both suffered tragic happenstances that have put them in a unique predicament: Rather than spending their eternity haunting the hapless, the duo assist Earthbound apparitions to move on, into the light.

As the Dead Boy Detectives, the pair have made a name for themselves, especially as they continuously dodge the efforts to meet their fate and the attention of the Night Nurse (Ruth Connell), the head of an afterlife supernatural agency that is determined to keep the teen ghosts from running amok. When their paths cross with a young psychic named Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson), their entire operation opens up and they track her case stateside. Crystal had been possessed by a demon who had also stolen most of her memories. When the Dead Boys free her of her dilemma, Crystal learns that a missing little girl is in terrible danger, and the two become a threesome to solve the case.

It's all extremely reminiscent of recent series that have followed the "mystery machine" formula we all admire as introduced in the animated classic "Scooby-Doo" and engineered into The CW contemporary hit "Supernatural" (starring everyone's favorite Winchester boys). "Dead Boy Detectives" benefits from witty dialogue and a healthy dose of banter, with a chemistry that is unique to a show that is just setting its tone in its inaugural season. The Neil Gaiman connection: The series is based on the graphic novel series (which complements the world of "The Sandman") and elevates the adapted material, giving Edwin, Charles, and Crystal some very interesting personal subtext.

Dedicating themselves to solving paranormal cases, the duo find themselves facing one supernatural threat after another. Each episode presents a new case to master.

"Dead Boy Detectives" is also very sweet, and although not as vapidly sexual or as explicit as similarly styled series (like the "Riverdale" spin-off that centered on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which also ran on Netflix), the show handles Edwin's coming to terms with his feelings for Charles in a very "real life" way, as he finds himself the center of attraction for the sexual prowess of the Cat King (played by out actor Lukas Gage). The series is also far less gory than contemporary shows that rely on murderous shock and awe to get their audiences hooked. "Dead Boy Detectives" is an instantly winning blend of fantasy, horror, humor, and fun.

"Dead Boy Detectives" streams on Netflix starting April 25.

by JC Alvarez

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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