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Netflix’s Dead Boy Detectives is a fun and fuzzy adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman #25

The young adult fantasy series revolves around two teenage ghosts who float a detective agency to help lost souls

Urmi Chakraborty Calcutta Published 22.05.24, 02:16 PM
George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri and Kassius Nelson in Dead Boy Detectives, streaming on Netflix.

George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri and Kassius Nelson in Dead Boy Detectives, streaming on Netflix. IMDb

Netflix’s Dead Boy Detectives cleverly brings Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (Volume 25) comic book to life with the paranormal adventures of two quirky teenage ghosts — Charles Rowland and Edwin Payne — who decided to cheat Death and open a detective agency to help other ghosts in Afterlife. Here’s why we love this series and want more of it.

The novel idea of spirit detectives

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Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri) and Edwin Payne (George Rexstrew) are spirit detectives who died under circumstances that were never investigated. Evading Death in Afterlife, the boys want to help souls who have met with a similar fate. Using their time to release unhappy and lost souls gives them a purpose to live on eternally but in a meaningful way.

The boys get their first case

A little girl ghost consults the detectives to help her friend Crystal (Kassius Nelson), who has been acting strangely. After exorcising the demon possessing Crystal, the boys come to know that she’s a psychic whose memories have been stolen by David the demon. Crystal becomes a part of the detective agency, followed by the anime-loving Niko (Yuyu Kitamura), who was on the verge of exploding after being possessed by malicious forest sprites.

As the story unfolds, we meet all sorts of supernatural beings such as the witch Esther (Jenn Lyon) who stays young by feeding young girls to her snake, the cursed walrus Tragic Mick (Michael Beach) who runs a magical items shop and the Cat King (Lukas Gage) who seduces Edwin and forces him to out himself.

The chemistry between the dead boy detectives

Edwin met Charles some 70 years after his death while the latter was on the verge of dying. Edwin sat beside Charles during his final hours and comforted him. Escaping the clutches of Death, the boys struck up an unusual friendship — the reserved Edwin with the zany Charles who tries to mask his pain with humour. After getting trapped in Port Townsend by the Cat King, the duo connect with each other like never before. Their friendship is so strong that Charles goes to the depths of Hell to save Edwin who once escaped from its pits.

Their chemistry offsets the presence of Crystal whom Edwin never approved of. He eventually learns to accept her as a member of the agency, which brings out his softer side. Soon, Charles and Crystal begin a romance, which helps him deal with his childhood trauma, and the trio become inseparable. Their friendship finds support in their landlady Jenny (Briana Cuoco) the butcher, and Niko, who stand by them through thick and thin.

Cheating Death

Staying on earth and aiding other lost souls even at the risk of being brutally punished makes life meaningful for the boys. It is only after cheating Death that Edwin and Charles could finally start living the way they have always wanted to. Every time after releasing an unhappy soul through their sleuthing, the duo run away from the spot to escape the thieving hands of Death. And their passion for taking great risks for others is what makes the series so appealing.

The ending has us waiting for a second season

The series ends with the Night Nurse, the head of the Afterlife’s ‘Lost and Found’ department, settling on earth at her supervisor’s command as a mere mortal and being the boys’ chaperone.

It has us looking forward to what might happen when Edwin, Charles, Crystal and the others are under the constant vigilance of the Night Nurse. Will it be a problem for them, or will they find a friend in her? We also cannot wait to see how Crystal deals with her newfound life after memories of her being a cruel person have been retrieved. With Jenny joining the agency, it is going to be another fun chapter in the lives of the detectives who never believed life could go this way.

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