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Updated Review of Dead Boy Detectives- Netflix Series

The Dead Boy Detectives image from Rotten Tomatoes


Edwin Payne and Charles Roland are  teenagers who have bonded as ghosts. They strive to help other ghosts find closure and be able to go with Death.  However, neither teen wants to go themselves.   They’d rather keep solving crimes on the ghostly plane until their next case involves a possessed human. 

A female child’s ghost is worried about her teenage medium friend Crystal.  The ghost and the teen used to have fun times together until, suddenly, Crystal stopped seeing her.  Charles and Edwin take the case and quickly determine Crystal is possessed by her demon boyfriend.   They free her, but the teen has lost significant memories of herself.  So Charles talks Edwin into letting Crystal stay with them until her memories do return.  In the meantime, she helps them with various cases.

I have seen three episodes of Dead Boy Detectives. I like the actors, seeing Edwin squirm when he thinks about the Cat King having the hots for him, and the witch who’s mad at Charles for possessing her body. I like these interactions and others  between the actors.   Somehow, though, I do not see Edwin, Charles, or Crystal as teens.  I can buy them as young people in their twenties, but not as teenagers.   The show is also supposed to be funny, but I can’t tell where the jokes are and the drama is light.   

Also, the writers do not want to delve into Charles’s pain from his living days with an abusive father. The drama touches on it lightly when Charles connects to the diary writing of one of the Devlin girls in the episode titled The Case of the Devlin House. Nor do we find out why the demon sacrifice led to Edwin being banished to Hell with no escape till Charles comes along.    I did a Google search for the original comic book on which the show is based. I would never have guessed Charles and Edwin went to the same prep school decades apart.  I also thought Charles died by suicide, but instead he got bullied to death as well.  

 The Benedict Society, which aired on Disney Plus, found ways to show depth of character and touch on tough topics while having minor-age actors be the main characters. Surely, Dead Boy Detective writers could do the same, but with older actors portraying teenagers.  I have wanted to like this show ever since I got a taste of the characters during the Doom Patrol run.  Fingers crossed my wish comes true.

Revised thoughts

I am thrilled to report that the second half of the first season brought what I hoped from the series. I saw how Charles and Edwin met, how Charles died, Crystal getting her memories back by chewing gum balls, Charles going to Hell to get Edwin and much more. I am excited and hopeful for a second season, and you bet I will tune in to watch when it drops.

Review of Netflix’s Dead Boy Detectives
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