Netflix loves to drop new shows that adapt beloved Young Adult fantasy books. Lockwood & Co. is the latest series in this pattern, and it appears to be a hit on two fronts already.
The series, which adapts Jonathan Stroud's supernatural YA series, likely benefits from those books — which gave it a built-in audience on day 1. Lockwood & Co. dropped at the end of last month, on January 27th, and (according to show-ranking tracker FlixPatrol), it jumped into the No. 3 spot in the U.S. by the 28th.
It then leapt up to the No. 2 spot for a while, though it's back to No. 3 at the moment, as seen on the Netflix homepage. FlixPatrol, though, says it's the No. 1 show overall on Netflix right now, but only slightly ahead of The Snow Girl.
But none of that says that you should watch Lockwood & Co. tonight, does it? So, let's break down everything you need to know.
What is Netflix's Lockwood & Co.?
Lockwood & Co. starts off with an inspired premise: in a world filled with supernatural entities three teens have begun a ghost hunting operation. Those youths — Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes), Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) and George Karim (Ali Hadji-Heshmati) exist as a counter-measure to the supernatural investigations industrial complex.
While the adult-run outlets may have more financial backing and experience, Lucy, Anthony and George have good intentions on their side. But the series begins with Lucy as the latest 'hire' at Lockwood & Co., after she finds an advertisement. And once she signs up, she finds out that every other agency in London looks down upon their group of amateurs. Check out the trailer:
Lockwood is both nerdy and charismatic, and keeps his secrets locked in a forbidden room. George is his hyper-intelligent and kinda-difficult friend and Ruby's ... well, she's kind of the hero of it all.
One thing the trailer doesn't spell out — but its description does — is that Lucy has psychic powers. Specifically, she can detect the existence of ghosts, with her own version of Peter Parker's Spidey-sense.
Lockwood & Co. reviews: What critics say
Lockwood & Co. currently boasts an impressive-looking 89% Rotten Tomatoes score, but there's an asterisk. It's only derived from nine reviews at the time of publishing. We're guessing critics aren't rushing to review this YA adaptation.
That said, the reviews are glowingly positive. Boyd Hilton's 4-out-of-5 star review for Empire advises that you "Forget the YA label; this is an addictive, sophisticated supernatural thriller which will keep cynical old duffers entertained throughout."
Jenna Scherer at AV Club says Lockwood & Co., "Unlike many of its peers ... feels lived-in; it’s easy to believe you’re stepping into a world that’s already been around for a while. It’s stylishly shabby and threadbare, like an old overcoat hidden in the back of a thrift shop." She also notes that while "There are plenty of genuinely scary ghost encounters, rip-roaring swordfights, and genre jargon ... Cornish’s series stands out for its patient character work."
Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut says that Lockwood & Co. is a "stylish, atmospheric, and very British teen fantasy" with a "strong sense of character, economic storytelling, rip-roaring action, and genuinely compelling world."
Outlook: You should probably watch Lockwood & Co.
I'm not one for fantasy, it's the reason why I've been unable to get into many popular video games (it took me 5 times to click with Breath of the Wild) and some recent successful TV shows (The Wheel of Time is not for me). That said, I've already added Lockwood & Co. to my queue.
Why? Because it is focused on character building in a world that is grimy and unpolished. Too often, these shows are all about their super-pretty characters and their interpersonal drama. Lockwood & Co. looks to offer a nice alternative.