By Ella Smith
At first glance, “Lockwood & Co.” is clearly reminiscent of Ghostbusters and other supernatural shows of the eighties and nineties. A premise built around a ghost epidemic and the idea of ghost hunting as a business shows some clear inspiration from past supernatural shows. However, as you get farther into “Lockwood & Co.” familiar tropes from several different genres are incorporated into the young adult show.
The main character Lucy Carlyle is thus far an enjoyable character. Unlike many female characters, she avoids the pitfalls of being an overpowered character. She has an even balance of skills and faults. We see her struggle and learn but also fail.
Lockwood is similarly balanced so far, though it is harder to tell as we don’t see as much of him in the first two episodes. The other main character George is the weakest of the three and sticks fairly closely to cliched nerdy sidekick archetypes. This could change as the show goes on and he isn’t annoying or frustrating to watch. The three work well together though I think “Lockwood & Co.” would benefit by showing more moments between all three of them and building their friendship up slower.
The plot is neither innovative nor dull. The first episode is mostly an introduction to “Lockwood & Co.” that sets up the premise and the overarching plot. The second episode seems to cement the average episode with an individual plot of the episode that connects back to the overarching plot of the entire season. This case-of-the-week type plot is common in murder mystery series and it works well with the tone. The subplots are all entertaining and keep the episodes moving without it being an endless stream of action scenes. However, the show would have done a bit better with a few more investigative scenes that explain the characters’ reasoning with more clarity.
One thing that I find interesting about “Lockwood & Co.” is the tone. It seems to balance on the edge of a darker setting but also relies on the humor of the characters and vague peril for younger audiences. I think it could have been done with a bit lighter tone since the book series the show is based on is geared toward younger teens. However, the tone still works and was reminiscent of other popular Netflix book adaptations like “Series of Unfortunate Events.”
A highlight of “Lockwood & Co.” is its setting. The setting combines so many different genres together and blends them into a unique but familiar setting. The premise takes obvious inspiration from “Ghostbusters” but the setting is also reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The London row houses and the dynamic between Lockwood and George reminded me of a classic 22B Baker Street mystery. Both of these genres are also blended into the young adult genre and have familiar tropes such as the golden trio of characters, the found family and slightly darker themes. The blending of genres works well so far but there is a lot going on. In the future, it might be difficult for the plot to still shine through the characters and setting.
All elements combined, “Lockwood & Co.” is off to a decent start. It isn’t anything earth-shattering or exceptionally novel but it offers solid characters and a plot that makes sense. The strength of the show really is its unique setting and putting a new spin on familiar concepts that allow it to offer its audience an enjoyable jump scare to watch with friends.
“Lockwood & Co.” is available on Netflix now.
Ella Smith is a freshmen professional writing and informational design student as well as a writer for Cedars. She enjoys a stack of good books, leatherbound journals, and a cup of tea (with lots of honey.)
Images courtesy of Netflix.