“Dead Boy Detectives” Season One is Unapologetically Queer – Recommendation

Two young men, one in 1920s clothing and the other in 1980s clothing, and a young woman stand
Edwin (George Rexstrew), Charles (Jayden Revri), and Crystal (Kassius Nelson) look on. Photo from IMDB.

The Dead Boy Detectives season one is easy to watch, bingeable, and addictive.

Based on the DC Vertigo Comics of the same name, Dead Boy Detectives is a paranormal series on Netflix. A spinoff of The Sandman series, the show follows Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri) and Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew) the dead boys of the title, as they investigate supernatural crimes brought to them by ghosts as they hide from Death as well.

In the first episode, they are joined by Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson), a psychic who is dealing with an unwanted demon possessing her. Over the eight episodes, they generate a bit of a found family as they battle ghosts, deal with a Cat King and a witch, and visit hell.

Each episode is a separate ‘case’, but there is an ongoing plot regarding why the two boys are still ghosts haunting our world. We also learn a little bit about the backgrounds of our characters, with Crystal not only not having her memories (so we can learn more about her as she does) but also getting to know more about the rest of the cast. And each episode ends on a ‘to be continued’ that leads us into the next episode.

I’ll admit: I’m not familiar with the source material. But I loved the TV adaptation of The Sandman and the trailer looked fun, so I gave it a shot. Reader: I binged the eight episodes in two days and have re-watched it twice since.

Revri and Rextrew are amazing and have excellent chemistry with each other. One thing is I have a hard time with is calling them ‘boys’: they are young men, in their late teens, but who am I to question Neil Gaiman? Or Steve Yockey to be more precise, as Yockey is co-showrunner and developed the property for Netflix. (Yockey, a playwright as well as a screenwriter and producer, has Gaiman’s voice down pat, as the show ‘feels’ very Gaiman-esque.)

The cast is rounded out by some great names, with regular appearances from Ruth O’Connell (of course a supernatural being), Yuyu Kitamura (who steals every scene she’s in as Niko, a neighbor of Crystal’s), and Briana Cuoco (as Jenny Green, the landlady of Crystal and Niko who also happens to be a butcher). And that’s just the tip: there are also special appearances by Sandman characters Death (Kirby) and Despair (Donna Preston).

And as my title indicates, Dead Boy Detectives is unabashedly queer. One of the subplots deals with Edwin (who’s from the early 1900s) coming to terms with his sexuality; Jenny is set up on a date with another woman; and the Cat King (Lukas Gage, who also steals every scene he’s in as he exudes sexuality) – while primarily flirting with Edwin – seems to be interested in anything that moves.

The cinematography is gorgeous, with some great costumes and sets as well. There’s a bit more blood and gore than I usually like, but we’re also not talking horror movie levels either, and nowhere near the levels we got in The Sandman.

As mentioned, each episode includes a ‘to be continued’ except the last one. But we’ve still got loose plotlines and I want to spend more time with these characters. If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman-type stories, check it out – and check it out quickly so Netflix gives us a second season.

Released on April 25, 2024, Dead Boy Detectives is currently streaming on Netflix.

For more information, visit the official website.

Author: Angie Fiedler Sutton

Angie Fiedler Sutton is a writer, podcaster, and all-round fangirl geek. She has been published in Den of Geek, Stage Directions, LA Weekly, The Mary Sue, and others.

She also produces her own podcast, Contents May Vary, where she interviews geeky people about geeky things. You can see all her work (and social media channels) at angiefsutton.com.

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