The Irregulars: Sherlock in Name Only, but Still Okay – Netflix Review

A show about a group of supernatural investigators working for a famous detective.

SUMMARY (Spoiler-Free)

Bea (Thaddea Graham) and Jessie (Darci Shaw) are sisters who make their living on the streets of London along with their fellow poor youths Billy (Jojo Macari) and Spike (McKell David). The four get hired by a doctor named John Watson (Royce Pierreson) to investigate a series of child kidnappings. Along the way, they are joined by Leopold (Harrison Osterfield), who introduces himself as a fellow working-class person despite his wealth and nobility, and aided by the Linen Man (Clarke Peters), an American mystic who contacts Jessie. Together, the group investigates into the strange and paranormal occurrences that surround Baker Street. At the same time, they are asked to help track down a missing person, the elusive detective and drug addict Sherlock Holmes (Henry Lloyd-Hughes). 

Guess which one is wealthy?


So, I will start off by saying that I am a major Sherlock Holmes fan, something I’ve probably brought up multiple times on this blog. Literally the only tattoo I have, and the only one I ever plan on getting, is a profile of the detective. Admittedly, this makes me a little biased when I say the following: This is not a Sherlock Holmes show. It’s not just the supernatural elements, because I have seen some solid Sherlock adaptations that involved mysticism. I’ve even seen some decent mostly out-of-character versions of Holmes and Watson (though not the terrible film Holmes and Watson), but this was not that. The characters bear almost no resemblance to their literary counterparts. This is not the story of the irregulars which Holmes regularly employed in the books, either. That’s not to say the show wasn’t bad, but if you’re a major fan of Sherlock Holmes, it’ll take you a bit to adjust. They’re not the central figures in the show, but they have a lot of impact and more screen time than I might have thought at first. 

Admittedly, not the traditional image of Holmes and Watson, but that could have been interesting.

The actual characters that the show focuses on, though, are pretty well-crafted. Bea is the leader and the one who tends to actually put many of the clues together. Leopold tends to have the education and the background knowledge to identify some of the more obscure elements. Jessie is the one who is actually a bit supernatural, but is constantly judged as being weak or fragile by Bea. Billy and Spike kind of vary a bit as the show goes on, from comic relief to muscle to tragic figures. It’s not that they don’t make an impact, but they are much less developed than the other three. 

Sets are typical for the time period.

That’s actually the biggest flaw with the show, is that it sometimes feels like it’s focusing too much on the mystery of the week and frequently doesn’t add much to the characters in the process. Despite a number of solid scenes with Billy and Spike, I don’t think we ever really got a good look at their characters. We find out their fears at a few points, mostly because the show has a supernatural horror edge, but even those seem kind of generic. That’s not to say the series isn’t enjoyable. It definitely is. The supernatural elements are entertaining and usually creative, the villains are sufficiently villainous, and all of the performances are solid. Once I got past the lack of real Sherlock elements, I found myself having an okay.

There are some good makeup effects.

Overall, if you like supernatural period shows, you’ll probably like this. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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