Pilot Breakdown: "Irregulars" (Netflix)
A supernatural mystery show with a bunch of teenagers and a new take on Sherlock and Watson.
The new show "Irregulars" on Netflix gives us another spin on the famous Sherlock Holmes and John Watson stories, created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Only this time it focuses on a gang of street kids who help Sherlock solve supernatural crimes.
In the books, Sherlock is known to have a group of "Irregulars" or street kids who help him gather information. This is a concept that often shows up in other Sherlock spin-offs, like BBC's Sherlock, in which Sherlock uses a network of homeless people. Or Elementary in which Sherlock gets his intel from a group of street vendors.
Only in this supernatural adaptation, the irregulars consist of a diverse group of teenagers. Their leader is Beatrice or Bea, played by Thaddea Graham, who also is the main protagonist in the show.
But does the pilot episode convince?
How are the characters introduced?
And what's going on with Sherlock and Watson?
What's the promise for the show at the end of the episode?
I'll take a closer look at the first episode of the show and break down for you what works, and what doesn't.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the show and a lot of sarcasm.
The hook into a tv show is the most important first step to make people keep watching your show. It also should give you a certain vibe of the show.
The Irregulars starts with a tense and creepy nightmare. Jessie, Bea's sister, is trapped in a crypt when a monstrous-looking guy with a creepy mask attacks her. When she wakes up, Bea is there to comfort her and tell her that it was just a nightmare. But Jessie knows that this isn't "just" a nightmare. This haunts her every night and she's afraid to fall asleep because she doesn't want to face the monster again.
Bea shows compassion to her younger sister and stays with her until she falls asleep again.
This is a great hook into a show!
We already know that this show's going to be creepy and tense.
We know that there will be more nightmares and we already started wondering if there really might be more to it.
It also perfectly introduces the relationship between the sisters Bea and Jessie. They love each other and have a close bond. It's clear that Bea is the one who takes care of them and who would do anything for her sister.
Tbh, I was hooked. I liked the characters and the creepy concept. I mean who doesn't like a good old mystery?
THE STREET KIDS & THE CREEP
I like the gang of street kids. They're all unique in their own way. I loved how Bea and Jessie are introduced with their relationship and sibling banter.
The guys, BILLY and SPIKE, are also introduced in an interesting way. Billy is about to fight a bigger big for money, while Spike is super nervous and doesn't want to get punched into his pretty face.
We know now that Spike doesn't shy away from a fight. And his scarred body also tells us that he had been in many fights before.
Spike on the other hand is a chatty and charming guy who would rather talk than fight. He seems to be the comedic character so far.
A funny moment is when Bea shows up and Billy instantly recoils from the fight. They're busted!
So far so good. A group of cool street kids that have different personalities. Maybe only a bit chlichée, but hey we're still a couple of minutes in.
And then the introduction scene of PRINCE LEOPOLD, played by Harrison Osterfield, ...
... who watches other people kissing and how a woman seductively pulls up her socks and shows some skin ... and I don't mean 'watch' like "Hey, I see you", but more in a creepy "I'm so horny!"-way.
I mean, okay, this is a mystery teenage show and I guess there need to be some horny teenagers who are looking for love? ... Or sex?
So I went with it and it turns out that Leopold is actually a really cute and nice guy who desperately wants Bea as a girlfriend because she's so tough and different. And who wouldn't want Bea to be their girlfriend and have sexy daydreams about her?
Yes, Leopold actually has a sex dream about her. But who can blame him?
She's amazing, smart, badass, and strong!
Just maybe Leopold's introduction scene should have been slightly different. Don't let him be a creepy, horny prince, show his sweet, innocent and caring side!
THE THING WITH WATSON
The other thing that threw me off a bit is when finally Watson shows up. First, I need to say that I'm a HUGE Sherlock and Holmes fan. So, what I will criticize now might seem for you more like a "what's the big deal?"-thing.
BUT I don't like how arrogant Watson is. Like, what the fuck is his deal?
He follows Bea from the graveyard through the streets and when she tells him to bugger off, he simply tells her: "No worries. I'm a doctor."
Is that your answer for being a creepy stalker? I mean, seriously.
Then he offers Bea money for gathering information ... don't get me wrong there. I like how he wants to use them, but first of all, he's an asshole and looks down on her while talking to her. And he brings her to a room, all alone without telling her why. Just that he has a job for her.
Maybe this is a "woman" thing, BUT you would never ever go with an asshole who stalked you through the night to a room all alone for a mysterious job. Like, WTF?!
But back to Mr.Watson himself.
Watson is not only an asshole towards Bea he also is very manipulative and always makes clear that he's her superior.
Actually, he behaves way more like Sherlock than Watson. Watson should be the caring and sympathetic one who smooths Sherlock's harshness. But well, NOT in this show apparently.
Some might say this could be a cool twist on the characters. But nah, I don't like it.
THE MYSTERY AKA THE CASE
The case about missing babies and ravens who take the babies is really cool though. There's also a scene where they get attacked by ravens. During that, a young girl is killed as the ravens pick her eyes out.
It's bloody, gruesome, but super cool!
The supernatural twist works very well and it keeps up with its creepiness during the pilot which is a delight to watch.
The only thing that's a bit too weird for me is the part when Jessie meets this guy from Louisiana in her dreams who tells her "I'm not a murderer. I repeat, I'm not a murderer".
What the hell is happening here? Who's the weird dude?
Apparently, he also knows Jessie and who her friends are looking for in their case. And he tells her that her nightmares give her power. She shouldn't be afraid of them ...
Whoa, whoa, whoa ... what now?
I personally think that this is a scene we don't need in a pilot because that confuses the shit out of you. I like though the mystery about Jessie's dreams and that she has secret powers.
Also, this weird dream dude from Louisiana tells Jess to touch the guy who kidnaps the babies so she can read his mind ... because...? Well, to find out what happened to him and why he went mad and started kidnapping babies with ravens??
And that's how she stops the criminal bird-dude with his mean ravens. You might say, she just talked to him and showed him that this is wrong.
As much as I enjoyed the ride of the mystery case the solution of it is really disappointing and weird.
THE PROMISE FOR THE SHOW
I definitely enjoyed parts of it. But even though the characters are interesting at first, the relationships between them seem almost too clichée and typical. Like, typical teenage drama mixed with supernatural mystery.
If you like that, you go ahead and watch it!
But for me, it was just too confusing and weird. And tbh, I can't get over the fact that Watson is an asshole. But that's my problem, I know.
So, as a conclusion the promise of the show is a lot of supernatural cases, a meeting with Sherlock, and a lot of teenage drama between Bea choosing Billy or Leopold, while being a good sister for Jessie.
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