Netflix’s Dead Boy Detectives Is A Spinoff Stuck In Limbo | TV/Streaming

The titular private eyes are a pair of English schoolboys, Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri), who become ghosts after dying tragically at the same boarding school 70 years apart. Edwin, a closeted gay boy essentially hate-crimed into the underworld, died in 1916; Charles, a Thatcher-era British punk, shifted the mortal coil in 1990. Nonetheless, the pair found each other, forged a deep friendship, and decided to stay on this mortal plane to make something of their spectral existence. In their case, they start a detective agency in London—one centered on solving supernatural crimes. 

In the premiere episode, Charles and Edwin happen across a young psychic named Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson), whom after holding at bay the demon ex-boyfriend possessing her, decides to join the team as their living liaison. Not long after that, though, showrunner Steve Yockey (alongside Beth Schwartz) plops the central trio in the sleepy seaside town of Port Townshend; there, Edwin is trapped in the town by an enchantment courtesy of libertine demigod Thomas the Cat King (Lukas Gage), who bids him stay in the town until he either counts every cat in town or, well, finds some other way to satisfy him. 

Thus, we have our structure for a nice, budget-conscious season of television, keeping them in a single small location as Charles, Edwin, and Crystal work to free Edwin from the curse, all while solving a new case of the week. On top of that, they must stave off both the forces of Hell, who want the Dead Boy Detectives back in the afterlife where they belong, and a vengeful witch named Esther (Jenn Lyon), who wants revenge on the boys for foiling her plans in the pilot.

If that feels overstuffed, that’s because it kind of is: “Dead Boy Detectives” works best when it zeroes in on its central ensemble and the quirky, oddball ghost cases they must solve each week. One week, they’ll free a quirky Japanese girl named Niko (Yuyu Kitamura) from a pair of shady sprites (naturally, Niko later joins the team as ditzy comic relief). The next, they’ll try to help a pair of dead frat bros figure out which spurned college girl did them in.