The Irregulars: review of the first season
On March 26, 2021, a new show appeared on Netflix, quickly capturing a place in the Top10 of the most-watched series of the moment. Produced by the Dramatic Republic, today we talk about The Irregulars.
A group of homeless teenagers, living in a dank basement, is hired by a certain Dr. Watson, a mysterious private investigator, to solve a very special case. It seems that magic is involved, and strange supernatural events are about to upset gloomy Victorian London. The gap that separates the world of the living from that of the dead has been opened, and perhaps only Jessie has the gift necessary to solve the riddle.
Life isn’t supposed to be paintless Beatrice. Joy and suffering dance together long into the night. Don’t ever hide from them.
No, Spike, Beatrice, Jessie, and Billy‘s life has never been painless. From an early age, they experienced suffering; first at the institution where they had been abandoned, without a family, and then in the streets of London, where hunger pierces the stomach and money is scarce.
For this reason, when the wealthy Doctor Watson hires the group of friends to investigate a sinister case of missing children, Beatrice accepts, thinking of the final compensation. And it is at this juncture, on the trail of the culprit, that the guys come across Leo, a lanky young man, who emerged out of nowhere, who wants to keep his social class hidden at all costs.
But Dr. Watson has secrets and there is a reason why, among so many street kids, he chose them. A motif linked to the past. A past full of mistakes and sacrifices threatens to upset the present.
We are in Victorian London, full of glitz and poverty. Based on supernatural investigations, we find the literary figures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in an unconventional key. The first has the superfine intelligence known to the character but imbued with a fragility that downgrades him to a mere mortal, far from that exceptional element we are used to associating him. The second becomes almost a dark figure, full of secrets and weaknesses, who has spoiled the past and is unable to admit his mistakes in the present.
This new juxtaposition of the supernatural to the “Sherlockian” world is very interesting and creates a non-trivial plot that crosses occultism and investigation. The modern approach dared by the producers – also accentuated by the use of some current songs (bold choice) that well marry retro settings with the actions performed by the characters – works in a surprising way. Despite destroying the historical link with that period, it favors a more imaginative and surreal vision.
The protagonists, as in many other recent telefilms, are a group of teenagers, who make this series fall into the cliché, without however detracting from the story that maintains its originality and impresses the audience.
Moreover, The Irregulars has been able to go further, inserting itself into a multicultural and LGBT-friendly landscape that eliminates the meaning of the word “different” from its vocabulary, introducing the idea of social equality.
As a first season, it’s not bad at all, and I think the producers still have a lot to say about our protagonists. It’s a rich story, one that still promises many disturbing dark undertones. But even if the excitement of a second season is already crackling in the air, Netflix has unfortunately decided to cancel the series. This is a bad blow for those who were already starting to get attached to the characters. And once again the mystery regarding the decisions taken by the streaming giant leaves the audience perplexed; even if it is rumored that the problem of this show, despite the success, lies in the actual number of accounts reached.