‘The Dead Detectives’: The new series from the ‘Sandman’ universe that you should be watching

For some reason, Netflix has not given much importance to a key fact about one of its latest series released on the platform. It turns out that ‘The Dead Detectives’, his new adolescent horror and fantasy bet, It is set in the ‘Sandman’ universe.but many people have not found out about that small detail that could be a lure for the audience to decide to see it.

Of course, to tell the truth, Netflix has not promoted the series much, which has been eclipsed after its premiere on April 25 by other more powerful titles such as ‘My stuffed reindeer’ (turned into a phenomenon with hardly any publicity) or ‘The case Asunta’ (a success, in its case, with a lot of promotion). Furthermore, selling ‘The Dead Detectives’ as a spin-off of ‘Sandman’ could give the wrong idea, since They are very different series, despite sharing a universe and creator.

In any case, the series had all the ingredients to succeed among the public, especially the youngest and fantasy fans, but is going rather unnoticed. And it’s a shame, because this is a very fresh and fun product that deserves much more attention. And many more seasons.

The series follows Edwin Payne (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri), two teenage ghosts with very different characters and from different eras who become best friends and join together to create the Dead Detective Agency, under which They investigate supernatural mysteries. Together with their new friends, the medium Crystal (Kassius Nelson) and Niko (Yuyu Kitamura), Edwin and Charles dedicate themselves to solving cases, each one more strange and dangerous, which It will lead them to face witches, demons and spirits, but also to deal with their respective pasts..

In tone, ‘The Dead Detectives’ is not too similar to ‘Sandman’, but rather has a markedly youthful approach and is much more oriented towards comedy and fantastic action, with modern characters and plots developed quite cheekily. To give you an idea, the series has much more in common with things like ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, ‘Wednesday’ or ‘Lockwood Agency’ (all from Netflix), and above all, with ‘Supernatural’ (don’t worry). It will surprise you to know that its creator, Steve Yockey, was a screenwriter for the long-running CW series). But be careful, it also draws a lot from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’ (what fantasy teen series doesn’t?), without forgetting the origin of it all, ‘Scooby-Doo’, to which it makes the occasional nod. . Furthermore, she could be described as the younger cousin of ‘Good Omens’, with whom she has Gaiman and the dynamic of the protagonist duo with a lot of history behind them and something more than friendship?

Where do Edwin and Charles come from?

Because ‘Dead Detectives’ relies mainly on the chemistry between George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri, which would have completely obsessed Tumblr users in 2013, in the same way as ‘Supernatural’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sherlock’. This, however, is first and foremost a 2024 series, and it doesn’t mince words or subtext, but rather, Like ‘Sandman’, it presents a logically diverse, inclusive and very queer world.

It should not surprise us considering that the series has among its main producers Greg Berlanti, known for the Arrowverse series, as well as ‘Sabrina’, ‘Riverdale’ or the films ‘Love, Simon and ‘Red, White and Blue Blood ‘. Rexstrew and Revri are a revelation and the “ship” between Edwin and Charles is one of the great attractions of the series, as well as the way in which it explores sexuality through the former, a teenager who was unable to live openly that facet of his life as he lived and died in the early 20th century.

‘The Dead Detectives’ is based on the DC characters created by Neil Gaiman, Matt Wagner and Malcolm Jones III. They first appeared in issue 25 of ‘The Sandman’, published in 1991.. In the comics, Edwin and Charles are two children, but it was decided to raise their age in the series to be able to tell more adult and darker stories. The two had a cameo in the series ‘Doom Patrol’, played by other actors (Sebastian Croft and Ty Tennant), but here they come to the fore to star in their own adventures.

The series was originally developed for HBO Max (and it shows), but finally ended up on Netflix, where it officially joins the Sandmanverse. The connections with ‘Sandman’, however, are rather scarce and anecdotal. In the first episode we see Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, a crossover that serves to make official the direct relationship between both series, but little else. From there, ‘The Dead Detectives’ is developed independently, with its own style and without the need to see ‘Sandman’ to follow its plot.

Needs an audience boost

‘The Dead Detectives’ has not gotten off to a good start and could have a very difficult time getting renewed. Its premiere week managed to debut as the second most viewed series on Netflix globally. It sounds like success, but the figures paint a different reality: 3.1 million views, a number that puts it directly on the tightrope (Although it is unfair to compare them, ‘My stuffed reindeer’ registered 22 million that same week). And we already know how Netflix deals with cancellations. Mercilessly. As we have seen with similar series such as ‘The Irregulars’, ‘Lockwood Agency’ or ‘Shadow and Bone’.

Waiting to see how it plays out in the crucial next two weeks, the series faces a major challenge to survive. The reception among viewers who have been encouraged to press play and devour its 8 episodes has been very positive, and critics have also been good to it (it accumulates an excellent 93% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes). Almost everyone agrees in praising its cast, as well as its highly entertaining fusion of mystery, fantasy and teenage drama.

Dead Boy Detectives Agency

We must also highlight its careful aesthetic finish (very much in tune with today’s most sophisticated adolescent productions), its irresistibly gothic setting, its sense of humor (evident from its hilarious opening credits starring dancing skeletons) and its not prim use of violence and graphic language. Come on, what Anyone who expects something light because it is a youth fiction is wrong, because there is blood, gore and tacos for a while..

But in the end, what ends up engaging about ‘The Dead Detectives’ are its characters, as it should be. And plots that perfectly combine the format of self-contained cases with seasonal arcs, presenting a very rich mythology, full of memorable villains and secondary characters and with a lot of future potential. We don’t know if word of mouth will do its job in this case or if, on the contrary, it will end up condemned to the growing limbo of Netflix’s unfinished series, but if this article serves to encourage at least one more person to watch it, my work is done.

The first season of ‘The Dead Detectives’, made up of 8 episodes, is available on Netflix.

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