Netflix’s enticing ‘Locke & Key’ adaption is a fresh take on the beloved comic book series
Netflix’s latest fantasy teen drama series, Locke & Key, is the product of greater than 10 years of negotiations, failed pilots, and shuffling amongst networks — however the trade’s indecisiveness is undetectable all through the series’ marvelously constructed first season.
It’s been a lengthy and winding street to get there. Locke & Key is carefully primarily based on the intricate horror comic book series of the similar identify, which started in 2008, written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez. Following the comic’s early success, Fox acquired the rights for a TV adaptation and launched a pilot in 2011 that as Tyler Locke, one among the series’ most important characters. The present wasn’t picked up. Joe Hill about a potential movie trilogy in the works in 2014; that did not pan out both. In the years following, Hulu labored on a pilot of the present that by no means aired. Netflix then developed the thought into the 2020 iteration of the series.
Locke & Key is fascinating, intelligent, and ever-unfolding.
The Netflix series focuses on the youngest technology of the Locke household, one among the many units of intergenerational protagonists featured in the comic series. The series picks up with Nina Locke (Darby Stanchfield) relocating her youngsters — Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), who’re each in highschool, and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), a pre-teen — from Seattle to her late husband Rendell’s (Bill Heck) ancestral dwelling in Massachusetts (“Keyhouse”) for a fresh begin. Rendell has been murdered by Sam Lesser (Thomas Mitchell Barnet), a classmate of Tyler’s in pursuit of a set of keys he was satisfied Rendell had.
It’s simple to see why so many alternative manufacturing corporations have taken a crack at adapting the comic books: Locke & Key — each its unique storyline and its Netflix adaptation — is fascinating, intelligent, and ever-unfolding.
So a lot unfolds, in truth, that Locke & Key’s complexity may need hindered networks from getting it proper in the previous. Once the Lockes transfer into Keyhouse, they notice that the connection Sam cast between Rendell and the keys was spot on. The household experiences a series of supernatural occasions due to their new abode: Bode encounters a demon trapped at the backside of a properly on Keyhouse’s property, and the siblings purchase keys that grant them the powers of teleportation and invisibility (amongst others), and entry to discover their very own psyches.
Tyley, Kinsey, and Bode then use their newfound powers to know why Sam Lesser was after their father and what Rendell needed to do with the keys. Nina additionally embarks on her personal investigations of her late husband’s adolescence in Keyhouse.
The complete fantastical awakening is underscored by Tyler and Kinsey’s experiences assimilating into a new faculty the place all the college students are conversant in their household’s legacy, which incorporates a group of Rendell’s mates mysteriously drowning off the Massachusetts coast after they have been in highschool, and the siblings’ grief-filled investigation into Rendell’s previous. Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode study that their late father steadily used Keyhouse’s magic keys when he was younger. The episodes get higher over time, and Locke & Key proves to be well-written, entertaining, and spooky.
Also enjoyable: Adults are unable to recollect their prior use of magic in the present’s universe. Therefore, despite the fact that Rendell used to have entry to the magical dimension contained in the Keyhouse, he misplaced and forgot powers, that means his youngsters wanted to find the keys for themselves. In addition, their mom Nina interacts with the Keyhouse’s powers, however instantly forgets about her experiences. Watching Locke & Key‘s teenagers maintain all the unadultered (pun completely supposed) energy is nice.
The series is self-aware: teen drama clichés, corresponding to a love triangle engineered by Kinsey amongst two of her male mates, are concurrently acknowledged and indulged in. Showrunners Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill steadiness the mystical and emotional parts inherent to Locke & Key’s storyline fairly properly.
What’s extra, the series options a number of robust performances: Jessup, Jones, and Scott are more-than-convincing siblings. In specific, Jessup and Jones have improbable familial chemistry, and act as Bode’s guardians and companions in crime who rise above teen sibling pressure to combat demons and manipulate Keyhouse’s magic for good. Plus, as a Scandal fan, I used to be excited to see that Stanchfield’s portrayal of Nina wasn’t paying homage to Pope & Associates’s Abby Whelan.
Locke & Key options a numerous solid whose demographics should not targeted on all through the series’ first season. While Netflix’s different current additions to its slate of sweet sixteen and children programming — corresponding to Spinning Out, Raising Dion, and Daybreak — have centered narratives round the various formative experiences of teenagers of coloration, Locke & Key is noticeably mum on such themes.
In the series’ universe, non-white characters merely exist, with out remark or storyline about racial profiling or tokenization. In reality, it appears Locke & Key utilized color-blind casting at massive and did not solid characters as they appeared in the comic books… besides when it got here to its leads, the Locke household. Given that Locke & Key‘s storylines don’t focus on race, it appears showrunners missed a chance to solid the series’ leads as non-white as properly.
Locke & Key is now obtainable to stream on Netflix.
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