Detectorists: Charming, Beautifully Written Series to Steal your Heart

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Detectorists: Charming, Beautifully Written Series to Steal your Heart

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – I’m bounc­ing off John Ruberry’s post this week; he reviewed the Net­flix Long­mire series and so I’m going to share my favorite series: Detec­torists, which is a charm­ing, funny, and beau­ti­fully writ­ten British series by Macken­zie Crook. Let me stress the “beau­ti­fully writ­ten” part.

Oh, and the pho­tog­ra­phy – breathtaking.

The show cen­ters on char­ac­ters Andy (Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones). The two friends are metal detec­torist hob­by­ists; the show is filmed in Suf­folk and it’s always beau­ti­ful and golden. The land­scapes are stun­ning and the macro shots of bees or but­ter­flies are breath­tak­ing. The ear-​worm theme song by Johnny Flynn is per­fec­tion. The series is sen­sory appeal­ing in every pos­si­ble way but the writ­ing is what sells it.

The writ­ing is smart British humor, not slap­stick Monty Python humor (as gold as that is…). Crook does the writ­ing and he has a clear pic­ture of his over­all story arc. Orig­i­nally he planned for only two sea­sons but after the sec­ond series ended, he began to miss his “friends” Lance and Andy as well as their quirky friends in the Daneb­ury Metal Detect­ing Club (DMCD), and he began to feel like he needed to have his char­ac­ters put down roots and get set­tled, so he came back for a final third season.

Fans were elated.

From a 2015 review:

Another joy of the writ­ing is the host of charm­ing char­ac­ters that come from it. The sup­port­ing char­ac­ters of the DMDC and beyond are all qui­etly eccen­tric and really develop across the two series into a lovely group of odd­balls. I par­tic­u­larly love Hugh (Divian Ladwa) and Russell’s (Pearce Quigley) joint mis­sion in series 2 and basi­cally any time Simon and Gar­funkel (Paul Casar and the ever-​brilliant Simon Farn­aby) are on screen it’s com­edy gold.

Rachael Stir­ling is really lovely as Andy’s wife Becky. She could so eas­ily have become the nag­ging girl­friend sit­com sta­ple but her rela­tion­ship with Andy is so well drawn she never does. The show never claims that its char­ac­ters are per­fect so on the occa­sions where Becky does get frus­trated with Andy it feels totally justified.

At the core of the show are two bril­liant per­for­mances from Macken­zie Crook and Toby Jones. As good as every­one else is they are absolutely the glue that binds the show together. The two play their chit-​chat and occa­sional neu­roses with absolute hon­esty; they bounce off each other so nat­u­rally that their rela­tion­ship comes across as unfail­ingly gen­uine. Macken­zie Crook has a pedi­gree in com­edy but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as good as he is here.

Sea­son 3 is run­ning in Britain now and will be in Amer­ica after the first of the year. Unable to wait, I found the first episode online and watched it and will admit that at the end of the thirty-​minute episode I gasped with love and antic­i­pa­tion for what is to come. It was sim­ply beautiful.

If you haven’t yet dis­cov­ered this lit­tle piece of gold, you can stream the first two episodes on Net­flix; they are also avail­able on DVD. The trailer for Series One is here.

Check it out. It’s just lovely.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreve­port.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I’m bouncing off John Ruberry’s post this week; he reviewed the Netflix Longmire series and so I’m going to share my favorite series: Detectorists, which is a charming, funny, and beautifully written British series by Mackenzie Crook.  Let me stress the “beautifully written” part.

Oh, and the photography – breathtaking.

The show centers on characters Andy (Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones).  The two friends are metal detectorist hobbyists; the show is filmed in Suffolk and it’s always beautiful and golden.  The landscapes are stunning and the macro shots of bees or butterflies are breathtaking.  The ear-worm theme song by Johnny Flynn is perfection.  The series is sensory appealing in every possible way but the writing is what sells it.

The writing is smart British humor, not slapstick Monty Python humor (as gold as that is…).  Crook does the writing and he has a clear picture of his overall story arc.  Originally he planned for only two seasons but after the second series ended, he began to miss his “friends” Lance and Andy as well as their quirky friends in the Danebury Metal Detecting Club (DMCD), and he began to feel like he needed to have his characters put down roots and get settled, so he came back for a final third season.

Fans were elated.

From a 2015 review:

Another joy of the writing is the host of charming characters that come from it. The supporting characters of the DMDC and beyond are all quietly eccentric and really develop across the two series into a lovely group of oddballs. I particularly love Hugh (Divian Ladwa) and Russell’s (Pearce Quigley) joint mission in series 2 and basically any time Simon and Garfunkel (Paul Casar and the ever-brilliant Simon Farnaby) are on screen it’s comedy gold.

Rachael Stirling is really lovely as Andy’s wife Becky. She could so easily have become the nagging girlfriend sitcom staple but her relationship with Andy is so well drawn she never does. The show never claims that its characters are perfect so on the occasions where Becky does get frustrated with Andy it feels totally justified.

At the core of the show are two brilliant performances from Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones. As good as everyone else is they are absolutely the glue that binds the show together. The two play their chit-chat and occasional neuroses with absolute honesty; they bounce off each other so naturally that their relationship comes across as unfailingly genuine. Mackenzie Crook has a pedigree in comedy but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as good as he is here.

Season 3 is running in Britain now and will be in America after the first of the year.  Unable to wait, I found the first episode online and watched it and will admit that at the end of the thirty-minute episode I gasped with love and anticipation for what is to come.  It was simply beautiful.

If you haven’t yet discovered this little piece of gold, you can stream the first two episodes on Netflix; they are also available on DVD.  The trailer for Series One is here.

Check it out.  It’s just lovely.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.