Since Harry Potter, movies and TV series based on popular YA books with a fantastic background have been almost guaranteed hits, and Lockwood & Co. is no exception.
In an alternate universe, a massive ghost problem has arisen in the last 50 years. Nobody knows about the origin of “the problem” and only teenagers can sense ghosts. Several agencies train and employ them as ghost hunters or agents as they are called. Lockwood & Co. is a rather unusual agency, as they have no adult supervision. The owner is Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) and the team also includes research wizard George Karim (Ali Hadji-Heshmati) and proficient listener Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes).
The ghost stories are nothing new, but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment, on the contrary. The viewers are transported back to the time when they read ghost stories under the bed cover. The show has plenty of haunted houses, tortured souls, and people obsessed with the other side.
What gives the show a unique touch is that the public is aware of the problem. Ghost-hunters are not considered weirdos, but trained professionals and ghost hunting is an important industry.
Lockwood & Co. shows very subtly that it takes place in an alternate universe. Although it is set in present times, and the characters sport fairly modern styles, it is the lack of modern technology that indicates something is different. We see no cell phones, and the characters rely on technology such as VHS tapes and cassette recorders. The problem has stalled technological development. Sometimes, however, the production team made weird choices, for example when they chose to put a nasal cannula on patients’ foreheads. But these things are easily forgiven, as they happen mostly in the background.
The show also subtly tackles mental health issues, such as depression, survivors guilt, and post traumatic stress syndrome. These issues never take the center stage, but we see that these are things the characters have to deal with on a daily basis. Especially since society relies on teenagers to do such a taxing job.
The characters are gifted young people, but also exhibit the social awkwardness prone to all teenagers, while fighting their own demons. Because although some adults don’t want to admit it, teenagers can carry a lot of emotional baggage.
Cameron Chapman portrays Anthony Lockwood extraordinarily. He is a dashing fighter and charismatic leader in one moment, and a tormented teenager in the next. Chapman’s performance is smooth and perfectly believable. It is even more surprising considering that this is Chapman’s first professional acting job. He has a talent and charisma reminiscent of Benedict Cumberbatch, and will definitely go far. After all, how many young actors land a lead role in a TV series as their first job?
Ruby Stokes was, until Lockwood & Co., mainly known for her portrayal of Francesca Bridgerton in the series of the same name. The role of Lucy gives her a chance to shine. The character has been traumatized, but is strong and trying to find her place in the world. She is particularly good in action scenes, as her fear is palpable, but she still powers through. Lucy is also particularly empathic, always focused on helping others.
George Karim completes the trio and is played by Ali Hadji-Heshmati. He is the researcher of the team, highly intelligent, and the one who turns the house into a home, when he takes on tasks like cooking. Just like his character, who is rarely part of the action, Ali Hadji-Heshmati gets less “big scenes” to create his character. His performance, however, is very nuanced, and he shines in particular during the interpersonal scenes.
Lockwood & Co. basically offers ghost stories with a twist. It has a wonderfully talented young cast and makes for good, light entertainment. The emotional journey of the characters is engaging, and the ghost stories are fun. Now that the background of the universe has been set up, the storyline can dig deeper into the ghost stories and background of the characters. Let’s hope the show gets its well deserved second season!
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Maria is our resident nerd and passionate about all things fantasy and science fiction. She is Spanish and grew up in Germany, which is why she is a native speaker of both languages. Becoming a fantasy writer was only logical to combine her skills and passions. In addition, she is working on her English degree and loves to play tennis and dance Salsa. She is currently writing her first novel and will mainly be covering Star Wars, Star Trek and Shadow & Bone.