Friday, June 30, 2017

Detectorists Series Review

Detectorists (2014-) 
Season 1 - 6 episodes (2014)
Season 2 - 7 episodes (2015)
Buy Detectorists Season 1 on Amazon
Buy Detectorists Season 2 on Amazon
Watch Detectorists on Netflix
Created by: Mackenzie Crook
Starring: Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones, Pearce Quigley
Rated: TV-MA

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous television reviews!

Two eccentric metal detectorists spend their days plodding along open fields hoping to unearth the fortune of a lifetime.

This is a fantastic show. Don't let the premise of 'two guys metal detecting' dissuade you. That description is a disservice. This follows the drama in the lives of two best friends Lance and Andy. Life can be serious and silly, and as detectorists they're hunting for meaning and vindication, something we all seek. They are strong characters, flawed and fixated, that never feel anything less than real, and that's the charm of this show.
Watch it.

Written and directed by Mackenzie Crook, best known for playing Gareth in the U.K. version of The Office, this show immediately impressed me with how great it always looks. Some movies don't take as much time establishing shots and scenes. All of that would be for nothing if the show didn't create such authentic characters. Metal detecting is an escape and a chance to overcome their social order. They want to find gold, the goal of any detectorists, but they only see others on the news.
Crooks has confirmed a third and final season will air towards the end of 2017.

Season 1
Lance is stuck to his ex-wife. She constantly uses him, and while Andy frequently tells him this, we get the sense Lance knows it to some degree. He likes being useful and having something in his life even if he knows it's a farce. Detecting is an escape. Andy is trying to find a job, but knows he doesn't have any real skills. Both men are socially awkward. Detecting is a mostly solo exploit, but they've forged a bond over it.
While waiting for his girlfriend, a middle school teacher, to get off work, Andy is approached with concerns that he might be a miscreant just because of how he looks.

Lance and Andy's conversations are understated, simple words holding a lot of meaning. We get the sense they've been in the fields for years forging this bond. The subtlety with these characters is impressive. It's what makes this show unique and charming, aside from metal detecting.
The new girl in the detectorist group, Sohpie manages to create a rift between Andy and Lance and later Andy and his girlfriend. Metal detecting is serious business, but it's also a relationship Andy and Lance have built. They want to share in each others successes. When Andy makes a discovery with Sophie, Lance isn't happy. He feels he should have been there.
Lance and Andy's group the Danebury Metal Detecting Club (DMDC), aren't without rivals. the duo dubbed Simon and Garfunkel from the AntiquiSearchers are hilarious in every scene. The humor is distinctly British, subtle yet incredibly clever.

Season 2
This season seemed to have a larger budget, the first scene opening with a flashback to times when Saxons roamed the lands. These scenes set up a thread woven throughout the series, how close and simultaneously how far Lance is from finally finding his gold.
While season one took time to establish the characters, season two has a few more arcs, with a man looking for a plane crash and new archaeological graduate Andy looking for a job that might take him out of the country. This season explores treasure hunters and reasons for seeking it. For Lance and Andy, it isn't about the money. They truly love the hobby, despite the frustrations.
Their hobby can make one easily disillusioned as Lance sees a detectorist discover gold and cross the television screen after only two sessions. By the end of the season, both men have made significant decisions that will dictate their future while the DMDC is in a prime position to discover new valuables that might be buried in the ground.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget