Sunday, April 16, 2017

Now on Netflix: Detectorists (2014)

Detectorists (2014) - Written and Directed by Mackenzie Crook; Starring Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook, Rachael Stirling, Aimee Ffion-Edwards.

By Kenny Howell

Sometimes there are comedies that aren't hilarious, it just has a spirit about it that keeps a smile on your face, and makes it a joy to just live with it.

That is Detectorists, the BBC series from former The Office star Mackenzie Crook (Gareth will always be better than Dwight). Here, he wrote, directed and stars in this story of two friends named Andy and Lance (Crook and Toby Jones) who have a metal detecting hobby in the English countryside.

That is just the hook for the show, as it is more about exploring these two men's lives, as they try to put things together. In Season 1, Andy has a girlfriend, but a new girl in the metal detecting group puts a strain on that. Lance is divorced, but still takes care of his ex-wife in a way, and he is trying to move on from that.

There are plenty of funny moments in Detectorists, it is very clever, but it really works because of the talents of Crook and Jones. They know how to walk the fine line of not ridiculing this hobby, but also having fun with it, but are also just very human actors. That is why I think Gareth was a better character than Dwight in the UK and American versions of The Office. Gareth felt like a real person you worked with, while Dwight was a cartoon character. Crook knows how to bring out those types, and it is true here as well.

Detectorists doesn't aim for anything big, there isn't big physical humor, big set up bits, it is just slice of life comedy, and a very good one at that.

The first two seasons of Detectorists are now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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