Spoilers

The Irregulars Review: Chapter by Bloody Chapter

Netflix’s new supernatural horror adventure series, The Irregulars, is based on the Baker Street Irregulars characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels.

I am creepily thrilled with the gory, gooey, hematic mess left on the floor.

The debut season is full of dark ambiance and disgusting blood splatter.

You’d have to forgive me if I were expecting a tweeny-adventure show. The lead characters are young, indeed. But this is adult horror fare. And I ate it all the hell up.

As we were fortunate enough to view the entire season, let’s review chapter-by-chapter (semi sans spoilers, somehow) to sum it all up.

Chapter 1: An Unkindness. We are introduced to the gang of former workhouse orphans. I refrained from screaming out, “Please, sir, can I have some more?” 38 times in the first few minutes (I’ll take that pat on the back!).

While the series does have a monster-of-the-week structure, the first one — a birdly villain — sets up others to follow and creates a season arc.

We meet sickly prince Leopold (Harrison Osterfield), who feigns poverty to hang with one of our lead sisters, Bea (Thaddea Graham).

Then, there’s the God-type figure, known only as Linen Man (Clarke Peters) — see, he wears white linens. He comes to the other sister, Jessie (Darci Shaw), in her psychic dreams/nightmares.

We get our first taste of gore, but just a taste … considering what is to follow.

Dr. Watson (Royce Pierreson) meets the kids for the first time.

Chapter 2: The Ghosts of 221B. Real interesting stuff churning here as we learn a smidgen more about why supernatural occurrences are on the rise in London. 

The Golden Dawn is a thing based on a real thing: the 19th-century occultist group in Britain.

We learn of its existence here, along with a terrifying Tooth Fairy menacing the community. Gross.

Chapter 3: Ipsissimus. Learning a cool world, “ipsissimus,” might be enough to hold interest throughout this chapter, but we also are introduced to the Golden Dawn members by an adorable Michael Holmes — yes, Sherlock’s brother.

Oh, we like Michael. A lot. (At preview time, the actor’s name was missing from the credits.)

Chapter 3 begins a new mystery, along with a romance triangle amongst the kids — the former being of interest and the latter not being as cheesy or boring as most romance stories, really. 

Chapter 4: Both the Needle and the Knife. I was singing Slayer’s “Dead Skin Mask” in my head throughout this one! (Don’t you miss the days of yore when masks were weird things?) 

It’s a doozy. And the metamorphoses caused by such masks in the chapter are fine, indeed.

We finally get eyes on Mr. Sherlock Holmes. And only halfway through the season, ha!

Chapter 5: Students of the Unhallowed Arts. Was the wait for Sherlock worth it? Well, he’s no Michael Holmes, but the holdout builds intrigue that is difficult to live up to. It still works here.

In an informative chapter, we learn more about the Rip between the dead and the living worlds.

The song used at the end — which I believe to be by a band called Mesadrom — is incredible. I thought it was called “Move to Me,” but I cannot find it online. Any help from the fans out there?

Chapter 6: Hieracium Snowdoniense. Complicated title for sure.

This chapter is a great exploration of relationships and the concept of marriage-till-death-and-beyond. 

And not quite what we were expecting.

Chapter 7: The Ecstacy of Death.  A confession that has been all too long drawn out lies herein.

It’s not a surprise to anyone who was paying any attention at all. I suppose the execution is decent, but it feels forced — like maybe there was some executive mandate to throw it in.

The Linen Man arc is in full swing here, and it’s pretty good stuff.

Chapter 8. The Ecstacy of Life. The season finale gets a little CW-ish in its conclusion. But the lovey-dovey triangulation stuff comes too late to ruin the show. Phew! 

As is often the case, the conclusion isn’t as interesting as what comes before. It does allow for more gory gruesomeness to follow next season if there is a second one. And here’s hoping any following seasons aren’t ruined by dumb romance stuff (this is horror, remember!).

I presume the show will do well with its tough kid characters, familiar but newly fantasized territory, and — most importantly — shock-inducing carnage.

OK, OK, it’s not “shock-inducing” to those of us who feed on the hematic, but it’s got creativity to its bloodshed, of which I approve.

While I do love one of the closing songs noted above, I find it odd how much contemporary music is used and how I  seem the only one distracted by such annoying musical inclusions when it happens. 

I know for young adult programming, it is often key to sell new music. And it might even work on me, as I love music — just not usually music featured in television programs.

Such post-production decisions can sometimes make or break a show, though. Here, it hasn’t inordinately belittled the overall nature of the series.

When a contemporary song closes out an episode, that’s not often distracting, but excessive use within the narrative is.

Now that The Irregulars has dropped in full go watch and return to drop your opinions in the comments section below.

Kerr Lordygan is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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