Streaming content and binge watching has become extremely popular among all demographics. There is a part of me that longs for the return of “appointment television, when we would schedule a block of time to watch a specific show. There was a community aspect to watching television at that time. We would sit down and watch the same things and talk about the same things. You would walk up to someone you know and ask, “Did you see last night’s episode of [insert television show name here]?”
No one talks about television in that way anymore. The conversation tends to be more off hand like, “Did you see [insert television show name]? No, OK, but you should definitely watch it.” There is so much content available to us that we rarely watch the same things nowadays. Sure, it still happens a little bit, but not on the large scale it used to.
Binge watching is not all bad and it in fact has its upsides as well as its downsides. The upsides only come into play though when there is a show so good everyone has to watch it. In the past decade there have probably only been two shows that have done this: “Stranger Things” and “Game of Thrones.” There used to be far more than that in a decade.
Television in 2020 is now more of a preference on specific content than it is appointment viewing. As many have and do, this past week I was perusing Netflix for what to watch next. This is when I found the new Netflix show, “Locke & Key.”
“Locke & Key” is an American IDW Publishing comic book series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez. The comic and new television series tells the story of three siblings named Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode. The siblings move into their ancestral estate after their father’s murder. This is where they discover their new home’s magical keys — keys that must be used by the siblings in their stand against an evil creature who wants their powers.
Preference will come into play with “Locke & Key,” but if you like “Stranger Things” or maybe even the Netflix series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” then you will like this show.
“Locke & Key” builds a magical world, a Narnia-esque world, for its characters to be apart of.
Jackson Robert Scott plays the youngest of the three siblings, Bode. Bode is by far the most fun and engaging character in “Locke & Key.” The youthful exuberance towards the magic of “Locke & Key” allows Bode to jump headlong into the story of Key House. Scott’s character is the first to discover a number of mysterious keys throughout the house that can be used to unlock various doors in magical ways
The keys are the best part of “Locke & Key.” Each key brings with it a magical story for each character who uses it and each key has a different magical use. The “head key” allows the user to unlock and go inside either their own or another person’s head. This leads to some very, excuse the pun, heady scenes. For instance, there are scenes where Kinsey or Bode looks back on moments with her deceased father. The most meaningful is when Kinsey uses the Head key to bury or get rid of certain emotions to help her deal with her father’s death. This leads to some very profound realizations and consequences.
There is also the “anywhere key.” This key allows the user to use the key on any door and while thinking of a place to go that door will then take the person wielding the key there.
The “anywhere key” is how Bode first meets — and the show first introduces — the villain, predominantly played by Laysla De Oliveira, or Dodge as she is called in the show. Dodge is a good villain for the series. She goes after Bode which makes her bad, but as a villain she is also doing the fun stuff others would imagine doing with the keys.
This is seen when she finally gets the “anywhere key” and uses it to go get food and stuff her face to just leave to another country/place through the bathroom door.
Bode may be the most fun character but the most interesting is Kinsey played by Emilia Jones. Kinsey was profoundly affected by the passing of her father. There is a reason for this and “Locke & Key” explains this very well.
In fact, their character work is fantastic in “Locke & Key.” They take the time and care to develop each character and develop their emotions in regards to each key. The actors have moments where they are not very good but engaging character work by the show overshadows that.
“Locke & Key” is all about storytelling, as it should be in the telling of a comic book tale.
In some shows, the actors are secondary to the characters and the story. This is the case with “Locke & Key” and it is also the show’s best aspect. A fantasy/comic story, it fully leans into the story rather than leaning into the characters.
There are enough shows out there that humanize or lean into how characters deal with things, sometimes it is fun to just run along with a story. This is what “Locke & Key” offers.
“Locke & Key” should be the next big Netflix show and is one to binge watch and enjoy.
The best aspect of “Locke & Key” is that whether you binge watch or watch it at a slower pace, you will not be left hanging when you are done.
The show ends the part of the story it is trying to tell in a way that if this was the only season the viewer would be happy with the ending. All the while it does give just enough to open a second season. There is nothing worse than watching a show to its season’s end just to be left with a massive cliffhanger you have to wait a year or more for.
“Locke & Key” settles everything out so nicely that the viewer will enjoy the experience and can also be done with the experience until next year without worrying or being hung up on “Locke & Key” for a year.
In the age of binge watching and preferential television, this is the best way to watch a Netflix show and “Locke & Key” has done it the best way possible.
One of the characters in “Locke & Key” says, “It’s okay to lose yourself in this, just as long as you can find yourself again.”
“Locke & Key” is exactly that a story to lose yourself in and “Locke & Key” is just a well told story that is made to simply enjoy,
IRATE SCORE: 3.5/5
Jason Guyer is an avid moviegoer and works in the graphics department at the Eagle Times. For questions or comments he can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.