“The Irregulars” Season 1 Review

Story posted March 31, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Cade Miller.

Netflix has added its newest piece of entertainment to its Sherlock Holmes collections. Already boasting movies featuring the famed fictional detective portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch as well as the film, “Enola Holmes,” this world of mystery has added new detectives to the story with “The Irregulars.” The normal story of Sherlock Holmes covers basic crimes and mysteries. In this show, there is way more to unpack.

Tom Bidwell, known for the animated drama “Watership Down,” has definitely made his name known with his newest piece of art. “The Irregulars” stand out from his past work, being a crime drama/mystery with a touch of horror.

“The Irregulars” takes place in 19th-century London (just like you would typically expect of Sherlock Holmes-based media). The world is a gray place full of starving people living in filth. Four British kids—Bea, Jessie, Billy and Spike—have grown up in a workhouse, and since they have left, the only thing they have known is poverty. They have been scavengers their whole life, looking for money and food to stay alive.

Their lives seemed hopeless until Bea is introduced to a man by the name John Watson. He offers Bea a salary to find information about a case of kidnapped children. When the group of four begin working together, they find a boy named Leopold who is a rather put-together person.

The newly formed group of five starts investigating these strange disappearances. They soon find that these cases are not normal—they all involve demonic witchcraft formed into each victim.

With every episode, more and more secrets are revealed by the group, eventually unveiling that there is a monstrous being making it unsafe for all citizens of London.

Surprisingly, “The Irregulars” is rated just 12-and-up. The show is sometimes gruesome with its use of blood and gore. Some parents who allow their kids to watch may be surprised about how Netflix rates age for their products, let alone the fact that there may be some adults surprised by the number of graphic images they witness in this show. The blood and makeup look insanely real, sure to make some audiences shiver.

But the graphics can sway on both sides. Yes, it is a scary viewing experience for some, but it is also a worthwhile watching point for others.

The makeup is incredible. Most shows lack on the special effects side, especially for the horrifying monsters and demons that reveal themselves deep into the episode listing. But not “The Irregulars.” This show thrives on making each monster look as scary and as real as they can be.

Not only that, but the show also makes each human character look as needed. The posh characters, living in richer establishments, aren’t covered in makeup, but they still have enough to look human. And the characters who live in poorer areas do have dirt on their face but not so much that they look as if they just climbed out of a pig pen.

Not everything aesthetically is a grand slam though; the musical accompaniment made some very strange choices. Sometimes, the action is assisted by a Victorian symphony, helping to place the audience into the time period of 1800s London. Then, randomly, a pop song would be thrown into the background, completely destroying the credibility that the show had established in that category. The sound crew needed to pick a lane and stay in it.

All around, “The Irregulars” is interesting and definitely new. It could have easily been the same old Sherlock storyline, but no, it adds new elements of witchcraft and monsters, making it a show like nothing else in the Holmes catalog. It’s worth checking out.

Rating: 3/5


Cade Miller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email cam7095@psu.edu.