I feel like I have to make a point about it being Detectorists season one because that’s all there is to watch on Netflix. In true Netflix form, when you find something you really enjoy watching — which is a bit of a rarity these days; it always seems to be a season or two short of complete. Unless it’s Netflix original content, then you’re generally peachy. Phew, rant over — it’s been a long week is all I’m saying.
I was recommended The Detectorists recently, the BBC comedy written, directed by and starring Mackenzie Crook. The odd one from The Office who hasn’t done a great deal of since, apart from Pirates of the Caribbean & Game of Thrones. Despite seeing it on my regular flick through of Netflix, I’ve been pretty apprehensive about watching it thanks to the fairly dreary looking cover and uninspiring name. I gave a chance though and managed to rinse through the whole season in one night. At only six, 30 minute long episodes — it’s the most enjoyable three hours of British TV I’ve seen this year.
A dark and slow burning comedy about a pair of metal detectorists (people who use metal detectors) who are out looking for the haul of a lifetime. It manages to cleverly skirt away from the cliché of awkward loners. At the same time though it injects hopelessness to both main characters and the other members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club. Crook’s love life is waining while co-star Toby Jones is being taken for a gullible fool by his ex-wife and her new husband.
The programme doesn’t just focus on the two of them out in a field detecting, though the dialogue between the two of them as they wonder around outside in dismal weather looking for their Saxon gold horde is priceless. In a similar vein to The Office, there’s no particular laugh out loud moments, but a series of scenes that will make you smile or cringe, depending how you take them. For example the whole scene where the two leads characters play one song at an open mic night, in the same pub their arch rivals the AntiquiSearchers frequent is a sequence of awkward and yet thoroughly enjoyable scenes.
Detectorists Season Two will hopefully be arriving on Netflix before too long. That will sure to be another three hour binge on quality British television.
Originally published at www.jeffers.biz on July 8, 2016.