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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
(Chosen) family love reigns in this series, and a period drama that focuses on working-class characters instead of royals and posh types is rather refreshing.
Positive Role Models
The cast is diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, as well as class and socioeconomic status. One character is a royal while others are downtrodden orphans, but the drama roots for both. "Just because you drive around in a fancy carriage doesn't make you my better," Bea tells a snooty man. Bea is the most obvious role model, as she's both courageous and caring about her siblings; her fellow Irregulars often rely on her good sense.
Violence & Scariness
Violence often has a supernatural edge: a flock of birds descends on a woman, then viewers see her dead body with bloody holes where her eyes were before they were pecked out. Expect foggy nights, dark specters, spooky dreamscapes, and other imagery that may be too scary for young or sensitive children.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some jokes tend toward the mature, like when a character accidentally ends up soliciting the services of a sex worker who says she'll "relieve him" for "tuppence." In other scenes, there are references to making "sweet love" and "banging." There's sexual tension between some characters; expect flirting, kissing, romantic complications. A character has a fantasy about another character kissing him and then covers his crotch (as if he had an erection).
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Language includes "s--t," "ass," "hell," and "prick." Expect vulgar English slang, too: "bell end," "piss off," "slag."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes take place in bars, with characters drinking ale.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Irregulars is a mystery series that centers on a group of teens who help Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson with their cases in 19th-century London. Some of the images and plotlines may be too scary for young or sensitive viewers. A flock of ravens attacks a woman, and then her dead body is shown with bloody holes where her eyes used to be. Villains take up residence in spooky old buildings, and inhumanly tall shadowy figures loom large in nightmares. Sexual content includes references to "banging" and making "sweet love," a scene in which a character unwittingly engages a sex worker who offers to "relieve him," and sexual tension between characters; expect that tension to result in kissing and romantic complications. The diverse (in terms of race, ethnicity, class, and socioeconomic status) cast forms a chosen family that's deeply supportive of each other and works together to survive. Language is infrequent, but "s--t," "ass," "hell," and "prick" all make appearances, as does English slang like "piss off" and "slag." Some scenes take place in bars; characters drink ale.
Is It Any Good?
An appealing cast, a light horror-mystery vibe, period visuals, and a fresh spin on a much-explored literary figure keeps this show entertaining despite its hoary case-of-the-week setup. Sherlock Holmes stories have certainly been the basis for endless adaptations, both cinematic and televised, and the rip-roaring success of the Cumberbatch-as-Sherlock series is the obvious inspiration for a teen spin on the old-timey London detective narrative. Setting the action amongst a group of savvy street kids who help Watson and Holmes out with their inquiries is a brilliant idea, and it allows the viewer to see a dirtier, seamier side of 19th century London life than is typical for period dramas.
The young cast is easy to root for, too, especially Thaddea Graham's Bea, who's essentially the older sister/mom figure of the foursome who make up the found family The Irregulars centers on. Steely-eyed and fearless, she makes an excellent heroine to root for, focused on keeping her makeshift family housed and fed and reluctantly involving herself in Holmes' cases for cash rather than as an exciting intellectual diversion, as is often the case with Holmes. The Irregulars' frequent flirtations with horror movie imagery and plotlines is also fun: a villain who can call down ravens to do his murderous bidding? A mystical dream world with a spirit guide who helps solve mysteries? It's weird and it works, like The Irregulars itself.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.