13 votes

Detectorists - "unremarkable lives gone slightly awry"

I'm currently re-watching all episodes of Detectorists and it's one of my favourite tv things ever, so I thought maybe Tildes would be interested. Detectorists is a single camera sitcom about two men and their friendship around their metal detecting hobby.

Here's the link to the BBC Four webpage for it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06l51nr

Some review sites -

Rotten Tomatoes 100% (few reviews), 99% audience score: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/detectorists

IMDB 8.6 : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4082744/

Guardian review (because she writes about it far better than I can): https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/dec/09/detectorists-rich-portrait-unremarkable-lives-gone-slightly-awry-mackenzie-crook

Detectorists is about nothing and everything. Made with palpable love, it’s about people and their passions; camaraderie and community. As a portrait of male friendship, it is closer to documentary than drama, delving beneath the topsoil of mid-life ennui via the sparsest of exchanges. You won’t find a laughter track, or smart-arse punchlines or an oh-so-subtle veil of irony here; instead of begging for your attention, Detectorists is notable for its avoidance of snark. It’s the drama least likely to culminate in alpha plonkers blowing up cars, taking down baddies or ravishing beautiful women.

Instead, it lingers lovingly over dewdrops on grass, magpies on gateposts, scudding clouds and gently fluttering leaves. Even an alfresco wee takes on a painterly aspect, viewed solely through the steam cloud billowing from behind a sunlit tree. Meanwhile, the camera makes high art out of Lance’s face in closeup, crestfallen as he unearths a scaffolding bracket instead of an Anglo-Saxon nugget, and from Andy’s silent incredulity when a colleague jokes about Richard Attenborough when he means David.

Radio Times review https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2017-12-13/detectorists-series-3-review/

If all British programmes took this much care over their tone, look and overall distinctiveness, the golden age of television would never go away.

Modern comedies are often predicated on cruelty: laughs are hard, clanging or sharp as barbed wire. In its quiet, undemonstrative way, Detectorists has ploughed its own furrow. Buried in its field of fun are evergreen truths about life, and the things we don’t say but should. So if kindness and companionship are unfashionable, I know which side of the hedge I’d rather stand.

8 comments

  1. 9000
    Link
    I really enjoyed watching the Detectorists, but I've never met anyone else bring it up again, so I thought I was the only one. I'm glad it's getting some love, as it is a wonderful series.

    I really enjoyed watching the Detectorists, but I've never met anyone else bring it up again, so I thought I was the only one.

    I'm glad it's getting some love, as it is a wonderful series.

    6 votes
  2. tomf
    Link
    You know, DanBC --- you have excellent taste in televison. Detectorists is such a gentle series. I love it. I love the competition/antagonists, the politics of the club... the details are...

    You know, DanBC --- you have excellent taste in televison.

    Detectorists is such a gentle series. I love it. I love the competition/antagonists, the politics of the club... the details are excellent. I couldn't imagine better casting than Crook and Jones, either.

    5 votes
  3. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Neat. I hadn't heard of this show before but it sounds right up my alley, since I regularly watch a bunch of real life detectorists on YouTube (Aquachigger, DeepDiggerDan, Relic Recoverist,...

    Neat. I hadn't heard of this show before but it sounds right up my alley, since I regularly watch a bunch of real life detectorists on YouTube (Aquachigger, DeepDiggerDan, Relic Recoverist, nuggetnoggin, etc.). So I will definitely be checking this out. Thanks for the heads up/recommendation!

    p.s. Aquachigger also recently cohosted a TV show on History Channel UK called River Hunters that was really great, and I would absolutely recommend checking it out if you can find it.

    3 votes
  4. [4]
    Adys
    Link
    You have me convinced. I'll give it a shot over the weekend and come back with some thoughts.

    Detectorists is a single camera sitcom about two men and their friendship around their metal detecting hobby.

    You have me convinced. I'll give it a shot over the weekend and come back with some thoughts.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      @DanBC I caught the first episode yesterday. It's good, and definitely has the kind of feel I'm looking for in this sort of series. There's something off about it too, I can't quite put my finger...

      @DanBC I caught the first episode yesterday.

      It's good, and definitely has the kind of feel I'm looking for in this sort of series. There's something off about it too, I can't quite put my finger on it yet.

      Both actors give me the creeps. One I recognize from the UK office, I think he was the UK's Dwight. The other I recognize from... Something. Maybe Snuff Box.

      I'm going to keep watching. I'm not hooked but unless I get hugely put off at some point I think I'll finish the series. Still, early days.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        @DanBC so I watched the second episode earlier. It was pretty good. So I watched the third. And then the rest of the first season. Yeah it's a good show :) lots of emotions for something so.....

        @DanBC so I watched the second episode earlier. It was pretty good.

        So I watched the third.

        And then the rest of the first season.

        Yeah it's a good show :) lots of emotions for something so.. simple and casual. The setting of having those two blokes in their simple lives as metal detecting hobbyists makes it very asymmetrical to the quality of the show.

        I love these kinds of British shows. I feel like I'm watching something very private.

        Among the things I don't like: Lance's ex is stereotypically awful, in a non-funny way.

        Things I like: Larry is funny. Lance and Andy have good chemistry. And I absolutely love Andy's relationship with his girlfriend. Becky is really fantastic and Andy is an arse for not being more careful with her. Still, got a bit teary eyed there at the end... "Found my gold."

        Will continue it soon.

        3 votes
        1. Adys
          Link Parent
          I may have binged season 2.

          I may have binged season 2.

          1 vote
  5. whisper
    Link
    If you like Detectorists, you may also like Mushi-shi. They're both what I classify as "watch while falling asleep and you'll have fuzzy, warm dreams" TV.

    If you like Detectorists, you may also like Mushi-shi. They're both what I classify as "watch while falling asleep and you'll have fuzzy, warm dreams" TV.

    2 votes