Detectorists: Season 1 discussion
January 14, 2016 7:11 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Andy and Lance attempt to find the burial site of a Saxon king, but will relationships and the nemeses get in the way?
posted by drezdn (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I watched the first few episodes on (US) Netflix recently with my wife. It's a charming show, very much a low-key British situation comedy. So far, it's lovely and fun.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Love this show, having been dragooned into watching it by Mrs. Mogur. Apart from the humour and storyline, I also found the wide shots of English countryside just really calming...
posted by Mogur at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

If I had to describe the show with one word, I'd say "sedate" but meant in the most positive way. It's really low key. There's conflict, with Andy's being somewhat serious, but the show isn't anxious about it. It has some great characters and really explores how intense people can be over low stakes.
posted by drezdn at 5:29 AM on January 15, 2016

There's so much to love about this series:

- How understated everything is
- The extended metaphor of searching, whether it's for metal or for your place of happiness in the world, and how we all have rather limited tools with which to search
- How the Sophie/spy mystery wasn't really so much of a mystery.
- The timing of every line delivery
- The beautiful green countryside! I'd love to go have lunch under a big tree like that.

And there are these wonderfully surreal moments, too. Like in Episode 3, Andy and Lance go visit Terry and Sheila. Terry is at his desk examining found objects, and Sheila (oh how I love Sheila!) is in the room next door, listening to this bonkers chiming song on the record player and swaying rapturously. That moment has so little to do with the plot as a whole, but you understand everything about the couple, and it supports the idea that people should and do find bliss in unusual ways.
posted by mochapickle at 10:41 AM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

One thing I liked about this was how it did the Spaced thing where many people are complete weirdos (sometimes exaggerated to the extent of monstrousness), but it's ok, and people like you anyway.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:44 PM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

One of my favorite telling scenes is when Lance is at work and asks his co-worker if he watches "University Challenge." It says so much about Lance and his situation.
posted by drezdn at 1:59 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I watched the season on Netflix a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. I wish there were more of these kinds of shows where pretty much everyone is a character actor, and where the humor is mostly kind. I mean, cruel things are said and done, but you do a lot more laughing-with than you do laughing-at. Everyone knows how ridiculous they are, but no one is going to let that stop them.

One of my favorite telling scenes is when Lance is at work and asks his co-worker if he watches "University Challenge." It says so much about Lance and his situation.

There are a number of nicely observed scenes like that, where a lot is said with very little dialogue or action.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:47 AM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

We binged this show in a weekend and loved it. The Matchbox car bits have been popping up in my head since.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:00 PM on January 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I only watched this show because of you people, and I am so glad I did! I really enjoyed this - y'all have covered it pretty thoroughly, but the performances are understated, the comedy is gentle, and the pacing is well suited to the content.

I also really like how the landscape is lovingly shot, but not in a way that obscures human activity on/around/with it. It can't be - or else there would be no treasure to search for, and the matchbox car gags wouldn't work at all. At the same time, there's no judgement about the human activity either. Maybe it's a particularly American form of storytelling that I'm more used to, where the landscape fits one of three categories: [unspoiled wilderness where humans have never been | human habitat where "nature" is absent | wasteland utterly despoiled by humans and wrecked forever]. Maybe that's bonkers, outside of my own perceptions, but in any case this show offered a nice alternative.
posted by janell at 12:56 PM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]

Nice point, janell! I think there is something cool and very non-American about the idea that these characters would work through a field where it's both possible to find something of historical value (given the long history of a relatively small country) and also possible that you wouldn't find anything of value (given the great numbers of people who have been there before you through the decades and centuries).

In my part of America, the relatively short history and the size/scale of our countryside would make this show seem like way more of an exercise in futility. I mean, not that you couldn't find historical evidence left by humans who have been here for a long time, but you would have much less luck finding that evidence with a metal detector (AFAIK).
posted by aabbbiee at 10:00 AM on January 26, 2016

You should all go watch Series 2. And the Christmas Special!
posted by pharm at 8:34 AM on November 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Every conversation I have about TV I tell people how amazing this show is. I introduced my brother to it and he's now doing the same. I grew up in very similar countryside and I love seeing it so beautifully but so completely realistically portrayed - you could insert large chunks of my childhood into that scenery and I wouldn't have blinked. And the other locations are also perfect - all of village/small country town life taking place in the pub and the village hall.

Another vote too on the understatedness and lack of cruelty. One of my favourite bits is when Lance says that he's undertaking a period of voluntary chastity. On a lot of shows (and in a lot of real life groups of people) this would be a cue for endless joking but here Andy splutters a bit into his pint and the others do look amused/incredulous but they all let it go and the conversation moves on. Also Lance being so matter of fact when Andy tells hims Becky's news as he worked it out ages ago but kept quiet and the "won the lottery" conversation.
posted by *becca* at 11:04 AM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

loving this show, found via FB group "Folk Horror Revival," to the degree i am crying with laughter and rewinding on first-view to savor line readings. I am also finding evidence of extremely careful plot construction throughout, which to me helps underkine the whole thematic thrust of the show.

Mackenzie Crook's slightly off-brand characterization and scripting is so great. The character is a sharp, observationally gifted person, socially hamstrung for reasons not apparent in e01 and 02, but not a complete fool, just a somewhat self-defeating man. His line reads just kill me.
posted by mwhybark at 12:39 AM on January 3, 2018

maybe a bit over the top and happy ending with the last-episode last-act last-scene bidniss (WE GET IT, OK) but hell yes, I loved this.
posted by mwhybark at 12:07 AM on January 4, 2018

I resisted watching this show for a while because I couldn't imagine enjoying a show about people into metal detecting. Wow was I wrong. It's so good!
posted by medusa at 9:16 PM on May 19, 2020

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