A Simple Joy: “Locke and Key” Review

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One of the many wonderful aspects of having a Netflix account is the ability to browse. I have found some of my favorite shows of all time just by scrolling through my endless monotony of Netflix recommendations. “Locke and Key”, released on February 7, was one such show. A show that I did not expect to enjoy, yet somehow managed to keep me glued to the screen throughout its entire run time.

The actual plot of “Locke and Key” is off the wall, to say the least. After their father gets murdered, Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones) and Bode Locke (Jackson Robert Scott) are taken by their mother to their ancestral home: Keyhouse. As the name implies, the house is riddled with magical keys that do various things like turn you into a ghost or allow you to travel anywhere in the world. While there, they have to find new keys, fight a demon, uncover the secrets about their father’s past, as well as trying to fit in at a new school.

On paper, this sounds absolutely retched. I saw the description of the show and my mind took me back to when my friend made me watch an episode of “Teen Wolf”. Against my better judgment, however, I decided to watch it anyways. I cannot describe to you what exactly made me watch it: whether I was just that bored, or because the plot sounded so strange I simply had to make sure it was real, but I could not have been happier with my decision.

“Locke and Key” absolutely blew me away. It has a way of transporting you into a universe that feels so familiar and yet at the same time, so new and different. A universe where magic keys and real and demons are lurking around every corner, plotting on how they can steal them from you. A world where a kid can unlock a door and be transported halfway across the globe.

Even though these kids live in a ginormous mansion and basically have superpowers, it somehow still manages to make them relatable to an average audience member. The show acts as a portal into the mind of a child and no character better exemplifies that then Bode.

The decision to make it impossible for normal adults to remember magic makes Bode’s experience so much more endearing. To see this kid get to fly around the house as a ghost or to literally walk inside of his own mind always put a smile on my face. He has this innocence about him that’s intoxicating to watch. I feel like so many shows recently have been trying to make the child characters “mature for their age”. While that can be interesting, sometimes I just want to watch a kid be a kid and that’s exactly what you get in “Locke and Key”.

Despite his innocence, the show is for the most part pretty dark and can at some parts be outright terrifying. It balances these opposing themes extremely well because, in all honesty, they should not work together at all. The show somehow plays to the strength of both themes interchangeably, some scenes are cute and funny and the next will show someone being brutally murdered. It has no right to work at all and yet it does, and it keeps you on your toes throughout the entire viewing experience.

The main reason why I find this show so appealing, however, is its creativity. It captures the mind of a child so well and truly feels like something your kid self could have thought up. It takes me back to a simpler time, a time when I would run around with random objects in my basement and pretend they had magic powers.

The show provides a window to your childhood, an escape into your imagination. Not everything has to be complicated to be good, and usually, it is the simplest shows that provide the most happiness. If you want to dive into a world of magic, embrace yourself in pure creativity, and open up that window into your childhood dreams, “Locke and Key” is the show for you.


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