Locke & Key on Netflix?

Who else is checking out Locke & Key now that it has dropped on Netflix? I recall a few mentions of the comics around various threads so imagine there are a few Waypointers in the likely audience. I liked the books quite a bit and have been looking forward to the series.

I have some first non spoiler impressions, from one and a half episodes in, but am holding them to watch a little more. I’m about fifty-fifty into it and not feeling it so far. Curious what other folks thought of the comics source and now the adaptation!

Tl;dr i just want to let people know this show gets transphobic.

I read the comics several years ago and coming into this i hadn’t retained much. I watched the trailer and was considering giving the show a pass, but then my partner told me they saw some folks on twitter say that the show had changed the “bad key” from the comic version.

So the spoiler free version is the comic gets transphobic around halfway in and it is based around a particular key and how it works in the comic. The key changing how it works was a sign that maybe they had actually fixed this.

I got to episode 8 of the show and confirm it is still transphobic. It’s basically unchanged from the comic, to the point that changing the key basically doesn’t matter. I stopped watching once 8 hit this reveal because i can’t think of anything they could do after the reveal to make things less transphobic. It’s very much a “the harm is already done” situation regardless.

The performances were good i thought. I really enjoyed the performance of the kid playing bode (which is a much funnier name now that it was a meme word for a while). I like the premise of the story with the magical keys etc. I thought the series felt more cohesive than somenother netflix originals i’ve watched recently. I really did start watching to find out if they’d fixed the transphobic elements, and now that i now they haven’t i don’t know whether i’ll finish it

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Thanks for posting that. There’s a lot I don’t remember from reading the comic beyond the broad mechanics and plot line; does that have to do with how they treat the head key? I remember elements of that that not landing well with me at the time, but admit that it’s pretty blurry eight+ years on.

I don’t know if I’ll finish it, either. Early on in the show, I think the visuals are pretty neat but the acting often feels kind of flat. I think one thing that stuck with me most from the comics and that I’ve been so curious about, was the way the art style changed so substantially as they experienced the keys in the early parts, like when Bode falls into Calvin and Hobbes style. A good chunk of my interest in the show was whether they would be able to pull off that single sequence!

sorry to say I remember so very, very little about the comics and definitely no visual details, so I can’t speak to your point about the head key.

the specific thing i had in mind in terms of transphobia is the existence of the key that “changes the users gender” in a very transmedicalist/binaristic sense; in the show this was just changed to “changes the user’s appearance.” which i think would have some benefit in terms of not wrapping the idea of one’s gender up in appearance or physical attributes

but the real problem is in the narrative with (quick cw these spoilers also include descriptions of the transphobia bothin this story and some general transphobic tropes) the reveal that the “well lady” who has been haunting bode/generally antagonizing the kids turns out to be their dad’s childhood friend, who in flashbacks is presented strictly as being a teenage boy. they eventually that key to reveal the ghost from the well and the dad’s friend are one and the same person, and I don’t remember the specifics of the language around the reveal but I seem to recall the reveal being done in a very “the well ghost was actually a man all along” which, uh, yikes. Even in the most generous reading I think this character is really harmful because it just perpetuates all kinds of horrendous transphobic tropes about trans people all being deceivers or liars trying to trick people.

So far what i’ve seen of the head key I don’t remember any of that stuff jumping out at me as being particularly bad, or at the very least i don’t remember anything transphobic. I could be forgetting something since the main thing i was watching out for is the stuff outlined above

Like the comics enough to have read them multiple times.
As an adaptation this series was terrible, the choices the writers made with the material were a bit baffling. Only gets worse as the series progresses and I regret finishing it.

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that sucks to hear about the series that made comics click in my brain for the first time. I’d been thinking about purchasing the rest of the trades past the first one but knowing what i’ve learned in this thread i’ll replace it on my list of things to get.

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I watched it through, though I’ve never read the graphic novels. Perhaps that helped me enjoy it more as I had no expectations for it to live up to. It’s not a series I was wild about, but it fit what I needed for fluffy and mildly fantastical light drama. It’s the sort of thing I watch to turn my head off rather than blow my mind.

I can’t really echo the sentiment regarding transphobia. Being transgender isn’t about changing gender, and a key which allows a person to do so cosmetically, isn’t likely making any commentary on being trans. I can understand the concept of changing one’s appearance bears some similarity to transition, but having been through medical transition myself, there wasn’t a single point while watching where I felt that key mirrored my experience, neither did I feel it was supposed to. In the televised version, it wasn’t clear if that individual even had a gender anymore. It wasn’t exactly the dad’s high school friend anymore after the door was opened.

I’ve definitely had other series ruined for me with that specific transphobic trope (one in particular really springs to mind as quite upsetting), but Locke & Key didn’t bother me. I suppose, as with many things, it will read differently to different people, though.

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