A likable — if slightly too enthusiastic — kiddie cast unravel grade school mysteries in this Aussie series.
Netflix is thinking of the kids in their breezy new ten-part series The Inbestigators, about four grade school kids who start up a detective agency to solve local mysteries. It’s an energetic show with a plucky, likable cast, some decent amateur detective work, and a fun premise that kids will like a lot and supervising adults will happily tolerate.
Maudie (Anna Cooke) is the pint-sized Holmesian new girl who is looked after by the tech-savvy Ezra (Aston Droomer), whom we meet narrating events through an online vlog that acts a framing device. The numbers are made up by the personable Kyle (Jamil Smyth-Secka) and the overly enthusiastic Ava (Abby Bergman), whose cake stall profits go missing in the opening episode.
There are ten half-hour episodes in the first season of The Inbestigators, each containing two 15-minute mysteries. It’s a snappy pace for something like this, and ideal for the shorter attention span. The various cases taken on by the Inbestigators are pitched just right as low-stakes and kid-friendly while being just complex enough that there’s some fun to be had in figuring them out.
And of course, this being a kids’ show, most of the clues amount to a life lesson of some kind; there are no deranged serial killers in The Inbestigators, only kids crying out for attention or struggling with some relatable issue. Here’s a show that knows its audience well, how to entertain and subtly teach them. I’m way outside the demographic, but as a father to two daughters I can see the appeal here.
The diverse cast is bright and enthusiastic, even if their relentless precociousness can get a bit grating. The adults involved are happy to stand aside and let them soak up the limelight, though, and one imagines some careers will likely be built on the back of a show like The Inbestigators, which champions children and their potential. Tell your kids about it this weekend.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.