Dead Boy Detectives parents guide: What to know about the show's sexuality, gore, and violence

Suitable for fans of Riverdale, Nancy Drew, Supernatural, and other horror shows aimed at teens, albeit with some f-bombs thrown in for good measure.
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Ruth Connell as Night Nurse in episode 6 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Ruth Connell as Night Nurse in episode 6 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Feel like something is watching you? It might just be a ghost and luckily two teenage ghosts are tasked with handling these kinds of supernatural cases. Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland take center-stage in the quirky Netflix Original series Dead Boy Detectives, based on the comic book series from Neil Gaiman and developed for the screen by Steve Yockey. Yockey is also a co-showrunner on the series alongside Beth Schwartz.

Set in The Sandman universe, Dead Boy Detectives follows Edwin and Charles as they solve various cases to assist ghosts move onto their afterlives. As ghost themselves, the pair is also outrunning their own afterlives by avoiding Death herself (played by Kirby), evil witches, and more. Luckily they have two human friends to help them in the clairvoyant Crystal Palace and her friend Niko.

Since Dead Boy Detectives is set in The Sandman universe, fans are likely aware the series will be delightfully weird and sometimes a little spooky. This series is billed as a supernatural horror show and received a TV-MA rating for language, suicide, violence, and smoking.

But what does that actually mean? Is it appropriate for young viewers? Will it be too scary or gory for you? Below we've gone into more detail on what to expect from the first season.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 7 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Is Dead Boy Detectives scary?

The main reason the series received a TV-MA rating is because it has strong curse words like "f**k." Characters curse regularly, though not abundantly. Otherwise, Dead Boy Detectives is on par with series like Riverdale, Supernatural, Nancy Drew, and other teen-centric shows from Greg Berlanti & co. It might be scary to some viewers, but if you watched the aforementioned series without issue then you should be fine here. If you're a fan of The Sandman already you'll be fine, as this show is definitely aimed at younger viewers.

The series does characters in peril, violence, bloodshed, and some gross moments including vomit, but overall it's more PG-13 when it comes to the scary stuff.

Actually, one of the show's most violent moments isn't even entirely supernatural, but in the second episode a man does shoot and kill his wife and two daughters multiple times (SPOILER!) because they're stuck in a time loop.

In the seventh episode, two characters go to Hell and there is a monster that is particularly frightening, especially to arachnophobes. That's probably the darkest episode of the bunch. There is also a scene in the finale where the witch, Esther, tortures one character with a magical device and those scenes can be intense to watch.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Lukas Gage as Thomas The Cat King in episode 7 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

Sex and nudity

There is no sex or nudity in Dead Boy Detectives. There aren't even any shirtless scenes really, apart from the Cat King (Lukas Gage) wearing clothes that reveal his bare chest from time to time. While the show does feature romance, with many characters having feelings for others, and there are a few kissing scenes, that's as far as it goes.

Language, suicide, and smoking

Apart from the cursing, the other reason the series likely received its TV-MA rating is because it mentions suicide and depicts it a few times. The fourth episode is about people who keep leaping to their death's from the top of a lighthouse due to supernatural impact. And, the second episode features the dad who kills his family then going into his room and killing himself. The suicide is not graphic and usually happens off-screen.

Watch Dead Boy Detectives now on Netflix.

dark. Next. Netflix Movies Watch/Ski[. 52 best Netflix movies to watch (and 20 to skip)