I recently finished watching the second series of Home Before Dark, an Apple TV+ show that is a mystery adventure following a family in a small town. When you try and describe this show in any more detail than that, it starts to sound a bit odd: Well, there’s a ten year old girl who thinks she’s a reporter and digs into a cold case when her family moves back to the small town her father grew up in. Yep, she’s just a kid and she talks to sources and riles up the local police and gets into all sorts of mischief and gets to the bottom of the mystery.
In all honesty, it comes across as bad parenting - they let her go off and do her own thing, which on the one hand is good and fosters independence but on the other hand, in the case of the second season, lets her go investigating the off-limits basement of a rich family where they know they shouldn’t be. Or go wandering off on a terrifying island where planes have crashed and chemicals are polluting up the water sources. Sure!
But when you’re actually watching it, it’s done with such heart and handled so well that although occasionally you raise your eyebrows at her capriciousness, for the most part it makes sense. It’s a series where I never desperately wanted to sit down and watch an episode, it was never top of the list, but then every time I did, I loved it and chastised myself for not remembering it sooner.
It has a weird aesthetic to it that’s certainly in the modern day but with a feel of something 70s or 80s. The family live in an old run down house so it feels like they’re living with fewer modern conveniences than expected, and old-style bunny-ears TVs. But then they have state of the art laptops from which to run their journalist careers. They wear very bizarre clothes that look to me like they would be endlessly itchy, but they all own their own style so who am I to judge?
Some of the family stuff and the extra-curricular moments seem a little shoe-horned in, but ultimately everyone does such a good job with the source material they have, that you can’t complain. The second season wrapped up with what seemed to be a satisfying ending before teasing a final moment that could lead to a third series. I don’t think there’s been any word on that, but I’ll definitely be watching if it comes.