Monday, 5 January 2009

TV Snark - Demons: They Bite OR No, Actually They Suck

Demons is ITV's second attempt (Primeval being the first) at getting a piece of the BBC dominated, Saturday tea-time, pie. Our protagonist is Luke, last of the Van Helsings and heir to the supernatural creature slaying business. As you can no doubt guess, he spends the first episode finding out about his powers and moaning about destiny before realising that killing monsters is way more interesting than boring old college. So, plot aside, is it any good?


Okay, see ya bye!

Oh, alright, I'll tell you why. First of all the opening episode contains actors that should make the show tolerable; Phil Glenister, Zoe Tapper, and Mackenzie Crook. Unfortunately Glenister spends his time mumbling his dialogue through an awful American accent. This is a shame as his character is essentially Gene Hunt Monster Hunter which you would think equal ratings gold as it combines two of the most awesome things in the universe into one grumpy, middle-aged package. Alas, his accent is crap and so is his dialogue.

Tapper plays a blind Mina Harker, not the original Mina (I think) but a descendant of Jonathan Harker from the original Dracula story. She's a blind psychic that maintains a library full of monster killing knowledge and equipment so she's basically a combination of Willow and Giles from Buffy. Again, you would think that would be pretty awesome too. It's not.

As for Mackenzie Crook... he plays a teddy boy with a beak. Look out! He's an evil cockatiel!

And finally the Hitcher from The Mighty Boosh is in it.

He seems to have lost his Solo Polo Vision though.

What are the crimes committed by this show? Let me count the ways...

1. The theme tune is inappropriate. It's a jolly little tune that doesn't suggest supernatural menace, action, or well, anything resembling an interesting genre show.
2. When one of the characters, Ruby, is kidnapped by the baddies they play The Kaiser Chiefs song, "Ruby". That's TV crime right there.
3. Despite the fact that the show is called "Demons" they never call the monsters in it demons. No, they're "entities" or "half-lives". It's a bit late to be avoiding the D-word when it's the title of your show!
4. Phil Glenister's American accent and the lines he's forced to say are terrible. "Denial is not an option." and "Put the gun down or forever know my wrath, ya freak!" were my favourites.
5. The evil version of Dobby the elf that was created using CGI that would've been unconvincing ten years ago.
6. The bad guy's name is Gladiolus Thrip. Seriously. It sounds like a virulent weed.
7. The monster hunters give all of the monsters a level so it sounds like a poor game of Dungeons and Dragons. "He's a type 12 which means he's got three attacks per round and a THAC0 of 5!"
8. As I have better things to do on a Saturday night, I watched this on ITV's catch up service. It's pretty poor in comparison to iPlayer, especially as it forces you to watch adverts. That's not the fault of Demons but I'm in a bad mood so it goes against it anyway. In fact the player was so poor that it kept breaking whenever I paused and went back to take screen grabs.
9. Gladiolus Thrip's special power was halitosis that was so strong it could knock a man over. Fearsome.
10. The guy who plays Luke (Christian Cooke) was forced to parade around semi naked twice within the first ten minutes of the show. Got to keep the fan girls watching I guess. Or is it to balance out the Hannah Spearritt pant dancing from the first season of Primeval?

Demons is pretty awful and I won't be giving it the full recap treatment. What I will do though is present a few observations on each episodes to keep you all entertained.

Next week - Gaius Meldrew appears on the wrong show!


Anonymous said...

I am absolutely certain that the only reason why Ruby was named such was in order to get that song in the show somehow and thus show how klever it all is (see; Doctor Who, 'The Drums').

I also thought it was very brave of them to hire the stupid monkey-lizard-thing from Lost in Space (the movie) and give it so much screen time.

Very brave indeed.

And quite stupid.

Aaron said...

Yes, I think you're right on the Ruby front. The stupid monkey lizard thing was a particularly poor piece of FX and a waste of money. Also, how did it explode at the start of the episode? I didn't notice any leaking gas mains or bombs. Did I miss something?

Zoso said...

I had to watch episode 2 after reading that, and blimey...

Just needed Richard Zombie Wilson Meldrew to exclaim "I don't believe it!" a couple of times to round things off.

Aaron said...

I'll be watching the second episode tonight with thoughts to follow. Why do I do this?