Monday, 9 February 2009

TV Snark - Demons: Nothing Like Nebraska OR Mrs. Doyle – Escape From Craggy Island!

It’s the end of Demons! Ah sweet release! The final episode features the return of the Sensational Character Find of 2009 – Gladiolus Thrip! Yup, Mackenzie Crook reprises his role as the cockney demon and Mighty Boosh reject.

The episode begins with the very public execution of a demon clown (sorry, half-life clown - where’s Gordon Freeman and his crowbar when you need him?) by Galvin and Luke. So, the public are allowed to witness Slayers running around waving magic guns and killing half-lives now? During the fight Luke gets hit by some slow motion (got to fill that screen time) green gunge from one of the clown’s magic balls (snigger). Despite the fact that the clown is a ‘pyromancer’ Luke doesn’t get burned or lightly singed by the gunge but instead gains psychic powers. Galvin shoots the clown in full view of the public but there’s no attempt at a cover up or even a funny line for the crowd that are watching. Obviously a cover up is too hard to write or mention as it might get in the way of the numerous ‘Luke has a sulk’ scenes or the slow motion action.

It looks like Luke is going to die! "Woop, woop, woop!" goes the theme tune, destroying any sense of tension the show may have accidentally created.

Luke's explains the origin of his new found powers to Ruby and uses the line, “I got hit by one of his balls.” This is delivered straight faced with no humour whatsoever. Come on people! If you’re going to write a line that bad, you may as well get some comedy out of it.

Luke has dreams about the car crash that killed his father and sees Father Simeon/Zombie Gaius (Richard Wilson) appear and warn him about “something nasty pretending to be something nice.” This is repeated approximately 8,325 times during the episode just in case we didn’t hear it the first time or couldn’t figure out what the visions were hinting at. Luke soon leaps to the conclusion that he can’t trust Galvin or Mina after watching a video of his dead dad. He then finds Zombie Gaius has been murdered or stopped being animate, whatever zombies do when they stop being undead. Zombie Gaius’s death seemed to be caused by a bad case of CGI flies. Suitably enlightened (ie not at all) Luke decides that he can’t trust the usual team of incompetents and decides to trust the word of Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted.

Mrs. Doyle has given up on the tea maid career on Craggy Island and has become a medium in London. She convinces Luke to see her medium act and promises messages from beyond, Luke accepts this because he is a moron and the script needs him to have an IQ of a dead moose in order to progress the story. Despite the fact that Ruby is the voice of sanity for once, Luke ditches her to meet Mrs. Doyle in private where he is promptly duped by Thrip who impersonates Luke’s father’s voice. An elaborate plan featuring ventriloquism is enough to convince Luke that he needs to kill Galvin.

You may be asking yourself, “Wait a minute, wasn’t Thrip killed in the first episode of the series?” Well, the answer isn’t explicitly spelled out; it seems that Thrip is Mrs. Doyle’s spirit guide that she summons via rhyme. I guess that’s enough to give Thrip a whole new body. Galvin visits Mrs. Doyle and, after treating us to the worst Deep South accent since Ray Winstone in Fool’s Gold, he discovers Thrip’s plan. At this point Gavlin just leaves. He doesn’t try to destroy Thrip, he just leaves Thrip to it. What?! Galvin suddenly acts out of character because Thrip needs to survive until the final scene. This…is…terrible.

Luke doesn’t kill Galvin at first, he decides to tell him he quits instead. Thrip, understandably frustrated at Luke’s inability to follow basic instructions, gives Luke a proper gun (rather than the magic bullet guns that don’t kill humans) and tells him to kill off Galvin. Eventually the tedious story reaches its conclusion as Thrip, Galvin and Luke face off. Galvin tries to kill Thrip but he’s now magically immune to the magic bullet because he's become a vampire for no adequately explained reason. Luke is on the verge of shooting Galvin when Mina and Ruby turn up and tell Luke that his dad was a no good demon lover. Galvin confesses that he let Luke’s dad die in the car crash because Daddy Van Helsing was going to hand Luke over to the half-lives to be raised as one of them. Then Mina turns into a vampire and bites Thrip, which turns him into soup. The end.

At the end of the episode we see Mina sitting on a rooftop looking all vampiric as if she were looking to the horizon for another series or a spin off show. I do not care about this, even though it’s Zoe Tapper looking quite hot. Please ITV do not make any more episodes of this show, stick to what you’re good at – talent shows and erm… uhhh… messing up FA Cup coverage. On seconds thoughts, could someone cancel ITV please?


Richard said...

Doesn't Thrip specifically say that Galvin is a Full Life Consequences, thus leading to the following dialogue:

LUKE: "I need to know something."
(shoots Galvin with magic gun)
GALVIN: "Badly pronounced ouch!"
LUKE: "Yeah, just checking. Sorry."

Of all the terrible plot moments in a show built on terrible, the absolute nadir is the bit at the end with Thrip. Mina turning him into a puddle of goo sorts everything out... because? It proves Thrip's an evil undead monster? Guys, YOU KNOW THIS ALREADY.

Aaron said...

Of all the poorly written episodes, this one was the worst. I'm sure this episode was knocked together an hour before the deadline.

Richard said...

Aaron said...

"No time to think, time to start shooting the magic explody gun!"