Sunday, January 4, 2009

Review - Demons - Episode 01 - "They Bite"

When yet another show gets toted as "Buffy for Brits", it's not the A level journos you want to poke at the show with a stick to see if it twitches, it's a fan. You've heard from the best,now here from the rest. I mean, sure, you could take the advice of seasoned, professional reviewers but really, honestly, deep down... you want to hear it from me, don't you? So what's the verdict? Is it really that bad? Should any self respecting Buffy fan watch it? Before we answer the question of questions, let's run a quick recap, just for fun:

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The concept: Luke Rutherford, average teenager extraordi-notsomuch, discovers he is the sole descendant of the Van Helsing line. He is the one girly boy in all the world, a Chosen One, if you will. Oh, and sometimes his friends help too. Sound familiar?

The players:

Luke Rutherford:
He's Buffy with boy parts and, good news, he's cute!

Rupert Galvin: Luke's Watch... uh, I mean, Warrior. Rupert is the old salt who shows this young buck the ropes.

Mina Harker: Blind opera singer and descendant of, you guessed it, Jonathan Harker. She's got that whole vision thing going on. Plus? She likes weapons a bunch.

Ruby: Luke's "friend". The love interest. She seems to like screaming, running away, and being obnoxious so far. Some character development would be keen.

Episode Synopsis
: I won't spoil too much in case you opt to give this show a chance. Luke's godfather he didn't know he had, Rupert Galvin, turns up out of the blue. All the demons, vampires, and other supernatural critters of London town have, for reasons as yet unknown, worked out that Luke is the great, great, grand baby boy of Victor Van Helsing and they are out for blood. With the help of Rupert, Mina, and Ruby, Luke goes toe to toe with a vampire/bounty hunter/ guy with a funny thing on his nose by the name of Gladiolus Thrip. There are monsters, there are guns, and people dash about in a madcap sort of manner. Typical pilot episode fodder.

The verdict: It's a knock off and, like most knock offs, it isn't as good as the source material. A lot of the biggest criticisms have been talked about to death but, for the record, Philip Glenister's (Rupert Galvin) american accent could do with more than a bit of work. The show would be much better if they'd allowed him to use his proper accent.

The real problem so far is that, while Luke is interesting and well acted by Christian Cooke, the supporting cast is weak enough to make the whole show seem like a dodgy table with only one good leg. As much as we all love Buffy as a character, we wouldn't have stuck around for seven seasons without the Scoobies who backed her up. What "Demons" really needs is Willow and Xander and, at this point, Ruby and Mina are not cutting it.

Bottom Line: I'm going to watch it. Is it silly? Yes. Is it contrived? Little bit. Was Buffy much different during Season One? No.

It's a bit of fluff done in a genre and style for which I'm fond. Did I mention it's only six episodes? Yeah. Six. This Buffyfester says give the show a chance for an episode or two. The worst you'll have done is blown an hour and a half and, at best, you'll be mildly entertained.

If you're looking for something more substantial to fill your Buffy needs I'd recommend watching... well... I'll save that for another time, shall I? For now I'll leave you with a trailer for "Demons". Enjoy and don't forget to comment!


Skytteflickan88 said...

That monkey thing is adorable. I might watch it if it airs in Sweden. Which it probably never will, so I guess I don't really have to choose.

How's the action scenes. Believable, cool, predictable?

TiLT said...

The Oogies look fun - monster mayhem is always a plus. You are right about ht Season One aspect...gotta give stuff a chance...and if not quite up to Buffy standards - could still be a hoot to watch