WONDERFUL TV series. Just sad that it ended!
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WONDERFUL TV series. Just sad that it ended!
To be honest, I can't help feeling that a lot of the negative reviews are from people who somehow missed the point. Bad SFX??? What? Were you blind? No, they aren't "realistic" effects such as we are used to with shows like Buffy and Dr Who; they are, instead, of a larger-than-life comic-book style and are done brilliantly. The whole show, in fact, has this same comic book feel throughout - everything from the cinematography to Galvin's cheesy American characterisation.
If you want this show to be another Buffy, then yes you will be disappointed. If you can take it on it's own merits, then be prepared for some pure comic-book entertainment.
Okay then, at first sight this seems very much like a British take on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. The producers have even cheekily acknowledged this fact by calling the teenager's mentor 'Rupert' !
However, I think that the best way to approach this show is to forget about the 'Buffy' connection and to enjoy it on it's own terms. To judge from the first episode, it has a lot to offer.
The most striking part of episode one was it's appearance. Unlike American producers, the makers of British programmes don't usually care much about making their shows look visually attractive. So, most British dramas are filmed in unappealing locations and look fairly dull and grey. 'Demons', however, looks beautiful and stylish, with most of the first episode being shot at night. This certainly gave a very cool and atmospheric feel to the show.
As you'd expect, the first episode was used to set up the basic premise of the show. 17 year old Luke (Christian Cooke) is told by his American godfather Rupert Galvin (Philip Glenister) that he is the descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, who was a real demon fighter and not just a character in Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. He is also told that it is his destiny to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious forbear. In the course of telling Luke about his heritage, Galvin takes him to meet blind pianist Mina Harker (Zoe Tapper), a descendant (?) of the wife of the original Van Helsing's assistant, Jonathon Harker.
We then move onto a plot where Luke's not-yet girlfriend Ruby (Holly Grainger) is kidnapped by demons (or 'freaks', as they're apparently to be called in this show).
All in all, the structure of this first episode seemed well worked out, and it also moved at quite a pace.
The acting in the show was fine too, though the dialogue would have benefited from a tweaking in a few places, as would have Philip Glenister's American accent !
And, despite the criticisms that I've read from other people, the special effects and make-up also seemed to be quite good to me.
So, I am going to defy what seems to be the majority opinion and say that this was a very promising first episode, at least on a par with the openers of other recent British fantasy series such as 'Doctor Who' and 'Merlin'.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
So, instead of a young, wholesome, stereo-typical (at first glance) American girl living in the U.S. who turns out to be the last Slayer and must battle vampires, demons, werewolves and various other, "evil entities," with the help of some friends and a British mentor with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things demonic, using cool martial arts skills and assorted strange and ancient weapons/spells, etc we get a young, wholesome, stereo-typical British BOY living in the U.K. who turns out to be the last Van Helsing and must battle vampires, demons, werewolves and various other, "evil entities," with the help of some friends and an American mentor with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things demonic, using cool martial arts skills and assorted strange and ancient weapons and spells. Totally different.
Whereas, "Buffy," had Joss Whedon's wry, clever, original, funny ideas behind it this has Philip Glennister doing an American accent and a blind girl whose medium-type abilities seem to give her a real leg up when it comes to negotiating stairs at high speed.
Watching it, it seems as though any kind of original idea had the same effect on the writers as a crucifix does on Dracula. Rather than come up with a single original thought they seem to have sat there, watched every action movie and TV show from 1997 and gone, "Ohhhhh! That's cool! Let's do that!" unfortunately meaning they've rather missed the point that it is now twelve years later all this stuff has been done to death already (and far better too). So we're treated to endless, martial arts fights where the action goes from regular speed to sudden slo-mo as our hero/villain/demon does a back flip mid-battle and are so poorly edited with crash zooms and camera jerks you can't actually tell what is going on.
Obviously, as with any show like this, acting talent is not the main reason these people have been cast. It's the, "Prettiness Factor," that's got them in and I have no problem with that. This is designed to be eye-candy, fun, entertaining television, not a Pinter adaptation. But the level of writing and the ideas behind the show are so poor it's hard to tell if the actors are bad or if it's just the scripts and direction.
Ironically enough, it is the person who is probably the most respected actor in the cast, Philip Glennister, who fares the worst. His Rupert Galvin has to win the award for most clichéd depiction of an American by an English person on a British show ever. It's not really his fault, he makes a fair crack at the accent and what have you, but it's the dialogue he's given that lets him down and makes it just interminable. He comes across like a twelve year olds idea of what a tough guy American must talk like based only on watching bad American movies and who has never actually met an American in their life. Practically every line out of his mouth is some leaden cliché, like references to, "The whole enchilada," and the godawful, "Showtime!" (which terrifyingly seems to be what the writers are trying to make his catchphrase despite the fact that even Arnie stopped thinking saying that just before a fight was cool twenty years ago) that flops around on the ground like a fish gasping for breath before expiring. I actually consider the use of the phrase, "Showtime!" as an indication of how awful a movie or TV show is. If a writer thinks it's a cool, original thing for a character to say then it's generally a pretty fair indication that whatever I'm watching is crap and, "Demons," is no exception to the rule. It ranks right up there with, "Why don't you put down your gun and face me like a man?" And, judging by this show, the North of England must be empty as they all seem to be living in London.
All in all, I can see why this show seems to be losing viewers by the millions already. Although it will probably get a second season due to the amount of money they've put into it, regardless of ratings, as happens with U.K. shows more and more these days. Maybe ITV could put the money to better use and come up with an original idea for a change? Maybe a show about a group of elite soldiers, framed for a crime they didn't commit, who escape from prison and enter the criminal underworld and use their skills as mercenaries to help innocent victims? Oh.... Hang on.....
Producer #1: We need a show that targets the 13 to 19 market, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did in the US.
Producer #2: I've got a great idea; how about a British Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Writer #1: Brilliant!
Producer #1: We don't want to look like we're copying the Americans though.
Writer #2: We could change it up with a male lead.
Producer #2: That's good but not enough.
Writer #3: How about instead of a vampire slayer he's a demon slayer?
Producer #1: hmmm....I like where this is heading...
Producer #2: By using a comic book hero we could cut costs on the back story and comic book heroes are big time money makers. Look at Spiderman 1-3, X-Men 1-3, Iron Man, Batman, and The Hulk.
Producer #1: I like where you're going with this. We could even come up a video game to market the show.
Writer #1: So who's the comic book hero?
Producer #1: That's your department; my dear boy.
Writer #1: Right; hmmmmm....
Writer #2: What about Van Helsing?
Producer #1: Who the hell is that?
Writer #2: Remember that terrible vampire/werewolf film with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale?
Producer#1: Oh yea...that Steven Somer's bomb
Writer #2: Hugh Jackman's character was Van Helsing, a famous monster hunter who goes to Transylvania to kill Dracula.
Writer #1: And Van Helsing's got all kinds of cool old weapons and gadgets like a medieval James Bond!
Producer #2: This sounds perfect guys!
Producer #1: I like it! Add a couple sexy teens to the script, leather, some cool demons and we got ourselves a UK hit!! I want you guys to write me up a pilot and I'll sell it to the big boys.
And Viola! just like that you have another crappy TV show called Demons!!
So far the show has just started but its very interesting. We start learning about all of their pasts and then there are episodes that are just about them hunting demons. The series is already starting to show some very promising material. Its already gotten interesting so future episodes are definitely going to be fun to watch.
This is a show that Charmed, Angel, Buffy, and Supernatural fans will enjoy just about guaranteed.
It is entertaining, suspenseful, and often funny. It used gorgeous imagery, fantastic computer animation, and a brilliant soundtrack. Demons is a very well-written series. In comparison to similar American shows, I found Demons to be better written, directed, and acted. The writers put together interesting, multi-layered background on every character
Unfortunately, the series ended after only six episodes, leaving many unanswered questions and unresolved problems.
The problem with Demons is that their is either not enough budget, or they don't know what they are doing. Because there isn't any real humor in the show, so i assume it is supposed to be scary. But how can we be scared if they show us "monsters" that look like little monkeys and some kind of group of bears with ninja skills.
Then to top it off, they got a guy with blonde hair and a fony beak on his nose to play the big bad guy.
This show has potential, but the terrible SFX and costume ruined it from the start.
In my opinion the creators should have realized that if you wanna portray demons, then you better make sure they look scary.
I don't know if there is anything like a B-tvseries like there are B-movies, but if there is, this is it.
God, are British writers really THIS incapable of coming up with anything original? A mishmash of ideas stolen wholesale from other shows (most notably Buffy, Buffy, Supernatural and Buffy - if I were Whedon, my only reason for not suing would be pity for the makers over their lack of talent and the fact that all the stolen bits fell so horribly flat) combined with a flat script, flat characters, flat acting and exceptionally flat direction to create a highly underwhelming experience that felt like bad fanfiction or a very first draft of something had been filmed. And that's not even mentioning the panto-like non-scary villain.
You could see where the jokes, suspense and story were supposed to be, but none of them were there. The characters have no personalities, no relationships and no chemistry with each other and the hero's favourite (non-)reaction to everything seemed to be "mild bemusement", exhibited when he was told demons existed, when he was attacked by a demon, when he was told he was part of a long line of demon-killing types and was expected to fight demons, and when he was shown a huge secret underground library place. To be fair, though, he did dial it up to "a bit sad" and "somewhat agitated" in parts.
Oh, and memo to Gene Hunt. You are not an American. Stop pretending to be one.
In fact, that goes for the writers and producers too. You cannot create a hit fantasy series by stealing bits of American shows and trying to squash them together. Didn't work with Hex, doesn't work here. Either come up with something original or don't bother!
The cgi demon in the first episode is really badly done. It was under the bed, but looked like it was in full daylight with no shadows or shading. I guess that would have blown the budget.
Mackenzie Crook had a bad nose stuck on and was trying to be Jack Sparrow. The uncle was speaking with a really bad American accent for no apparent reason (if you can't do an accent, just stick with your normal speaking voice!)
I won't be wasting my time watching any more of the series.
Just saw the third episode.....as inspiring as house dust. This show is too crappy to waste even the time of a dedicated couch potato. Avoid at all cost!
i love all paranormal TV shows but this is the so poor, it needs a it's own charity.
i've got a great idea put this crap out as a children's program and play "are you afraid of the dark?" in the prime time slot instead because it's far more sophisticated scary better written and acted.
the general plot uses so many name drops to Bram stokers Dracula i began to wonder is it was Dracula 2008 that followed by the Buffy story line rip off i think the title should have been "demons of Plagiarism".
really do your self a favour rent out bed nob's and broom sticks or the wizard of oz there far more demonic than this load of garbage
Patominesque baddies with stupid names that seemed plundered from a poor Roald Dahl or Charles Dickens children's story, rubbish makeup and extremely bad wire control.
They have also seemed to have chosen the characters names so they could play a recently charted popish tune to corresponds to it.
Seems to be aimed at the American market, hence the really bad accent and the grand tour of London to get a few sites of historical interest in for our cousins across the pond. Personally, I would ask the black cab driver for my money back if he took me across London the route they used! (Pick up at Southwark Bridge, go over Tower Bridge to get to Waterloo Bridge?????)
Episode 2 will have to do a lot better or I will have to buy a dog to take for a walk!
Here wuffles, here boy, walkies......
As the show begins we're introduced to our cast of characters Van Helsings last living descendant Luke, his father who died 15 years earlier. Rupert Lukes godfather who is their to aid him in his battle. Ruby his best friend (who clearly wants to be more) And finally Nina the blind music prodegy who has certain special abilities, someone who Luke may want to be a bit more.
Despite all this, it has potential as its loosely determined universe of "freaks" has the potential to yield some interesting plot scenarios as the Dr. Who universe did. As another plus, the series' cheesiness can be comical if you can let yourself go for a moment.
Hopefully as the series progresses it will enter into more gray territory with the nature of the "freaks" being explored and what appears to be a dark past behind some of the protagonists.