I honestly don't know what stuns me more, the cliché-riddled ineptness of this show or the fact that it took three people to create it (or four if you count Joss Whedon.... and you should. If I was him I'd be seriously be considering legal action....). I mean, how many people does it take to watch, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," then attempt to recreate it for a British audience? The creators will no doubt argue about the, "uniqueness," of their show and how it provides something, "different," for todays television audience. I would say it shows ITV's desperation to grab any part of the, "Doctor Who," type audience from the BBC that they'll commission dreadful knock-offs like this rather than something genuinely original and exciting.
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.....
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