Monday, January 05, 2009

On awful television

On awful television

Glenister: Poor, poor Gene HuntEvery once in a while, a television programme comes along that is so bad it sets the standard for dreadful entertainment.

For years, Eldorado was this yard-stick.

Then, in quick succession the title was taken by the ridiculous Bonekickers ("What do we do now?" "We dig") and the embarassing Britannia High ("Don't be a wannabe, be who you want to be"), but now, a new king is in town: ITV's Saturday night family drama Demons.

It was meant to be a vaguely scary supernatural thriller. A sort of Doctor Who-meets-Buffy that would have little kids hiding behind the sofa along with their parents. I haven't laughed so much in my life.

God. Where do I start?

- The writing features just about every cliche on the planet ("I'm getting too old for this", "Showtime!", "I've got a bad feeling about this"), and can't make up its mind if it's Star Wars, Dracula, Dr Who, Buffy, something stolen from Neil Gaiman, or sick inna hedge.

- Philip Glenister - hardnut Northern actor - sporting the worst American accent ever. We laughed at Dick van Dyke's cockney geezer in Mary Poppins. Now the tables are turned as the words "I smite at thee" dribble from his mouth and crawl into a corner to die. Poor, dead Gene Hunt

- MacKenzie Crook sporting a false nose and wishing he was back in The Office

- Character names brazenly stolen from literature. Mina Harker? Van Helsing? REALLY?

- Eye-candy hero who gets his shirt off at the drop of a hat. And he's called Luke. And they did a "Use the Force" gag.

- Love interest Ruby introduced by the Kaiser Chiefs tune "Ruby Ruby Ruby Rubeeee" to gales of laughter from the family sofa

- Plot 'twists' telegraphed from a distance of approximately ten miles. You just know that the Glenister character will turn out to be eye-candy hero's father in a future episode to an enraged cry of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

- Speaking of which, moving the plot along with the minimum of fuss or believability: "I'm your god-father. And I'm also a vampire hunter that kills supernatural monsters." "Akay"

- Characters you want to punch in the face. Hard. Even if they're a girl. And blind.

Mere words, sadly, cannot convey the sheer depths that this series plumbs. Equally sadly, foreign readers will have to wait until this eventually reaches your screens, but I dare say somebody's already uploaded it onto the net for shits and giggles.

I can't wait for next week. Harry Hill's going to have a field day.

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