ITV1 - 31st January 2009 - 7.50pm
Honestly, doing the ironing or the washing up would be less predictable and far more exciting than sitting through this. After the all too brief flare of inspiration last week, it's back to the dross that focus groups suggest ITV should serve up to their target demographics.
...patronising the intelligence of the audienceThat means pretty boy meets pretty girl, spends about ten minutes in her company, declares undying love but it must remain unrequited because she is a revenge seeking ancient harpie. And if you didn't pick that up within five minutes of the episode starting then you must have been a) doing the ironing b) the washing up or c) stuck your head down the loo. Talk about the bleeding obvious and patronising the intelligence of the audience.
So Luke pouts and smirks his way through this, uses a terrible chat up routine and ignores advice from the blind colleague, the colleague with the crap American accent and the ugly girl with the mooning eyes. The worst bit of this is when Luke boasts of his martial arts skills to a gang of hoodies harassing the new girlfriend, takes them on and clearly shows that he's shit at said martial arts. And what the hell was nice Daniel Anthony doing in there as one of the yobs. Obviously, a day off from saving the universe at Bannerman Road. Daniel, stick to SJA.
...I say dump him, Glenister and ugly, annoying Ruby and retitle the series 'Mina Harker'.Even though it was so obvious that the new girlfrend Alice was in fact the ancient harpie out to seduce and kill Luke, I quite liked it as an idea. Unfortunately, the script didn't know what to do with that idea and simply regurgitated the 'defeat the villain of the week' trope that this series is tangled in. There is never enough time to understand the villain, although I'll give them points for at least trying to devote pages of the script to developing the relationship between Luke and Alice, and just as you wait for the idea to get going the 'demon of the week' gets smitten. And I'm not talking of love in this case. No matter how hard Christian Cooke tries, he has as much charisma as a plank of wood. I don't really care about his character and he hasn't wanted to make me care. I say dump him, Glenister and ugly, annoying Ruby and retitle the series 'Mina Harker'.
The other major problem is the lack of dramatic tension. Good direction can do wonders to cover up poor acting and writing. Alas, the series moves at too sedate a pace and then when it does try and do action it is often badly shot (the kung fu with the hoodies was cranked up horribly and smothered in pop music) and choreographed. The effects are good and the harpie was briefly quite thrilling, although the director shied away from a really good girl into monster transformation scene. You end up with 45 minutes of wallpaper with a couple of interesting scenes occasionally disrupting the somnambulist flow of pretty images.
Last episode next week and it looks like Gladiolus Thripp, whom I suspected wasn't dead as Mackenzie Crook has been in tons of the publicity, is going to reveal to Luke that Galvin killed his father. And that was in the trailer and we'd all guessed it weeks ago. What are they going to fill the other 44 minutes with I wonder?
Cathode Ray Tube Demons Smitten