DEMONS: Episode Five - Smitten

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 audience
That 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?

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11 Responses to “DEMONS: Episode Five - Smitten”
  1. Anonymous says:

    The worse this show gets,
    the more hilarious your reviews get.
    In fact, they are the only reason I'm still watching this.
    Actually... I didn't mind this episode. It had all the bits of what the show needs, its just poorly executed (like Rubys hair). I think if this were to work, they have to stop killing off every demon each show, like you said. If we actually learned a little more about Miss. Alice-my-eyes-are-too- far-apart, a little more about the creatures,and a little more about this supposed "war" well... it might be decent.
    Or, like you said, if it was just about Mina. (Oh my gaawwdd, I loved her tights and pumps in that scene where shes lying on the couch!)
    I think my last statement shows that Christian Cookes acting is so bad I now find Mina more attractive.
    Lets just pray next weeks ends in a shower scene and we can all just walk away satisfied.

  2. Glad you enjoy the reviews Sydney. Agree with everything you say. Have you noticed the reviews are getting shorter and shorter too - it's really difficult to be objective and stop myself from really hurling the insults at the show.

    Never mind. I get a weird pleasure from watching this and coming up with an irreverent viewpoint.

  3. And we get pleasure from your pleasure. It's a virtuous circle.

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, you look like my college principal but nicer.

  4. Then, I shall take that as a compliment, Lucy. I wish I was on your principal's salary, though.

  5. Since episode three I've sworn off this shoiw because it really had/has nothing going for it. I tried last week but fell asleep almost immediately and I recorded last night's as I was out DJing and because...well, you gotta love the promise of a flying monster, haven't you? I have to say, Frank, your review means I'll be deleting it uwnatched...

  6. Paul, how is it doing in the ratings? It was on a downwards trajectory. Has that continued? I can't see it getting a re-commission, to be honest.

  7. Hi Frank, apologies for typoes in my post...stubby fingers + typing too fast + not checking before leaving post = silly typoes!! Anyway, haven't see this week's figures yet but last week it was down to 3.75 or thereabouts. It seems to do well with 'timeshift' though and gets nearly a million more on its Sunday night ITV2 repeat. But really, from a creative standpoint, I can't see what the series could gain by a second series; it'd need a major rehaul to even find its potential, let alone realise it - in my opinion, of course!

  8. An opinion that I share with you, Paul. Interesting that it gets that time shift on a Sunday. Perhaps that's where it should have been scheduled?

    Creatively it's uninspiring and it would need a far bit of fixing. Make Mina the central character and call it 'Harker' for a start.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am at the point of desperately hoping it doesn't (I'll have to watch it, I keep an eye on saturday night family dramas in general)

    Let's just say that when the advert came on with the little sweet shouting "BRING ON THE TRUMPETS" I had more fun then watching the whole of Demons.

    One point, though-- calling the adorable (when she's not lumbered with a horrendous character) Holly Grainger "ugly" for no good reason other than spite. Oi. Bad form.

    (Administers hefty slap, which I feel is justified, frankly!)

  10. Slap taken with justification! Bad form, indeed.

    If I was that way inclined, I would most definitely prefer Zoe to Holly though. Granted, Holly has not been given a great part in which to sparkle.

    But then, like Sydney, I'm just waiting for Christian Cooke to get out of that tight black vest one more time before the show disappears into its own stacks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    For the record, it isnt Holly thats ugly!
    Its her character and how they dress her up as Ruby! Everything they put her in is sooo figure-unflattering; its impossible for her to be appealing in that garb and with that gob!

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