When the creator of Misfits, Howard Overman, decided to put his own spin and sense of UK humor onto the Buffy, The Vampire Slayer mythos I had to give it a shot. The result is funny, if not quite as creative and unexpected as Misfits was. The 6 episode run has a nice arc, a few surprises and Overman’s very dark and churlish sense of dialogue. It doesn’t quite rise to the Whedon bar of the Buffy-verse, but it is entertaining and may find more solid feet on its second outing (assuming there is one).
Cara Thebold (Downton Abbey) is doing her best Sally Sparrow (see Blink), whether intentionally or not. It works well and she is engaging and endearing. Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum) manages to make her abrasive nature endearing and a clear sign of vulnerability and strength. The two work well together and have great comic timing.
Working with them is Overman’s trademark sex-obsessed and sexually confused comic male sidekick with a heart in Lewis Reeves (Uncle). And, of course, the solidly grounded friend in Riann Steele (Lovesick/Scrotal Recall) and naive relative in Arinzé Kene (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).
Naturally, there is a villain, as there needs to be or what kind of show would you have? Tony Curran (Defiance) gets to chew up the scenery with glee. He has a cadre of lackeys as well, but they serve mostly to, well, serve him.
I had only one real gripe with the series. Though both the main women have similar backstories of being treated for mental illness, thus the title, neither seems to have consequences or real anger over the mistreatment they’ve suffered, or even questions it. The story moves quickly past all that so that they can get on with the plot and carnage. That is more a writing and directing flaw, but it made the setup feel unnecessary since it had no real impact. It also felt like a real lost opportunity to either blur the lines for the audience or help complicate the interactions.
That aside, if you like Buffy and British humor you’ve found your latest form of Reese’s peanut butter cup entertainment. I am hopeful it will have a follow-up season and, more importantly, improve its writing just a tad. It really is almost there, but my expectations were very high after Misfits, though this is a more mainstream kind of show.