Sunday, 4 January 2009

Devils and Demons

After a holiday season made scary by the conviction that I have become allergic to my own teeth, I am relieved to see Saturday night bobbing back up in the harbour of television, lifting its head above the jetsam and flotsam of Christmas programming. Look, there is a weird new show called Demons. And there is Graham Norton, hobnobbing with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is hobnobbing with Vladimir Putin; a show just as weird without the CGI.

In terms of fanciability, Demons won hands down. It has Philip Glenister (mmm - craggy), a rent-a-hunk dweeb Van Helsing (mmm - American friendly) and that bird who acts media - is that right? who is always seeing into the Other World for ITV (presumably in this case, watching A Song for Eurovision on BBC1). Last week as a fake medium but real lesbian in "Affinity", and now a real medium but a fake person in this odd little pudding of a programme. Having resisted the craggy charms of PG - probably due to his pointless and unconvincing American accent, combined in an unlikely way with being called Rupert - the massaging of a piece of fur enabled her to see Mackenzie Crook in a False Nose. There's clairvoyance. If we could all do that there would be no more tv. At all.

Demons had hopeful moments - a convex-eyed lemur with skanky fur biting off a mop head in self defence; he wasn't allergic to his teeth, and just as well as he had two rows of needle sharpies - but some tedious half hours - such as when the toothy mini-demon was captured in a laundry bag. Also a bit depressing that they kill the demons with some kind of guns. If that's all it takes, what makes that van Helsing so special, eh? And it's not really A FIGHT, which is what I look for 5 minutes before the end of a programme; that or Rupert Penry Jones with his shirt off. I'm not picky, but I like some satisfaction. The smited demon was Mackenzie Crook, who lent the whole some thespian cred, Christian Cooke signally Not Being Up To It, and I was sorry to see him smitten in such a wrongful way, particularly when I would quite like to see him in a clinch with Zoe Tapper, preferably with his stick on nose coming adrift.

Graham Norton was more interesting. Having been cast down to the point of giving up by the outcome of the last Eurovision, I am mightily heartened by the news that in fact we are not giving up, but rather giving Eurovision our best shot. Our best shot is ALW and Graham Norton. Crucially, ALW has been on a charm offensive around the Eastern Bloc. Strangely, they do seem to find him charming, and it certainly seems a more hopeful approach than whingeing; whether the Russian popstar can really make over his "many, many fans" remains to be seen, as does whether the UK Chosen can be touted and trawled about the whole of Eastern Europe to any effect in the lead up to the Big Day. But I am glad we are not lying down and taking it. Good will prevail. Perhaps. In a bit.