Apr 12, 2017

[TV] Crazyhead: Season 1

So I'm noticing that with a fair number of our Netflix shows we tend to blitz through them quickly then I forget to write about them. I guess there's something about how convenient binge-watching is that has me failing to get around to my usual routine. So here's another late review I'm catching up on.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of Crazyhead when I first saw it listed as a new show on Netflix. There was mention of demons and we have two teenage female protagonists and that was about it. But I generally trust my gut in moments like this and so we took the plunge.

Of course given the shorter length of seasons over in the UK, that one episode quickly turned into pretty much the whole season much sooner than expected. But isn't that the way of things when you find a show that you quickly start to enjoy and then Netflix keeps feeding you the next episode before you can tell it to stop?

Oh yeah, that's the good stuff all right.

Synopsis: Crazyhead is a British comedy-horror series created by Howard Overman, who also created Misfits. The 6-episode show originally aired on E4 however Netflix secured the international redistribution rights.

The show begins with Amy (Cara Theobold) being attacked by something that appears like a man to everyone else. For some reason she's the only one who can see the monster as he is with no one else the wiser. But that changes when the spunky Raquel (Susan Wokoma) arrives to help out Amy as she can see the monsters, which turn out to be demons, as well. And Raquel claims to be some sort of demon hunter pursuing these creatures.

Raquel eventually explains that both of them are "seers" gifted with the ability to see demons as they are. Raquel has taken it upon herself to fight them and Amy eventually gets dragged into the mix of things. Things get more complicated when one of the demons they've slain manages to transfer hosts - in this case to Amy's best friend and roommate Suzanne (Riann Steele). So now they have to deal with her too along with a host of other threats.

What I Liked: The show has a strong youthful vibe and a smart sense of humor that is felt all throughout the season. It gives the show some great punch and also helps make it feel more attuned to the mindset of the characters. The writing is fairly tight and made for some great moments. This is not about teenagers with powers and awesome moments.

It's really more about a minor gift that allows them to see the evil around them and a hasty effort to make the most of things and do the right thing. Throw in some funny characters and crazy sub-plots involving various friends and even family and you get a solid TV experience.

What Could Have Been Better: Of course given the length of the show, it becomes more about plot and less about characters. Our protagonists spend most of the time barely keep up with every going on around them both in the main narrative arc and in the episodic subplots that there are few opportunities to get to know everyone better. This is even worse for bad guys or other incidentals that all end up feel like more disposable elements in the show.

Not every plot twist is amazing and not ever on-screen moment feels like it was a good decision to keep in but that's how things go in a first season. The good still outweighs the bad but like Misfits before it, there's still some messy bits that feel really rough around the edges.

TL;DR: Crazyhead may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I feel it's still a pretty solid comedy experience presented as a darker genre series. It has much better pacing and writing than most shows out there and at 6 episodes it's a pretty easy time investment to make. Thus the show gets a good 4 icky exorcisms that the girls end up performing out of a possible 5.


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