Review: Demonologist For Hire Series 1

Demonologist For Hire index
There’s a lot of web series being made right now and the majority, like all genres of comedy, aren’t that great. But this is a rare example of one which works perfectly and is damn funny stuff, a supernatural affair centring around a Demonologist played by show creator Bryn Owen, it’s performed and directed impressively and unlike 99% of web shows it could air on tv without any changes at all.

The first episode introduces the main character, a melodramatic Demonlogist who likes the sound of his own voice and doesn’t pay much attention to his clients woes. Despite his job title he’s also a little sceptical as well and doesn’t believe a car can be haunted, not unless something terrible happened, but he’s quickly won around when the car starts chattering away and threatening “A watery grave”. It’s packed full of very funny moments from the car getting annoyed with him when he discusses Stephen King’s novels and can’t work out which novel was about a haunted car, while his solution to his clients problem made me burst out laughing when he suggests “Have you thought about taking the bus?”. Ending with our Demonologist delivering an inaccurate dramatic monologue to his Dictaphone, it’s a fantastic introduction to a very daft but well performed and written character.

The second episode ups the stakes a fair amount as the Demonologist has to deal with an Illyria from Angel style deity waking from a long slumber. After another amusingly overly dramatic monologue where he predicts the deity will be terrified of this “brave new world” he is of course completely wrong, as the deity delivers her own overblown speech claiming that “Like a dog with no master man has grown bold, he thinks this world belongs to him” and she plans to break him as soon as she can. Which you can hardly blame her for, given how humanity has turned out. Summoning a priest to help him they just get in to a very funny discussion about religion instead, and the Demonologist saves the day rather simply the end with a Trump joke, it’s a strong Trump joke too, and unlike many it’s an effective and sharp attack on the cunt.

Stranger Correspondence, the third episode, plays around with the format a little as we get to see the Demonologist explores an empty factory at night as we hear an exchange in messages between the Demonologist and the overly poetic and not particularly clear Christopher P. Broomielaw, who rambles away and doesn’t make what he wants from the Demonologist clear at all. Both exchanges are packed with strong lines, but the best and funniest moment of the episode comes with the reveal as to Christopher’s problem, which I won’t spoil here but it made me laugh hard and for me is the best sight gag of the series.

The fourth and final episode of series one sees a priest shocked to see a sign declaring the area to be a “Werewolf Zone”, as our guy is used to exorcisms (you get used to the smell of vomit apparently) but not werewolves, and so the Demonologist is called in to help. But once again playing about with the central concept and making the show completely unpredictable, rather than being a bitey angry type who wishes to feed on flesh, when we meet the werewolf it’s inbetween lunar cycles and he’s angry at the way he’s treated, accusing the priest of “Moon-ism” – which apparently is when you’re prejudiced by people effected by lunar cycles. It’s a short but sweet gag essentially, but a great one nonetheless, and it comes to an end with a cute post credits bit too.

Supernatural comedy has been done to death over the years and it must be hard to find an original direction to take, but writer / star Bryn Owen and director Uisdean Murray have done just that with this superb series, as the extremely casual and rather unfazed unnamed Demonologist comes across a selection of fairly unusual situations and deals with them in fantastically amusing ways. There’s already a second series, as well as a spin-off, and both are essential viewing too, and this is yet more proof that there’s comedy online which is just as funny, if not more so, than what’s being made for tv.


Related Link:
You can watch the show on youtube here.

Alex Finch.
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