TV review: Damien S1, episode 1 (The Beast Rises)

PLOT: On his 30th birthday, pretty boy photographer Damien Thorn (Bradley James) has odd things happen to him, hinting he may be the spawn of EVILLLLLLL (in Sam Loomis voice).

REVIEW: I’m a big THE OMEN series fan. Although the original 1976 film is untouchable in my book; I still had some fun with THE OMEN 2 and THE OMEN 3. The less said about that stale 1991 TV sequel/quasi reboot and the 2006 sad sack remake; the better! Now I didn’t crave a THE OMEN TV show (created by Glenn Mazzara, of The Walking Dead fame) as the original trilogy covered all the ground this idea had to offer IMO but we got one anyways.

Sup Christ! Got a problem with me?!

Hence, I felt compelled to check the pilot out (which yes has been getting lots of hate out there) and personally I didn’t find it all that bad! DAMIEN (which ignored the sequels and was a straight follow-up to the 1976 flick) sported most of the ingredients that the original series pimped out; religious imagery, scripture name dropping (good old Book of Revelations), the killer dogs, a FINAL DESTINATION-ish accident (as per THE OMEN 2, whcih was all about those), the 666 birthmark, even the brrr inducing AVE SATANI piece of music (The Omen theme song by Jerry Goldsmith) popped up at the end to carve a smile on my face and send shivers down my spine (nice fan pleasing moment there). But although all of the spices were there, they were mixed in differently.

The vibe of the show was mucho CW. Maybe too much for its own good. It actually kind of reminded me of ANGEL. The look had this over stylized bleakness about it while our hero Damien Thorn (ably played by Bradley James) had the brooding, GQ cover boy thing down pat. Personally a more grounded approach would have worked better for me, but at the same time, I do understand they are trying to cater to a new and younger audience (expect when it came to the key info found in the original flick - more on that below) – hence they kept the imagery trendy. With that aside, I did esteem the choices that director Shekhar Kapur made. His many stylized angles classed the show up with the church scenes being an ideal example of that! The cast on hand also came through! The lovely Tiffany Hines and Megalyn E.K delivered while Barbara Hershey (The Entity) stole the show as the charismatic yet menacing mystery woman that has been keeping tabs on the D-Man! I expect the latter to see her role expand as the show clocks forward. Add to that an easy pace, one grisly kill, nifty flashbacks to the 1976 original and a killer ending and you get an engaging little watch!

"Handjobbbbb" she said...

On the flipside; if you haven’t seen THE OMEN, you’ll be totally in the dark here. Now I didn’t give a shit because I’ve seen the movie and its offshoots, but I found it odd that they wouldn’t let the new audience in on the info that fans of the 1976 movie have. They were basically asked to be aware of the original film or be freaking lost. Bold or stupid move – I am not sure! And personally, it was a tad lame to see our lead character ask himself all of these questions, when I knew the answers starting at frame 1. Hopefully he’ll catch up to me and I won’t go through that via the following episodes. Finally, the dialogue was cheesy in places and at times too exposition driven. A polish was needed!

On the whole though, this THE OMEN fan got a couple of cheap kicks from this first episode. I can’t say it bowled me over, but my interest is peaked and I may tap the second episode (and if this piece does well share wise, I may continue to review the show). I’m definitely curious to see how they will stretch little meat they have going for this one (and mostly likely only) season. Where do you stand on it? Vomit away!



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