With the UK premiere of True Blood Season 4 looming alongside the return of The Walking Dead and Being Human, it seems MTV’s decision to air its new zombie-vampire-werewolf fly-on-the-wall horror comedy, Death Valley, is dead (sorry for the pun) on trend.
A curious blend of hard-ass tough cop shows like The Shield, the deadpan mockumentary awkwardness of The Office or Party Down and some great horror genre spoofing, Death Valley follows California’s San Fernando Valley Undead Task Force, whose purpose is to control the region’s rampaging paranormal types.
Starring Brian Christopher Callen as the team’s Captain, Charlie Saunders as Michael Chiklis-ian chrome-dome wannabe hardcase Officer Stubeck and Bryce Johnson nicely smarmy as vain Officer Pierce, the pilot episode sees our heroes encounter a sexy prostitute vampire, convenience store zombies biting up the place and a DUI-style werewolf being pulled over amongst other odd happenings.
In twelve bite-size (sorry, again) half-hour segments, this black comedy’s real strength is in reducing the undead beasties of more horrific productions to the mundane day-to-day routine of a parallel dimension Cops.
Series creator Curtis Gwinn is an Onion News Network alumnus. It’s predictable, then, that he provides an enjoyable combination of the absurd and the mediocre, with some nice genre references (an amusing 30 Days of Night piss-take is great fun) and silly one-liners making for a welcome diversion from some of the reality TV horror otherwise pedaled by the network.
Catch it at 10pm on Monday nights on MTV.
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