Where to begin. In the beginning, there was talent. No.That won´t work. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making A&E think that this might work ? Yeah, that will do.
I started watching the Damien Pilot episode thinking at the very least that It could be half good. I was all wrong. The episode starts off with a viewer’s discretion. But it lists all the wrong reasons. It should have listed bad ideas, bad writing, no concept of time,and utter boredom.
The IMDB page tells us this : Classic horror film “The Omen” is re-imagined in a fresh, contemporary take on the life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from the 1976 motion picture. Although he’s now a romantic, complex protagonist, Thorn grew up seemingly unaware of the evil forces around him. The past catches up with Damien, forcing him to face his true identity — that of the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.
The only thing that rings true there is Classic Horror film “The Omen”. The rest is utter trash. A romantic, complex protagonist Damien IS NOT. And that is perhaps the biggest mistake this show makes. Having Damien Thorn be some hunky well to do guy with a heart of gold. He just wants to save the world. By taking photographs. I started rolling my eyes almost immediately. It starts of in what the show claims is war torn Syria. And this whole bit just comes off as shlock writing. Seriously, the christian quarters of Damascus the television tells us. There we find hunky Damian and his buddy Amani just loitering around taking pictures of what the shows producers think Syrians look like. Then of course the soldiers of ” the current regime” as Damien calls them , comes in too mess with the people. For harboring terrorist some soldier yells. Yeah, because when ISIS needs a place to hide, they would go to the christian quarters wouldn’t they. But this really means nothing. Its just an attempt to set hunky Damian up as a guy who just wants to do good. It does this by showing him try to help not one, but two people who fall down in the mayhem.
In these opening scenes we also meet another photographer friend of Damiens. The christian quarters of Damascus seems to be overflowing with photographers. Another young american , Kelly , who looks like she came straight from the makeup chair, catches Damian’s eye . She meets up with Damian , and even though there is chaos all around they take the time too imply that she and Damian have had some sort of relationship and that Damian dumped her. Because that’s what romantics do. But they remember that there is mayhem going on, and get back to helping falling syrian woman in the street who are being roughed up by EVIL SYRIAN MILITARY DUDES.
One of these folks , an old lady, touches Damien face and tells him ” I love you,Damien, Its all for you” and then starts speaking some ancient language . This prompts Damien to have a flashback to the 1976 film on which this show is trying desperately to have a connection to. Kelly manages to film this, even though all hell is breaking lose around them. Through exposition from Amani we are told that Damian does not remember his childhood. Any of it.And definitely not putting his mother in the hospital, and causing her to miscarriage, and ultimately get killed. But I digress. Later in the show they forget this selective amnesia nonsense, but it doesn’t really matter, so i´ll just drop it.
Suddenly some army guy says that all journalists are being deported due to plot convenience , Damian and Amani get separated from Kelly ,and as if by magic Damian and Amini are transported to New York. They have developed their photographs, and are in a meeting with their boss, who tells Damien that he might be looking at a pulitzer prize for his great work. Damien is brooding, and he just wants to be transported back to Syria. Because he cares you see.
Damien gets a phone call from Kelly, who is still in Syria and shaken by what occurred just minutes prior.She is asking what happened , and where did they go. ” I’m back in New York” Damien says, and he doesn’t expressly say that he was transported there by magic, but that really is the only explanation I can think of. None of them has even changed clothes it seems, and even if they had a private plane, which i doubt, that’s still an 11+ hour flight. This is the part that makes me say the show has concept of time.
They make a big deal about Damien being 30 years old , and that 25 years has passed since the events of the 1976 movie. That math don´t add up either, but nevermind about that. Then Kelly appears in New York as if by magic. Just appears on the street. And she has translated that ancient language the old woman was speaking to Damien. Yeah. And she has found a an old newspaper clipping about the death of photographer Keith Jennings (David Warner from The Omen) and she has “dug up” the travel logs of Robert Thorn ( Gregory Peck ) Damian’s father ( YEAH RIGHT !! ) , and made a connection between the two, And she has learned about Carl Bugenhagen as well and …….. and you know where this is going. In what seems like the span of 10 min she has taken the 11+ hour flight from Syria to New York. Found all this information, and it really REALLY just seems so gawd damn rushed, Its like these people just desperately wanted this first episode to be over and done with. Its like she watched The Omen movie, and just lays it all out for Damien. And we are only 25 min into the episode at this point. I seriously though after watching it that everything that happens during this first episode could have actually been stretched out to fill the shows entire first season. A good writer could have done that.
More shit happens that defies all logic , and none of it is scary. None of it makes sense, and none of it matters because this show will be cancelled sooner rather than later. Suffice to say I was madly disappointed. I just never cared about any of these people. And the “build up” to the closing of the episode just didn’t work on any level. I will say that there is a few seconds during the closing of the show that almost managed to bring a little spark of the 1976 movie into the show. Through some clever cuts, reveals and use of music. Much like the movie did. But at this point it’s all really gone to hell anyway and it doesn’t matter.
I’ve been thinking about how this show could have worked , but I just can’t see any possibility. And what the show is gonna try to be beyond this episode is mystery. Maybe if it was a mini series that chronicled the events of The Omen 2 and 3, about young Damian growing into what he ultimately is destined to be.Not a hunky well to do photographer with a heart of gold. But a cold , evil bastards who wants to destroy humanity. It might have worked better. I don´t know. And now I don´t care. This whole show is just another Hollywood attempt to squeeze money out of a property which deserved to be left alone. Making the anti-christ an anti-hero ? Hero of what ? Photography ? It seems to me that by skipping the 25 years between the show and the movie, they have really skipped over the parts of this that could have made a good show. But focusing on Damien as the shows protagonist at this point just doesn’t work. I’ve seen ZERO positive reviews of this episode. I had to check just to see if it was me who just didn’t get it, but every review I’ve seen pretty much trashes it in the headline.
I can’t say it bodes well for the forthcoming Exorcist tv series that is in development . I bet that one is gonna be some procedural show with “exorcism of the week” or some shit. You tell me. How is that gonna work ? God knows.