There was a time, before the zombie revolution, when we didn’t actually have too many ideas about how the undead creatures should be approached. There was half-hearted foot-stomping, as in the Bloodrayne series and some less-than-legendary fare such as White Zombie. But then TV and movies caught up with the zeitgeist in the late 70s, and we got The Walking Dead — the zombie comedy that simply couldn’t get enough of the art-house buzz of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal A Clockwork Orange.
As popular as the show has been, it’s one thing to show a group of carefree suburbanites surviving a zombie takeover. It’s another to actually get down and dirty, showing people fighting zombies with knives, bats, clubs, fire-breathing chili peppers, and other items you don’t see in anything but a Mad Max film. CBS All Access’s newest offering, The Demonologist, follows one such group, the New Whimsies, as they try to keep their dead family members alive on Earth. Warning: Sometimes it just feels like zombies are taking over.
The Demonologist, which was introduced in October as a 10-episode series, has taken some steps away from the horror genre in its first season. The majority of the episodes focus on archrival Valas Games, an occult group from Medieval times that’s taking over New Orleans and beginning to stir up trouble as it seeks to resurrect the biblical demon Pemberley.
A fun and gory comic book adaptation, The Demonologist features some solid castings, including Downton Abbey alumnus Hugh Bonneville and the acting powerhouse of Smallville alum Erica Durance. But the distinction between the Demonologist and The Walking Dead doesn’t just come from the source material. Robert Kirkman, who created the comics on which the TV show is based, also serves as an executive producer on the show. But it’s clear he wasn’t making the same kind of jokes with the New Whimsies that he did with his own group of the undead: They seem more concerned with battling demons in the afterlife, and the rest of us are just guests.
For a slight thrill, or even for a really bad start to the day, watch this video of Kirkman speaking with The Daily Beast about his stance on the Demonologist and other comic-book-turned-TV series.
Airing Sundays at 1 a.m. on CBS All Access, The Demonologist has a second season already ordered, but won’t debut until July.