I BLAME YOU PERSONALLY IF THE EXORCIST GETS CANCELED
GUYS. Are you watching Fox's THE EXORCIST tv series, previously set in Chicago but currently set on a random island in Washington? Does the idea of Alfonso Herrera as a ridiculously sexy priest saving the souls of mere mortals from Pazuzu get you hot? Do you even know who Pazuzu is? NO. Then get away from me. I legit double dare you to not stream this show, starting with the first season featuring Geena Davis at her WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE best, and find yourself enraged that more people aren't watching. It's thought-provoking. It actually follows a decent narrative structure. You don't have to pay for HBO. What is the problem, people?
Let’s back up for the uninitiated. The original EXORCIST began as William Peter Blatty’s novel, published in 1971. The Exorcist is the story Regan MacNeil, a 12-year-old girl who becomes possessed by the devil while living with her mother in Washington, D.C. The William Friedkin directed film, with Blatty’s screenplay, is the gold standard in horror, perfectly capturing Regan’s descent into (literal) hell and the depths that Father Karras goes to save her. It also involves the most terrifying jump shot in movie history. If you’ve never read/seen either, stop what you’re doing, and correct that shit.
The television show debuted last year, focusing on a modern-day Chicago family dealing with… you got it… a demon needing an exorcism (you can catch up on both this current season and last on Hulu). What at first seems like a rip-off of the book/film (pretty daughter needs an exorcism, all hell breaks loose, etc.), quickly becomes one of the best gotchas of recent tv history. Starring Geena Davis as Mom and Ferris Bueller’s best buddy Cameron as Dad, the show is both terrifying and smart. If you’ve been a fan of Blatty’s original work, you’re in for an even bigger treat. I’m not going to spoil anything, but it’s really good. And Geena Davis is kinda amazing, in a chewing the scenery way.
Another great thing about the first season is its excellent use of Chicago casting, especially for its Archdiocese members (did I mention there’s a giant conspiracy involving the Catholic Church? Take that, Tom Hanks!). It’s full of folks from the Chicago theater scene, and the show’s world seems that much more real as a result. As a Chicago resident, I was scared of various imposing Archdiocese buildings before, but now I’m crossing the street.
The final piece of THE EXORCIST puzzle are the exorcists themselves: Father Tomas, played by Alfonso Herrera, and Father Marcus, played by Ben Daniels. And may I say, ladies and gentlemen, Hello Daddies.
Alfonso Herrera is basically Antonio Banderas 2.0 – so very pretty, so very lacking in the diction department. He is the younger, inexperienced priest who’s here to save your soul. His partner in crime is Father Marcus, the Limey, better with age experienced exorcist who has all the answers but tends to go rogue. It’s a buddy cop show within a show about demon possession and giant religious cover ups. I can’t stress it enough, dear Heauxs, THIS SHOW HAS EVERYTHING.
I want to give a real important caveat before we wrap up: so far, the first season is better than the second. I know. It’s important to acknowledge it. Without giving too much away, Father Tomas and Marcus survive their exploits in Chicago and take the show on the road to Washington State, where John Cho and a rag tag group of foster kids are in need of their services. It’s pretty good, but honestly, I think a part of the problem is they cast “Hollywood kids” in the role of the foster kids, and they’re a little too “aww shucks Dad!” unbelievable. It could just be me. The showrunners seem to be taking a “location of the season” approach, so I think that once these kids are jettisoned next year it’ll be back on track.
But the show is still totally awesome, and worth saving. So, if you’re home on a Friday night, or you’ve got the Hulu, check out the show. If you haven’t watched The Exorcist film, what is wrong with you? Legit asking. Get ready to get scared, and get your soul saved. Now excuse me while I go blast Tubular Bells.