Todd and the Book of Pure Evil

Some of you may remember Tenacious D, half band, half one of the world’s most effective ways of convincing attractive young women to have sex with a fat old man.

That was fine while it lasted, you’re probably thinking, but surely there’s no more creative juice to be wrung from a mushed up pulp of heavy metal, comedy and demons. Well, you would be incorrect, because Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is a Canadian comedy show pitched very much in that zone.

Todd is a stoner high school student with dreams of being a metal superstar. He stumbles across the titular book, which proceeds to grant his darkest desires for him. No, not the ones about sexy sheep, the ones about dressing like a lost member of KISS and playing guitar so frantically everyone in the audience bleeds out of their eyeballs.

Which, oddly, is also Alan Titchmarsh’s darkest desire.

As you can probably tell this show is aimed pretty firmly at the teenage boy demographic. Well that, and the ‘stoned man in his late thirties who still likes to think he’s a teenager’ demographic: although it’s competing with the Top Gear audience for that one.

To draw in those fellas they throw in a fairly satisfying mix of disgusting gore, an impossibly attractive object of Todd’s affection called Jenny and Jason Mewes of Jay and Silent Bob fame showing up as a surprisingly wise janitor.

Good for you, Jay: staying clean long enough to hold down some regular work can’t have been easy.

Impossibly Attractive Jenny actually drives the plot as she enlists Todd in her quest to track down the Book of Pure Evil that somehow killed her father.

The basic structure of the show seems to be each week the book will find it’s way into the hands of a different person at the incredibly cunningly named Crowley High (SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE, EH?), and our  heroes will have to deal with the fallout of having that person’s weird fantasies brought to life.

There’s also a creepy moustached guidance teacher who’s trying to obtain the book on behalf of some cowled Satanist types, of course. A school wouldn’t be a school without cowled Satanists. Buffy taught us that much.

And that’s fine, as dumb as a brick, but fine. The main characters are vaguely likeable (if entirely stupid) and it’s moderately funny. And humour is of course subjective: I didn’t laugh much but I could see younger me giggling a fair bit at it. Standard joke in Todd and the Book of Pure Evil – Todd’s best mate is the drummer in his band and he only has one arm.  Not funny. But I will admit the sight of his plastic arm falling off during the middle of a set raised the ghost of a chuckle.

The one thing it does have going for it is consistent vision. It might be a bloody dumb vision of really dumb music and really dumb teenagers, but Todd and the Book of Pure Evil knows what it is (and seems pretty comfortable with it) so it’s impossible to truly dislike it.

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Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is on SyFy on Wednesdays at 10pm.

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About Ian Dunn
I love avocados, WH Auden and dinosaurs but I don't like effort.

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