‘Damien’ Should Be Damned


A&E’s Omen follow-up Damien is a hellish slug, damning its viewers to an hour of bad TV

When I read the description of A&E’s new religious/supernatural drama, Damien, I knew it was going to be insufferable. The information on my television reads, “Damien Thorn is forced to face his past and deal with the fact that he’s the Anti-Christ.” Whomp whomp. Tonight on a special Blossom, Damien learns that he’s not like other young men! Damien is hellishly bad. It’s not even fun enough to deal with on a camp level.

Now 30 years old, Damien Thorn (Bradley James) is a professional photographer. I guess he inherited millions of dollars from his parents’ deaths, and he is simply killing time by taking snapshots of war-torn countries. Just what the world needs—another Satanist with a Nokia. While taking some pictures of a conflict between Syrian soldiers and a group of homeless squatters, a old woman grabs his face and exclaims, “It’s all for you, Damien!”

If you are at all familiar with the 1976 classic horror film, you will remember that this phrase was yelled out by Damien’s nanny before she hanged herself at his birthday party. You know, an event that would traumatize a 5 year-old boy, but Damien Thorn—rugged photographer to the stars!—doesn’t seem to remember anything scary and haunting happening to him when he was a kid. When that old crone touched his face, memories came flooding back to him, and Damien just seems…confused by it all. “What does it all mean?” is what Bradley James seems to be trying to convey the entire pilot episode. It also doesn’t appear that Damian can pick up a book to figure out what’s going on with him.

The only person to (barely) survive all this damnation is Barbara Hershey. What the actual hell is she doing in this schlock? She’s the only one who could possibly camp it up in a role that demands her to say lines like, “I’ve been watching you…like a dark cloud…all these years…” Not even her presence could persuade me to tune in every week.

It’s obvious that A&E was hoping to pair this off with seasonal hit Bates Motel, but unlike that Norman Bates spin-off, Damien doesn’t try to put a new take on the story. Damien is grown up, so what? The beautiful people featured in Damien lumber around delivering leaden dialogue, and the creepy tone isn’t innovative or fresh.

Just for fun, let’s try to end this with as many stupid religious zingers:

A&E isn’t going to have many devout viewers!
Consider me a Bored Horseman of the Apocalypse!
This may all be for Damien, but Damien isn’t for me!

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