Tuned In

Fall Preview: The Show from Hell

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Because it’s a Friday, and because by the time September rolls around I may be too buried in fall debuts to remember to tell you about it, I’m asking grown-up animation fans to mark Sunday, September 9 on your calendars: Loren Bouchard (Home Movies) makes his return to Adult Swim with Lucy, Daughter of the Devil, which looks to be the next must-see AS series. (The show, whose pilot aired on AS way back in 2005, already has its own fan site.)

As the title suggests, Lucy joins Reaper as the second new series with Satan as a major character. (Third if you count the celebrity edition of The Apprentice.) The Devil (H. Jon Benjamin, Home Movies’ Coach McGuirk) has brought forth The Antichrist to Earth: she’s his daughter Lucy (Home Movies’ Melissa Bardin Galsky), a sarcastic 21-year-old who lives in San Francisco. He wants her to accept her calling and bring on the apocalypse; she wants him to stop meddling in her life. A further catch: the Second Coming has also arrived on Earth, in the form of Jesus (pronounced the Spanish way), a DJ and occasional Criss Angel-like magician. (He likes to perform “fear-acles.”) Oh, and he’s dating Lucy.

Having been a huge fan of Home Movies, I ripped open the mailer as soon as I got it, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s obviously more high-concept than the low-key Home Movies. The computer animation is also a sharp contrast to HM’s Squigglevision / Flash animation. (For whatever reason, Adult Swim did not send out the pilot, which is floating out on YouTube here.)

But it has the same kind of conversational, semi-improvised humor, which relies a lot here on contrasting its manichean plot with the mundane world. For instance, Satan tries to further his plans with a scheme that involves opening a “casual, after-work” restaurant chain called Tequila Sally’s, with karaoke, an animatronic burrito and a signature dish called the “a-taco-lypse.” Because he’s Satan. Of course he would.