12 Deadly Days...
12 Deadly Days, the new and exclusive YouTube Red series, is an ambitious idea to celebrate the holiday season with what else? Binge watching television in front of the streaming Yule log fire. For those like me who have cut the media shackles known as the cable-TV cord, only to rack up even more content with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, PrimeNow, and so many others looking for 10 bucks a month, I am certain some of you are vacillating with YouTube Red, one of the newest “content apps” in the streaming game. And lucky for those horror fans, still Tweeting the fictionalized diary of poor Barbara Holland from Stranger Things, you might be willing to fork over the fee to check out this Blumhouse produced series.
But let me spare you the expense. After watching three episodes of 12 Deadly Days¸ a viewing that felt more like a force feed than a satisfying binge, I am only reminded by what TV analysts are calling the consequences of “Peak TV,” the idea that too much content is pushing out the really good, must see shows. Unfortunately, with the backing of Google and Blumhouse, 12 Deadly Days is part of that overcrowded market that should step aside for more compelling television, especially for those looking to spend their merry good time sitting around doing as little as possible.
12 Deadly Days has an interesting idea, borrowing from the movie anthology structure with each episode introducing new characters and storylines in the fictional town of Saturn, California. Each episode affects the town and is certain to lead to some full-circling by series’ end. But I didn’t get that far, for its horror-comedy genre label is neither funny nor horrific. And that’s too bad considering the talents of those like Bill Moseley are wasted with poor scripts and clichés which I suppose were meant to be fun and ironic.
For example, the first episode is a modern twist on A Christmas Carol by good ol’ Charles Dickens, a writer so fascinated by the poor that he made money writing books about them. Moseley plays Scrooge, and his grumpiness has led to animus ghosts haunting his suburban mansion. He employs two goofy ghost hunting brothers looking to gouge old Scrooge for tens of thousands of dollars, a supposed discounted price since it’s Christmas and all…Well, the ghost hunting begins, and a series of Dickensian twists abound that are so absurd that I nearly wrote to my editor requesting that I be taken off this assignment. But in the spirit of Christmas, I treaded on, only to be even more disappointed, dissatisfied, and dismayed. How could Google, to use a Dickensian phrase, muddle this up so badly?
So consider this review a favor: With all the money being spent on Christmas, don’t give any to Google, at least not yet. Your time is precious and your hard-earned money should be well spent. But if you are truly looking for some Christmas Horror to watch by the streaming Yule log fire, try Krampus. At least it has a social message.
Eric Dinsmore | Twitter: @dinsmorality