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April 28, 2012

TV on DVD Review: Todd and the Book of Pure Evil - Season 1 (2010)

Television is in a really good place right now. From Mad Men to Breaking Bad, Community to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Ugly Americans to Archer, television has stepped up in many genres. That's just in the United States. Canada seems to have stepped up their game, and they did it with a great little horror comedy called Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. I absolutely love this show. I know this is going to be unpopular for me to say, but Todd is what Buffy could have been if it were good. Seriously.

My problem with Buffy is that it was just too campy. I thought elements of it were okay, but it just never clicked with me. I know the Whedon loyals are ready to tear me apart, but I can't help it. Todd has things that Buffy didn't. There is a dark sense of humor to Todd. It reminds me of the days of Tales From the Crypt. There's also a lesson to be learned every step of the way. It's like The Twilight Zone, but the ending is never positive for the person who chooses to deal with the book.

The basic story is fairly simple. Todd is a high school kid who just can't get things going. His best friend is Curtis, a kid with a prosthetic arm, Jenny, the girl he's in love with, won't notice him, and he's too blind to notice another girl, Hannah, who's into him. His only mentor seems to be Jimmy, the school janitor (Jason Mewes). Todd discovers the Book of Pure Evil, and reads a spell from it. Things get better for Todd, but the school is threatened, and the spell ends up being broken. The book then finds other hapless students and works through them. Todd, Curtis, Hannah and Jenny all rally to stop the book and the spells it casts.

There are many more complex background stories throughout the series. Jenny is on a search for her missing father. Atticus, the school counselor, has an odd connection to a secret cult. Three mysterious headbangers constantly stand outside of the school and see Todd as the chosen one. Everything eventually comes together to set up what I hope to be an amazing second season.

I can't recommend this more. This is the most fun series I've watched in a long time. I sat through the entire first season in one sitting. That's no joke. It was that good, and when each episode ended, I was excited for the next. Add this to your DVD collection. You'll definitely be a repeat viewer.

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