‘Death Valley’ Makes MTV Debut

Last night MTV featured the premiere episode of the new horror-comedy Death Valley. Take a little True Blood, some of The Walking Dead and a pinch of Underworld, then mix it with a whole lot of Reno 911…Viola! A perfect formula for comedic success, right? No.

After watching the previews for this show only one day before its big debut, I was borderline ecstatic, watching something like Fox’s long-running COPS reality show, but with the humor and gore of the supernatural.  Instead of chasing down a crack addict or car thief, the men and women of MTV’s Death Valley go after werewolves, vampires and zombies with a trusty camera crew in tow.  At face value, this thing has all the makings of a unique show with some well-placed dark humor.

Have you ever seen a trailer to a film, then watched that film only to disappointingly realize that the movie was the trailer?  At the end of the day you’re out $10, only to be standing there with 5 minutes of entertainment and 115 minutes of mind-numbing filler.  Thankfully, Death Valley is on television and is not a price-gouging film at the local cinema.  My point is the commercials for the show were more enjoyable than the show as a whole.  Reno 911 is funny.  Werewolves, vampires and zombies are cool.  Here, however, the show manages to take all those aspects and make them terrible.

The only recognizable actor in the list of players is Hangover 1 and 2’s chapel/strip club owner, Bryan Callen.  Callen plays the head of the supernatural task force, and while it’s not a bad thing to have mostly unrecognizable actors (worked tremendously well for season 1 of The Walking Dead), there still needs to be some degree of capability from them.  Callen certainly isn’t going to save this show on his own.  Unfortunately, neither will the other actors, nor will the writing or the story.  It’s not funny…at all.  In fact, the attempted display of humor is so forced that I cringed on numerous occassions, not from the blood, but from the bloody mess of an overall production.

Part of me wants to tell MTV to go back to the drawing board.  The other part wants to say scrap it altogether.  First off, the film quality is too high.  Shoot it like COPS so it looks live and gritty.  Second, don’t overthink the show.  Get rid of the contrived story pieces.  The only saving grace to last night’s episode was some great makeup artistry.  Other than that, trying to find enjoyment in this show was like trying to find a mountain to climb in Nebraska.


4 Responses to “‘Death Valley’ Makes MTV Debut”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    Saw the promotional spots for this and they looked legit, so now I will wait for them on dvd or Blu-ray. I am bummed.

  2. Tecra M3-S336 Battery

    After watching The Walking Dead season 2 trailer, I think I might be relating to some of the themes this new season has to offer to viewers.

  3. Gregg Senko

    Yes, I was equally bummed after watching it. There were three of us tuning in and the feeling was unanimous.

  4. Steve

    Mtv managed to spit in the face of the zombie genre in only their first episode. We can’t expect much from mtv as it’s tailored to people who think an IQ of 88 is a B+.