Buffy, But More Bawdy: Deborah Wilde's The Unlikeable Demon Hunter and Crazyhead
by G.G. Andrew
I miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A lot of us do, especially with the recent release of the cast photo for the 20th year reunion of the popular Joss Whedon show about a chosen one and her friends battling supernatural baddies. Along with its stellar cast, the show had wit, romance, and demons–what’s not to miss about that trio of goodness?
But as it turns out, Buffy is back. She’s just a bit raunchier.
This November I discovered the show Crazyhead on Netflix (via Madeline Iva; thank you, Madeline!). A British show, it’s the story of two women who form a friendship because they can both see, and thus fight, demons. If you haven’t already, check out Madeline’s post on all the reasons the show is fantastic. Like Madeline, I read many reviews on the show comparing it to Buffy, and while I can see that it’s a direct descendant in many ways, it’s very much its own animal. I think it owes as much to the rise in female comedy in recent years as it does to Whedon. Because Crazyhead is not only funny, but pretty dirty. In an early episode, one of the women pees on her friend to exorcise the demon that’s inside her. There’s also foul language and awkward sexual encounters aplenty.
April marks the debut of urban fantasy author Deborah Wilde‘s Unlikeable Demon Hunter series. I’m reading an advanced copy of the first book right now, and it’s also filling that sweet spot that was vacated by Buffy, but adding its own hilariously adult humor to the mix, much like Crazyhead does. To see what I mean, check out the beginning of the book’s blurb:
The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose…
Deborah Wilde describes her books as “Bridesmaids meets Buffy,” which is the perfect way to capture this awesome thing I see happening here: supernatural stories with kick-ass heroines who push the envelope humor-wise.
Nava Katz, the heroine of The Unlikeable Demon Hunter, is a party girl who’s taking a walk of shame back home after a hookup when she crashes her twin brother’s initiation into a demon-hunting brotherhood by trying to get herself a little hair of the dog–which turns out to be wine intended for the ceremony. Then she’s got another surprise coming: she appears to be chosen instead of her twin. The brotherhood, which is a Jewish organization tracing back to King David and a boys-only club, is not somewhere where Nava thinks she fits. She wears “trollop togs,” has a “collage of speeding tickets spelling out vroom” in her room, and feels more loyalty to her bras than her hookups. She sometimes ends up in bed with demons, like you do. And when she sees hot barkeeps, she tends to think thoughts like these: “Ladytown flooded like it was time to start collecting two of every animal.”
Basically, Nava’s like the fun-loving, dirty-talking, drink-tossing best friend you’d want to take to the bar. But you’d also want her around, because, you know, demons.
Buffy will always have a special place in my heart, but nowadays when I often spend my days doing too much adulting, there’s nothing better than ending the day with the naughty laughs I get from Nava Katz or the girls in Crazyhead. I’m hoping these saucy supernatural stories are here to stay, because I’ll keep devouring them.
The Unlikeable Demon Hunter releases April 18, but you can snag it for .99 as a preorder right now.
What have you been filling the Buffy-shaped hole in your life with? Let us know here or on our Facebook page!
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G.G. Andrew writes quirky romantic comedy. Her latest is the short story Girl Meets Grammarian in the geek romance anthology Covalent Bonds. It involves a sexy sentence diagramming scene or two, because YES.