I nearly leapt off my chair a couple of minutes into this, screaming, “Oh my god, it’s Cat from The New Adventures of Superman!”. For, indeed, Tracy Scoggins is in this, and is arguably the show’s best feature. Unless you’re a gay bloke, in which case it will be the semi-constant male-on-male sex scenes. But more on that later.
Dante’s Cove is a town in Hawaii, where magic is quite normal, as is having sex with anything that moves. Their religion is ‘Tresum’, which gives individuals natty powers to chuck fireballs, teleport at will, and control other people’s minds, often into having sex with them. The Tresum Council, which oversees all this, doesn’t like those who live in Dante’s Cove very much and in this season turns up to try to persuade them all into doing things properly, and also to have sex. A man from the Council turns up to strip someone of their powers following a massive tsunami-related ‘incident’ in the previous series, and to persuade the one woman who has not had sex to have sex with him, which she does. This the only example of heterosexual sex in the whole show.
The Lair, which is a private gay sex club and features in a spin-off show with lots of sex in it, is used as the basis for a storyline where a character goes around gaining power from others using psychic vampirism whilst having sex with them. This abuse of power passes around a few others until one of them gets into trouble and the House of Shadows turns up to cause mayhem. One of the House of Shadows masquerades as a normal person and nearly has sex with another woman until someone points out she’s actually evil and needs killing. There are some cool special effects, a lot of people try to kill her, she makes a lot of other people kill each other, and then the season ends on two blokes having sex.
Despite essentially being a softcore gay sex film with a plot, this is surprisingly enjoyable. Considering all the characters are impossibly good-looking, insanely promiscuous, badly-acted and seem to have no use for underwear, I didn’t find myself wanting to brutally murder any of them. The supernatural element might have moments of being daft, but the effects used on the magic itself are spectacular – if you’ve ever played The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, that’s where it’s all blatantly ripped-off from, and it’s very cool. You will want to belong to Tresum immediately.
Tracy Scoggins is terrific. I always wondered where she’d got to and for those of us who aren’t bothered about seeing men having sex she holds up the comedy-drama end brilliantly. This side of things is actually very good, and it almost seems a shame when a load of flesh appears on the screen when the time could have been given over to illustrating what was happening in the town and on the Tresum Council. But, of course, that would be bypassing the main point of the show, which is to display lots of men having sex.
Did I mention the sex? This has more sex than a sex video being played in a sex shop filled with people having sex. It’s also entertainingly self-aware – a kind of coral which becomes important to the plot is called ‘horn’, and there’s a lovely line where a resident comments on how much sex there is (but I’ll leave that one for you to enjoy). In some ways it can get downright annoying, as any plot device used repeatedly can become, and I’m sure that even gay men would tire of it after a while. And yet somehow it’s not offensive – yes, your first view of inside The Lair will make your eyes pop out and roll across the floor, but soon enough you’ll just be mildly bored and not shocked. Maybe that’s not a good thing, but as a reviewer with little patience it didn’t bother me. Mind you, on saving the file for this review I did put the typo ‘Dantes Cover season 3’, so maybe there’s something going on in my subconscious there.
Unlike other American shows, this avoids falling into sentimentality or family problems, doesn’t trawl through relationship issues, has no character called ‘Jack’ and a decent plot arc. Shockingly, I wouldn’t mind seeing the first two series now. Yeah, it’s a bit daft. Yeah, it might make your teeth ache if you don’t ‘get’ it. Yeah, there are holes in the plot which are bigger than a number of potential gay sex metaphors which are far too outrageous to put down on paper. But maybe, just maybe, you won’t care.
Dante’s Cove is released on 28th July