And Lawson is up to the task, counterbalancing Lynch’s high-wire antics with some equally successful deadpan humor (her quip about an underbite patient’s life expectancy is one of the pilot’s low-key highlights). Her character is also surprisingly interesting, with tidbits on her past sprinkled in through Amy’s attempts at getting science- and logic-minded Allison to believe in her supernatural abilities. All-in-all, while it’ll rustle neither a tear nor make you roll on the floor, Angel From Hell has some seriously impressive chops in transitioning between sentimental and goofy, especially for a series this nascent.
I also appreciated the show abiding by its own rules: Amy doesn’t just pop up next to Allison whenever she wants, she’s a tangible part of reality and as such abides by the necessary rules. The writers also play up the or is she just crazy half of Amy’s guardian angel claim, which adds some unexpectedly dark humor to the otherwise cheery universe set up here. Is Amy a guardian angel, or did she just cyber stalk Allison and desperately seek out a new friend? Well, unfortunately, you’ll know by pilot’s end. Would I have liked to see the dynamic play out further into the series? Definitely. But the scene at the premiere’s end where the answer is divulged continues the show’s satisfying blend of endearing poignancy, so it’s hard to harp on it for too long.
The future of the show is one that is kind of obvious, with weekly antics from Amy that will no doubt screw up Allison’s life momentarily before successfully aiding her in the end. Like I said before, it’s formula. But in the vein of something like Samantha Who? and Perfect Couples (two shows creator Tad Quill has had his hands in), Angel From Hell has found new life in an old body. “Living for others never ends well,” Amy says to Allison once the two grow somewhat closer by the premiere’s end. “It drains you.” As a message it’s not groundbreaking or mind-blowing or life-changing. It’s actually pretty simplistic. But, like Angel From Hell‘s pilot as a whole, it’s delivered in such a way as to again feel new and meaningful.
For a network stuck in its laugh-track-obsessed, multi-camera world, Angel From Hell, with an offbeat mix of well-tuned humor and charming sentiment, feels relatively divine in comparison.