Gary And His Demons Is A Brilliant Show About How Awful Being The 'Chosen One' Is

Gary doing his very best homage to Sailor Moon. (Image: VRV)

Into every generation in the world of Gary and His Demons, a demon slayer is born who — well, is responsible for ridding the world of its demons. But as much fun as being a chosen slayer might sound, Gary rightfully hates his calling.

Gary and His Demons is an animated show that’s equal parts Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Office, if the latter only ever focused on an ageing Jim Halpern struggling to deal with the fact that he’s an ageing demon fighter who’s disillusioned with his place in the world.

After a lifetime of saving humanity, all Gary has to show for it is a receding hairline, an epic transformation sequence, and a justified disdain for his fellow mortal meatbags.

The thing that makes Gary and His Demons shine where similar shows tend not to is its level-headed depiction of what middle-aged depression looks like.

Gary’s an alcoholic misanthrope who keenly understands that his tenure as the chosen one is soon to be over — and when he’s being honest with himself, the prospect of being decommissioned absolutely terrifies him. Though he hates to admit it to anyone.

There’s an aimlessness to Gary’s life that makes the show feel like an impressively sharp critique of its central conceit — and all of the other versions of the story we’ve seen in the past.

Being chosen, one imagines, would give your life a purpose, but what really haunts Gary is the fact that after years of keeping the world safe, he doesn’t really have all that much in his personal life to show for it.

Gary is single, bad at socialising, and not all that likeable, and it’s all compounded by the fact that he’s given himself over to a greater good that most people will never be able to understand.

When he eventually meets the next generation of slayers who are destined to pick up his ever-increasing amount of slack, he’s forced to reckon with the reality that he’s never quite managed to get his shit together.

But at the same time, Gary meeting his successors acts as a none-too-subtle reminder that there was a point in his life when he, too, was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and full of promise about his future.

As much as Gary and His Demons is a show about self-owns, it’s also a sombre reflection of just what it means to go through life unappreciated.

It’s never explicitly made clear where Gary’s personal demons come from, but the implication is that his misanthropy and arrested development are natural outgrowths of being chosen and that it’s a fate that befalls all of his kind.

Gary and His Demons can be depressing, but there is a bit of hope shot through the series that makes its overwhelming darkness bearable.

Scumbag that he is, Gary is trying to become a better person at the end of the day, something he verbalises whenever he triggers his powers and goes through a decidedly Sailor Moon-esque transformation sequence.

This hopeless mess never stops trying because he does want to be happy, and while he might not really understand it about himself, that’s what makes him a relatable hero. He has the same struggles as the rest of us.

The full series of Gary and His Demons is not currently available in Australia, but you can watch the first episode on YouTube (embedded above).


Comments

    12 megabytes of gif on the front page. Seriously.

      I mean, they've got a buttload of ads and autoplaying videos so why not just put a 12 megabyte gif in too?

      That's nothing. There have been articles in the past that have had over 100MB of gifs, the worst IIRC was 300MB. But yeah, the autoplaying gifs on the front page are absolutely killing the loading speed, especially since they don't have pages anymore so it just keeps loading in more and more gifs as I scroll...

        I usually can't be bothered to even try to check, but curiosity got the better of me this time.

    A few good laughs in there but I couldn’t rid the feeling that they were just trying to make their own Rick Sanchez... the croakiness, tendency to mumble and stutter, pessimistic worldview, it’s all there.

      that's pretty much what any 'adult' oriented cartoon wants to do these days. the important part is whether or not it's done well I think.

        It’s proven to be a winning formula, I just wish the voice acting was less derivative. The rest of the show was pretty well done. The second episode was even better. I’ll be watching the rest of it for sure.

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