Angel From Hell
TV Series Review
We could all use divine guidance every now and then—a gentle touch from above, a little word of wisdom, a push away from the line of fire. We all need, you might say, a guardian angel.
And we should all hope that ours doesn’t have quite the drinking problem that Allison’s does.
Oh, Allison Fuller could certainly use an angel in her life as much as you or I. The driven dermatologist has been speeding through her God-given life, devoting it to come-and-go relationships and mountains of work. But Amy? This wisecracking, hard-drinking, vest-wearing kook is supposed to be her guardian angel? Puleeze. Don’t make us laugh.
Or do? This is supposed to be a comedy, after all.
AT3: Angel, Third Class
Amy flaps into Allison’s life uninvited and, at first, unwanted. Allison—now a full partner at the medical firm founded by her pops—feels like she’s doing just fine. But Amy knows better. With an eerily accurate knowledge of Allison’s fractured past and a knack for messing everything up in just the right way, she quickly becomes a fixture in Allison’s life. And while Allison seriously doubts Amy’s angelic bona fides, she does come to appreciate her quirky company.
“I could use a weird friend,” Allison admits.
“Do they come any weirder?” Amy smirks.
No. No, they do not. Played by Jane Lynch of Glee fame, Amy takes to her task with the alacrity of a determined stalker, infiltrating every aspect of Allison’s existence. Oh, and she also seems to have a thing for Brad, Allison’s semi-hunky brother.
Well, You Look About the Kind of Angel I’d Get
But is she an angel? Something less? Is she just a crazy interloper in want of a restraining order? CBS plays it coy on this point. But while Allison clearly has her doubts about Amy's supernatural nature, we the audience are led to believe there’s something rather … special about her.
Especially bad, many might say. One Million Moms is actively trying to send the show back to where it came from, saying, “Once again networks like CBS portray a false image of religion. Angel From Hell is another attempt to distort the truth about people's faith.”
Indeed, the theology linked to Angel from Hell is—like its titular protagonist—way off kilter. So far off kilter that it's been largely stripped of any theological underpinnings at all. God is rarely even mentioned. Salvation is a sideshow tent we never duck into. Amy’s angel is a crazy construct, fictional from the get-go—and not so very different from the angels we see in The Adjustment Bureau or Angels in the Outfield or any number of other entertainments that want a touch of the supernatural without getting too involved in the particulars.
That a Jane Lynch character could ever be “angelic” is kind of the whole joke here. It’s akin to casting Vin Diesel as a nuclear physicist or George Clooney as a guy who can’t get a date.
There Must Be an Easier Way to Get My Wings
Still, it can be quite uncomfortable to watch someone who claims to be God's messenger do so many stupid and unreasonable things. The swearing. The weird, sexualized flirting. The drinking. Lots and lots and lots of drinking—to celebrate good days, to help forget bad days, to smooth out life’s wrinkles through a steady spray of booze. Clarence turned down the hard stuff, asking instead for mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves. Amy would toss those accoutrements in the trash and drink George Bailey right under the table.