Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Dead Hot, on Tubi

A little professional ambition would be good for these Gen-Z’ers. It would help break their repeating cycles of self-defeating hedonistic indulgence and angsty regret. Their lifestyle is clearly unhealthy, even before a mysterious party starts trying to Elliot Byrd and his boyfriends in creator Charlotte Coben’s six-episode Dead Hot, which premieres tomorrow on Tubi.

A year ago, Byrd’s boyfriend, Peter Ono, disappeared, leaving behind a severed finger and a pool of blood. It took a long time, but Byrd finally found a potential replacement in Will, who mysteriously suffers the same fate. Once was bad luck, but twice is a real problem. Together with his bestie, Ono’s sister Jess, Byrd investigates Will’s disappearance, only to discover his name really isn’t Will and he might not even be dead. In fact, it seems the mysterious Will was deliberately stalking him.

Meanwhile, Ono finally gets a hit from her DNA database service, alerting her to the existence of a close biological relative. Since her brother’s body was never recovered, she still holds hope that he might be out there somewhere. As her DNA match toys with her, Ono and Byrd start to suspect their respective dramas are somehow linked.

Coben (daughter of Harlan) develops some pleasantly nasty twists and turns for hapless Byrd, but her characters and their over-sexed slacker milieu quickly become abrasively annoying. Nobody has a serious job and they all act like they are in a state of perpetual adolescence. As early as the second episode, most viewers will start rooting for the murderous villains.

Indeed, both Bilal Hasna and Vivian Oparah are distinctly charisma challenged as Byrd and sister Jess. It is also hard to fathom his attraction to the ever-sneering Marcus Hodson, playing Will, or whatever his real name might be, aside from surface physique. Ironically, the best work comes from the grouchy oldsters, Penelope Wilton as Byrd’s doting grandmother, Francine, and Peter Serafinowicz as the corrupt cop terrorizing Liverpool. Isn’t that always the way?

Dead Hot
is just too much for its own good: too immature, too self-indulgent, too lurid, and too horny. A little more seasoning and a lot more grounding would have benefited the series tremendously. As it stands, the characters are so tiresome, they undercut some rather clever plotting. To quote Gordon Ramsey: “what a shame.” Not recommended, Dead Hot starts streaming tomorrow (3/27) on Tubi.