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Dead Hot review – it’s Skins meets Queer As Folk … but way weirder
Culture TV and Radio

Dead Hot review – it’s Skins meets Queer As Folk … but way weirder

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Love Hot has an innate charm. The main characters, Vivian Oparah and Bilal Hasna, bring life to their scenes and elevate what could have been a dull mystery. But don’t be fooled, it’s not just a mystery – it’s a mix of humor, suspense, horror, and romance. Charlotte Coben, daughter of Harlan, has created and written this series, clearly inheriting her father’s talent for unexpected turns. However, it falls short in fully connecting its various elements and constructing a more substantial storyline.

After a traumatic event, Elliott meets Hasna five years later. His lover, Peter (also known as Big Boys’ Olisa Odele), disappeared under mysterious and gruesome circumstances. Elliott returns home one day to discover Peter’s severed finger in a pool of blood, and Peter has not been seen since. In the present, Jess (Peter’s twin sister) lives with Elliott and still holds onto hope that Peter is alive. She downloads and deletes a DNA-matching app, hoping that Peter has sent in a sample to find out about distant relatives.


Initially, the storyline resembles a mixture of the television shows “Skins” and “Queer as Folk.” Jess is employed at a gift shop and frequently angers her boss by giving away merchandise and frequently missing scheduled shifts. Elliott is finally allowing himself to move on from his past, encountering a charming individual named Will at a club and quickly believing that they are destined to be together. The plot takes place in Liverpool, although the majority of the characters are originally from the south. The two bid farewell and make plans to see each other again later that day at the Royal Albert Dock. Meanwhile, Jess is happy for Elliott but distracted by a “close relative” match on her DNA app. She wonders if the match could be with her brother Peter.

The tone becomes peculiar, veering towards the eerie, but it only lightly hints at horror rather than fully embracing it. While some may be startled or cringe at the graphic scenes, it is more suited as a comical adventure rather than a suspenseful thriller. The peculiarity is mainly a matter of style and therefore never truly sends shivers down the spine. Jess is summoned to a bar themed around the color red, with the symbol of Horus as its name and logo. The use of red is a recurring theme, from nail polish to safety boxes to a haunting telephone, but despite its clear presence, Elliott fails to notice any warning signs from Will, who may as well be flashing like an alarm. Meanwhile, Elliott is plagued by guilt and starts to hallucinate Peter everywhere. Soon, both Elliott and Jess realize they are being used as pawns in a mysterious game.

“Often humorous in a dramatic way, especially when the adults enter the scene, the story takes a turn towards dark comedy. Peter Serafinowicz portrays Danny, a detective familiar with Peter’s case, who plays an important role in the current timeline. Penelope Wilton, on the other hand, plays Elliott’s eerie and wealthy grandmother who financially supports him but insists he is straight and should date women. Living with her daughter and Elliott’s aunt, Bonnie (played by Rosie Cavaliero), who despises her favored nephew, the grandmother is preparing to marry an online suitor, McCoughley Hamburgerson.”

That’s a wacky kind of name for a wacky kind of show, and you occasionally get the sense that it is trying too hard to be quirky, at the cost of finding something more resonant. Often, when a series is sent out pre-release, it arrives with a list of spoilers that the programme-makers would like you to avoid mentioning. One of the points on the hilariously lengthy list for Dead Hot was to please not reveal “Who left the cat at LeBarkBark and why”. You’ll never get it out of me.

Although its exaggerated nature can be entertaining and bizarre, it can also become tiresome, especially when attempting to tackle deeper emotional themes. The authentic bond and reliance between Jess and Elliott, as they navigate their mid-twenties, is more relatable, as is their quest for information regarding Peter’s disappearance. Oparah and Hasna’s dynamic is impressive, punctuated by dreamy flashbacks featuring Odele. It’s unfortunate that the show has been overloaded with too much content, because with its lively and eager energy, it’s difficult to not enjoy Dead Hot.

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    The film “Dead Hot” is currently available on Prime Video.

Source: theguardian.com