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Recommended: Little Demon on FXX

Danny DeVito, his daughter Lucy, and Aubrey Plaza lend their voices to this hella funny new animated comedy about Satan's teenage daughter.
  • Chrissy gets her first taste of power in Little Demon (Photo: FX)
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    Little Demon Season 1 | FXX
    Half-hour Animated Comedy (10 episodes) | TV-MA

    What's Little Demon About?

    After killing some bullies with hellacious powers she didn't know she had, 13 year-old Chrissy Feinberg is shocked to learn she's Satan's daughter. That sets off her mom, who's been training as a demon hunter for just this moment, and it brings her dad into her life for the first time. But as much as she wants to bond with the old man, she's not sure she agrees that they should destroy the universe together.

    Who's involved?

    • Lucy DeVito is the voice of Chrissy. The kid is navigating regular high school problems like talking to boys and dealing with her divorced parents. She's also learning how to possess people and travel through metaphysical realms.
    • Danny DeVito, father of Lucy, plays the voice of Satan. He's been hunting for Chrissy for years, since part of his demonic power transferred to her when she was born. Now that he's found her, he's surprised to realize he might actually love her, and not just want her as part of his vengeful army.
    • Aubrey Plaza voices Laura, Chrissy's mom. She's not proud of her wild youth, which included an affair with the Prince of Darkness, but she loves her daughter. That's why she's become an expert demon hunter and will do anything to protect Chrissy from her father.
    • Lennon Parham (Minx, Playing House) voices Darlene, Laura's good-time-gal of a next door neighbor. She understands that fighting the devil is serious business, but she also wants Laura to practice self-care.
    • Eugene Cordero (Loki) voices Bennigan, Chrissy's best friend at school. They bond over their shared love of weird science facts, and when Chrissy needs help mastering her powers, Bennigan is happy to pitch in.
    • Michael Shannon is the voice of The Unshaven Man, a demon hunter whose life mission is to kill Chrissy and banish Satan from the earth. His biggest flaw might be that he loves his job too much, or at least that's what his old college friends tell him.
    • Guest stars lending their voices to the show's first season include Mel Brooks, Arnold Schwarzenegger, William Jackson Harper, Pamela Adlon, Rhea Perlman, Shangela, Lamorne Morris, and Sam Richardson.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    Consider this: In the third episode of Little Demon, The Unshaven Man is at a coffee shop with a good buddy, explaining how his quest to kill the spawn of Satan has gotten intensely personal. Between bites of croissant, he declares that from now on, he's gonna hunt this half-human teenage girl to satisfy his own need for vengeance, and not just to please the global cabal that gives him orders. With a supportive raise of his coffee mug, his friend says, "I like this for you. It's refreshingly simple."

    That casual use of empathetic lingo — "I like this for you" — encaspulates Little Demon's excellence. Because really, this isn't just an animated, adults-only comedy about the devil, his daughter, and her mother. It's also an animated, adults-only comedy about the lunacy of being middle class in America.

    Underneath its supernatural trappings and a barrage of violent jokes, the show relentlessly yet lovingly skewers our bourgeois rituals of self empowerment, our earnest attempts to use "feeling language," and our sentimental attachment to stories about parents and their kids. For instance, after Chrissy steps through a portal to visit her dad in hell without her mother's permission, Laura destroys the bathroom with all the fury of the trained mercenary she's become. She also talks to herself in the mirror about owning her anger and acknowledging her accountability. Later, while Laura and Darlene are running from a monster, they invoke Brene Brown, the current patron saint of self help. Even Satan himself tells one of his demon underlings that he's learned to appreciate the value of family, and he's sorry he destroyed the guy's wife and kid for sport.

    This is all so shrewd and so cleverly worded — not to mention beautifully perfomed by a voice cast that plays everything straight — that comedy fans should feel blessed. This is precisely what makes satire work: The ability to clearly see our current moment and send it back to us in such a disarming package that we can't help but laugh with recognition and relief. Maybe somewhere in the back of our minds, we know things have gotten out of control in our various ideological bubbles, and we can be grateful when a show this funny confirms it.

    Plus, since most of the characters are fundamentally good, and since most of them (even Satan sometimes) are trying to do right by each other, the gags land like gentle rebukes, not disdainful scorn. Those of us on the left-leaning side of the spectrum can laugh at ourselves because we know we're being teased by friends. (Case in point: Brene Brown's books have made this writer cry more than once, which is why that joke was especially hilarious.)

    Throw in the spectacular animation style that brings Satan's ghouls to life with dazzling detail, and you've got a hell of a good show.

    Pairs well with

    • Abbott Elementary, ABC's breakout mockumentary series that zings the public school system. (Stream on Hulu)
    • Solar Opposites, Hulu's animated series about an extraterrestrial family that move to the suburbs.
    • Sprung, Amazon Freevee's wickedly funny dissection of criminals pulling heists after Covid. (Read our review)

  • Little Demon (Season 1)
    Two episodes premiere on FXX Thursday, August 25. Episodes stream next day on Hulu.
    Created by: Darcy Fowler, Seth Kirschner, and Kieran Valla.
    Starring: Lucy DeVito, Danny DeVito, Aubrey Plaza, Eugene Cordero, and Michael Shannon.
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    TOPICS: Little Demon, FXX, Aubrey Plaza, Danny DeVito, Darcy Fowler, Eugene Cordero, Kieran Valla, Lucy DeVito, Michael Shannon, Seth Kirschner