There’s a nun named “Shotgun Mary.” ‘Nuff said.
Based incredibly loosely off of a comic series. Ava Silva (Alba Baptista) is a recently deceased quadriplegic. When a demon attacks the orphanage where she lived, a nun is forced to shove an artifact known as the Halo into Ava’s corpse. She promptly revives, now with super-strength and other abilities. It turns out she is now the chosen one, the Warrior Nun, who fights against the forces of Hell on behalf of the Order of the Cruciform Sword, a secret Catholic organization. She is aided by the other members of the OCS: Sister “Shotgun” Mary (Toya Turner), Sister Lilith (Lorena Andrea), Sister Beatrice (Kristina Tonteri-Young), and Father Vincent (Tristan Ulloa). She must defeat an evil Tarrasque demon and deal with the machinations of the scientist Jillian Salvius (Thekla Reuten).
Did you miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Well, good news, here’s a more violent and less quippy show in the same vein. It’s not close enough that you ever feel like it’s cribbing, but it gives you some of the same beats. It’s a line of female superheroes that fight demonic powers that are presided over by an ancient and secret order, so it was naturally going to draw some comparisons. Still, aside from the broad strokes, Warrior Nun is its own animal. Also, I never read the comic this is based on, but a quick Google search tells me that it is wildly different than this series.
Alba Baptista plays the main character with a decent level of complexity. That makes sense when you realize that she is a near-lifetime quadriplegic who lost her family and was tormented by her caretaker for years. She now has a level of freedom that almost no human will ever have. Watching her joy as she starts to move and run is captivating. We also get a lot of internal narration from her which comically sometimes comes out of her mouth. Her isolation in her life prior to this makes her an outcast almost as much as her status as a resurrected human does, and Baptista manages to make this endearing.
The supporting cast, too, are well-crafted. Some of them seem one-dimensional at first, but most of them are revealed to have deeper motivations, particularly Salvius and Shotgun Mary. While they’re all too divorced from reality by the nature of the show to seem like “real” people, they do seem like people that have had to deal with being privy to a hidden world. I also like the fact that, despite the show being called Warrior Nun, most of the nuns are not particularly holy, nor is the show particularly preachy. As Shotgun Mary tells us, she negotiated her way into only having to follow commandments 5 and 8 (murder and bearing false witness).
The set pieces in the show are excellent, regularly featuring ornate cathedrals, as you might expect from any show with a lot of nuns. Similarly, the clothing is often a combination of religious and tactical garb, which can look pretty awesome. The special effects are pretty solid, given the amount of demonic creatures and superheroes that are featured. The biggest problem with the show is that it has a ten episode first season with the plot for about eight. It also drops a few subplots pretty cold, which may get picked back up later.
Overall, pretty fun show. I recommend it.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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