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TV-Ness Is Godliness

TV-Ness Is Godliness

CBS Entertainment Amazon Studios

Jane Lynch & Ron Perlman both play supernatural characters in new series this fall.

Courtesy of CBS Entertainment (Angel of Hell). Courtesy of Amazon Studios (Hand of God).

This season, two new series feature characters with a direct line to the hereafter: one in the form of a woman whose blotto guardian angel is played by Jane Lynch (CBS's Angel From Hell), another via Ron Perlman as a born-again judge who claims he's answering to a higher power (Amazon's Hand of God). We weigh their deeds before the pearly culture gates.

Angel From Hell
The Epiphany: Dermatologist Allison (Maggie Lawson) is confronted by her celestial protector, Amy (Lynch), a surly, drunk Guy Fieri-type who wouldn't be out of place hawking turquoise jewelry from a roadside stand in Tucson.
The Disciples: Lynch carries the show on her oddball wings.
The Miracles: Amy can produce advice, baseball gloves, flasks, and taquitos out of thin air, making her indispensable in most emergency situations.
Alternate Interpretations: Amy is not, in fact, a guardian angel. Just a homeless alcoholic.
The Judgment: Heaven. Even though the rest of the actors are sinfully basic, we'll watch any show that lets us bask in Lynch's sublime glory.

Hand of God
The Epiphany: After his son's suicide attempt, Pernell Harris (Perlman) vanishes for three days, gets a $50,000 baptism from an ex-soap star, and appears naked in a fountain chanting in tongues.
The Disciples: The holy trinity of random guests: Hunter Parrish, Lance Bass, and Erykah Badu(!)
The Miracles: Judge Harris sees trails of blood that lead him to bad guys; a generous shot of a cop's bare ass you could only expect from premium programming
Alternate Interpretations: Perlman has no idea he's on a TV show. An entire cast, crew, and town have all agreed to participate in an elaborate ruse.
The Judgment: Purgatory. Why does Judge Harris's hooker keep bringing him printed articles from the Internet? Something seems off. Still, it's all weirdly homoerotic. Plus: Badu!

Angel From Hell premieres November 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Hand of God premieres in September.

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Mike Berlin