SurrealEstate is a new supernatural series that's popped up on SYFY and has proven to be quite a surprise. Though not as heavily promoted as other premiering series and premiering in the middle of a very busy time in the television year as more shows return or debut, SurrealEstate is a pleasant find with a ton of potential. It might be one of the best new supernatural shows to premiere this summer- possibly this year.
SurrealEstate is another take on the "John Constantine Paranormal Investigator" genre. Granted, the archetype and genre have been around since the Victorian era, but it was really John Constantine that brought it back to popular consciousness. That's one more thing we can thank Alan Moore for. The central premise of SurrealEstate is actually quite funny: it's about a real estate agent whose job is to sell haunted houses. Luke Roman seems to be just a real estate agent whose expertise is to exorcise haunted properties so that he can sell them at market rate or better rather than a desperate knock-off price. In order to succeed, he has a team behind him to research the properties and discover the truth behind their hauntings, then use the best methods to clear the houses so he can sell them. His team includes lapsed Catholic priest Father Phil Orley (Adam Korson), proprietary tech guru August Ripley (Maurice Dean Wint), and Roman Agency newcomer Susan Ireland (Sarah Levy), a hotshot real estate agent who needs a change after being fired from her last agency for sleeping with the boss.
Tim Rozon, who previously played Doc Holliday in Wynonna Earp, plays Luke Roman with an affable no-nonsense charm and an air of melancholy. Of course, he has a past and a wound that drives him – he lost his mother to a mysterious supernatural event during childhood and his father has recently passed away. He may claim to only want to sell these difficult haunted houses, but he wants to do the right thing for his clients and save the people in danger from those houses. In Screenwriting 101, the easiest way to show the hero is a good guy is to have him save a kid, which is what happens in episode 2. All the while he claims he's just a realtor. Like all good heroes of these shows, he has as much of an air of mystery and unpredictability as John Constantine does. We have a show about a heroic real estate agent. That seems to be a mini-trend on TV now.
SurrealEstate is surprisingly off-beat, witty, and unexpected. The writing and performances are smart and savvy. It seems to have been made by a Canadian cable network and SyFy just picked up the US broadcast rights. It would be a shame if SyFy neglects it and just uses it as a placeholder for the summer schedules. The first 2 episodes of SurrealEstate are now streaming on SyFy and Youtube.
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