September 3, 2008
Michael Caissie (5 episodes, 2008), Charles Huttinger (5 episodes, 2008)
Ryan Cafeo as Luke Vincent
Sarah Butler as Sandy
Christina Carlisias Debra
Bernadette Wilkes as Sarah
Jasmine Waltz as Kiley / Kylie
Karen Maruyama as Therapist
Luke is a big star and helps thousands of people through his self-help books and seminars. Amid adoring cheers Luke tells people how to take charge of their lives and determine their own success. The areas of particular focus are overcoming addiction and casting out one’s personal demons. Ironically Luke is also a hard-core drug addict and killer with considerable demons of his own. The title and therefore the concept seem to be derived from the biblical passage in which Jesus proclaims that a divided kingdom cannot stand. This is the foreshadowing.
Luke 11:17 chronicles the adventures of “professional Luke” with book signings, high-energy seminars, interaction with his business manager and fending off advances by adoring female fans – along with “dark Luke” and his addictions to drugs, sex and power along with violence and murder.
Luke 11:17 takes full advantage of the limited attention span of the web with very short episodes that further the story with a minimum of irrelevant plot elements and excessive dialogue. Watching the webisodes is like cutting through the commercials and boring parts and going straight to the good stuff – perfect for today’s ADD world. The quality is such, however, that a series of full-length episodes on a cutting-edge cable network would work beautifully well.
The series is carried by the compelling Ryan Cafeo as Luke Vincent. Cafeo is very intense and completely believable as a self-improvement personality with a whole lot going on behind those piercing eyes. The bursts of rage quickly overcome and controlled when others are watching betray a buried malice that is both intriguing and terrifying. It is difficult to decide whether to love or hate Luke because he is so smooth among those in his public life and behaves with the complete lack of conscience of a wild animal in the darker moments. Luke seems to embody the hidden side of humanity devoid of restraint or societal controls. Is it so unimaginable that we would harbor fantasies of pummeling the waiter that spilled coffee on our sleeve to a bloody death while outwardly we’re smiling and proclaiming “it’s all right”?
Luke brings forth the question whether the light of humanity could exist without the unbridled passion of the dark bubbling just under the surface. Luke is indeed an extreme example of malicious compulsion driving actions that benefit millions, but what would Luke be without it? What would any of us be without it? Will this “divided kingdom” fall to desolation as prophesized?
Luke 11:17 is pure “edge” with horrifying themes and a dark sexuality. The packaging is crisp while the concentrated style and short episode length will appeal to those without the time or the patience for excessive time-fillers. The episodes, although short, manage to wrap up the previous installment, further the story, flesh out the main character and create a cliff-hanger for the next – in the space of eight to ten minutes. A thriller with enough adrenaline to satisfy fans of raw psychological horror, Luke 11:17 is must-see web TV.