Like many people, Chrissy turned into a little demon when she became a teen-ager. Now she rages at her mother and despises her dad.
And like some, she has good reasons for this. After all, her mom withheld a key secret and her dad … well, he’s Satan. The real one.
That’s the set-up for “Little Demon” (shown here), an animated show that debuts at 10 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 25) on FXX. Lucy DeVito, who stars, finds the raging-teen idea realistic. “At times, I was a total (jerk),” she said. “But I think most kids are.”
There were other quirks in her life, she told the Television Critics Association. “Growing up in a household where your father is touted the ‘prince of darkness’ – that’s another problem.”
She’s talking about Danny DeVito, who voices her father in “Little Demons” and is her less-Satanic dad in real life. In “Taxi,” he was one of the all-time great TV-comedy villains. “That side of me … that emotion and mischievousness, was always there,” he said.
Now he and Lucy link for this busy blend of comedy and action-adventure.
On her 13th birthday, Chrissy begins to rage. That’s when her mother (Aubrey Plaza) must finally admit who is Chrissy’s biologic father … and then try to keep them apart. As Danny puts it: “She’s trying to keep her daughter protected from the man she fell madly in love with for one night.”
Chrissy is appalled by her mom’s choice for a one-night stand. Many daughters would be.
It’s no accident that this commotion happens at the very start of puberty, said co-creator Darcy Fowler.
“There is something terrifying about watching your body transform and having no control over it …. A lot of us as women can look back around that time and it is the most horrifying time of childhood and lends itself really well to the horror genre.”
Or, in this case, a sub-genre. “We love horror comedy,” said Kieran Valla, who created the series with Fowler and Seth Kirschner. “We love blending genres.”
This blend includes nudity, gore and more; “Little Demons” is strictly for grown-ups.
Previously, the three creators made the TV movie “Nightmare Time”; now they’ve linked with Plaza, who’s known them since she was a teen. TV viewers know her for her droll humor in “Parks and Recreation,” but some moviegoers have seen her intense “Emily the Criminal” performance,
“I don’t think I had to do a lot of research for this,” Plaza said of her “Demons” role. “I felt very connected to the character and the role.”
Lucy DeVito also felt connected to playing someone with a famous and eccentric father:
“(Danny) and our mom, Rhea (Perlman), were always like, ‘If you’re going to try something, just do it at the house with a lot of people around. As long as everyone’s safe, be a kid and, you know, explore.’”
In short, this wasn’t a rigid home. “There wasn’t much that was off-limits in our house,” recalls Jake DeVito, Lucy’s brother and one of the “Little Demon” producers.
When he was a teen, his dad was a busy producer. Most critics raved about “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and “Erin Brockovich” (2000); many liked “Reality Bites” (1994), “Matilda” (1996) and Elmore Leonard projects, including “Get Shorty” (1995), “Out of Sight” (1998) and the “Karen Sisco” TV series.
“Our parents raised us watching so many great movies,” Jake said. “It was always a great group of creative people who were coming through the house all the time …. When ‘It’s Always Sunny (in Philadelphia)’ started, those guys were hanging out in our backyard when I was in middle school.”
It was a busy time, Danny said, and he doesn’t recall Lucy being all that demonic. “I’ve got a feeling that when she was growing up, I was the little demon.”