Riley Parra, a five-book series by Geonn Cannon, chronicles the title-named protagonist as she fights the forces of evil as both a hard-nosed cop and the champion of angels in the war being waged against the souls of humanity in the town of No Man’s Land. The Tello Films original web series just wrapped its first season on September 24th, and hopefully the war against the demons is a tougher one than the fight for viewers of this quirky, creepy show that’s a mix between Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with just a dash of Wynonna Earp – with a much smaller budget and lots more lesbian smooches.
Just a few days after the season one finale of Riley Parra aired on Tello Films, the series was awarded a nomination for Best Sound for the International Academy of Web Television Awards (IAWTA), the ceremony for which is being held red carpet style on October 4th.
Marem Hassley, whose prior claim to fame includes cameos in films such as 2003’s Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life and 2015’s Bone Tomahawk, plays the title role of Riley Parra with confidence and fearless swagger. She’s a rough around the edges kind of girl who doesn’t hang out after sleepovers and takes shots with her informants. But although she seems tough on the outside, Riley has a vulnerability about her that’s equal parts enigmatic and endearing.
Geek girls will be happy to know that Riley has fun playing with callbacks to some of the shows the characters earns inspiration from, chirping at her guardian angel that she must be her Buffy as he informs her that she’s destined to be the fighting champion for the side of good in the battle between good and evil. Each episode clocks in at under 15 minutes, and the first season of Riley Parra has six episodes that are ripe and ready to binge in one sitting.
Be prepared that the battle for Riley’s allegiance kicks off in high gear as soon as the series begins, and the premiere episode is equipped with equal parts suspense and sexual innuendo. Riley established herself immediately as a take-no-prisoners type of girl, who takes shots as easily as names. She hooks up with a bartender right before the call comes in for a crime that will totally change the course of Riley’s life.
We spend these first fix episodes establishing the dynamics of No Man’s Land, include the community of cops and their subsequent levels of territory and office politics. The ground work is laid for the ongoing battle between angels and demons, which had been existing around the terms of a timid treaty until the champion of each side is made aware of the war; a tipping point that renders the treaty invalid and commences battle once again.
Once the finale of the first season aired, I was eager to devour the next six episodes, so the climax definitely leaves viewers both satisfied and thirsty for more. Come for the promise of gorgeous women who happen to love gorgeous women, and stay for the promise of action and intrigue. Riley’s position within the war of good and evil has just been established, so the real battles are only beginning.
With a new love interest by her side and an arsenal of weaponized faith in herself, Riley is ready to take on whatever comes her way, which is the most important question left unanswered by the end of the first season. Who is the champion for evil if Riley is the champion for good? With five books so far in the series, hopefully we’ll have plenty of opportunity to see the universe expand and entertain, but it wouldn’t hurt for each of you to tune in and support this quirky, queer web series to ensure a long life of crime and demon fighting.
All six episodes of the first season of Riley Parra are available for streaming through the Tello Films website.