Spirits are cavorting in the material world again. This time they’re running around Taipei trying to round up rogue ghosts, when not hanging about on the “other side” and exploding into a fog of black smoke. The Devil Punisher (Netflix, series one now streaming, with a new episode every Monday), is a lighthearted romp through the realms of the comedic supernatural, with some expertly choreographed martial arts thrown in. But no matter the dimension in which our heroes move, love will always find a way to mess things up. Looking pretty good for his age, the 1,000-year-old Zhong Kui (Mike He), is the Ghost King, who slips into the human sphere to try to rescue the abducted Meng Po (Ivy Shao). At what resembles an over-polished perfume counter, Wu Ching-yuan, an evil spirit who resembles a washed-out Johnny Depp, is being processed by the administrative gofers working for the formidable Underworld Queen (Amanda Chou). Taking advantage of a badly timed girl-on-girl physical confrontation, Wu kidnaps Meng Po and transports her back to the human realm, where, known as Hsin-yu, she has no memory of her past. Taiwanese crime drama The Victims’ Game gets off to a grisly start Now this is unfortunate, because it transpires that, in the spirit world, Meng Po was known as Lady Meng, dispenser of Oblivion Soup, an elixir concocted to expunge all pain and bile lingering from spirits’ experiences on Earth. At the supernatural perfume counter, Lady Meng had a “thing” going with Zhong Kui – but on terra firma she doesn’t recognise him and frankly thinks he’s a bit of a weirdo. Romance, eh? “Devil punisher” sounds like a dangerous job at the best of times, and this being a tale with its roots in Chinese folklore, Zhong Kui doesn’t have it easy. While scrabbling around for ways to convince his love interest that he’s not some smooth-talking confidence trickster, he also has to fend off Wu and his agents of chaos. But good may yet prevail. In the human realm, Zhong Kui’s three-strong ghost clean-up team has a secret weapon: when the wind is blowing in the right direction, evil spirits, having been zapped into clouds of vapour, can be vacuumed up into mobile phones and held prisoner therein. This is a function definitely worth exploring by app developers everywhere. His Dark Materials returns for a second season on HBO Fantastic creatures of a different stripe return for series two of His Dark Materials , adapted from Philip Pullman’s bestselling novels. From 10am on Tuesday on HBO and HBO Go (HBO re-runs at 10pm; new episodes every week), we’re plunged back into the multiple dimensions of Dust; adolescents with talking animal companions who function as their “daemons”, or psychological extensions; seething, evil adults desirous of ultimate power; and the mysterious Lord Asriel, who may or may not be a good guy, and who, if he’s some sort of prophet, should hurry up and make his message clear before the human sphere consumes itself and all else with it. As a fable for our dangerous times, His Dark Materials is unbeatable. Slapping down the nonsense of organised religion as per Pullman’s convictions, it confronts questions of truth, treachery and the slipperiness of smarmy adults, personified perfectly by Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter, resident evil and mortal enemy of heroine Lyra Silvertongue (Dafne Keen). It ridicules war, superstition and bureaucracy, flips between overlapping worlds and juxtaposes Audi saloons with steampunk airships, antique depth charges with mobile phones and particle physics with the teachings of the I Ching. “The Chinese sticks” have a better chance than most of predicting how this one will turn out.