Have you listened to our recent episode about Cobra Kai & Evil? Well, if you haven’t – take a minute – go listen now… I’ll wait.
Now that you’re caught up – since that episode, I’ve binged down Evil and figured it seems only right to discuss it. (And I challenge my podcasting partner to do the same with a certain karate oriented program)
The only information I had walking in was what Rob had told me – the show was about a man of faith trying to debunk exorcisms with a tech and a shrink on his side. The premise felt like the type of show I would dig, add in that there are lengthy background mysteries going on the whole way through and a villain in Ben Linus—- I mean Michael Emerson, it was an easy sell.
So, with all that, was it worth the time and effort – and the answer is a yes, but not without qualifications.
Both Mike Colter, playing David Acosta and Katja Herbers, playing Kristen Bouchard are three-dimensional characters who spend the season fighting demons (internal, external, and imagined) and come across as three-dimensional layered and conflicted people. To round out their trio is Ben Shakir, as performed by former Daily Show alum Aasif Mandvi, the skeptic tech expert who is enjoyable to watch, even though out of the three, his character feels the most stereotypical.
One of the main factors the show wants you to question throughout is ‘what is real and what is supernatural’ – is this person possessed or do they have an identity disorder? Is that person pulling secrets from the aether or is someone being stalked? That, it does well. Even weird creepy things from the first half of the show get more concrete answers later. To the point where it lulls you into a false sense of security when you see something that you are certain must be supernatural.
The only problem the show suffers from is one that a lot of shows do – and that is the ‘nothing is normal’ issue. It’s a minor gripe, but its one that never ceases to be notable. A perfect example is an episode near the end of the season where David is invited to a woman’s house because she is having a crisis of faith. It also just so happens that she has a man chained up in her basement for offenses he may or may not have committed. Why was David called? Why would she invite David over? Can’t David just go to someone’s house and tell them about his Lord and Savior and provide them a bounty of pamphlets and associated literatures?
A lot of that is simply the buffalo of television – nary a minute can be spent not developing a plot lest they lose our attentions which is reasonable. It wouldn’t be an interesting episode if he just so happened to visit a an old friend, they talked about their favorite episode of Friends and there was no possible demon infestation… but when the weird shit is the only thing you see, it makes it feel like these characters just stumble place to place and every portion of their life is an interconnected plot of intrigue.
I will give it this though – the last ten minutes of its first season makes you re-evaluate what you’ve just watched. Not in a ‘Fight Club’ way, but in a ‘Oh, this is a story about Sam Gamgee’ sort of way. It makes you look at one particular character’s journey in a new light… and also makes you wonder what Baphomet charges for in-patient office visits. (When you watch the show, that will make you laugh..)
So was Rob right? Is Evil a show for me? The answer is yes. I’m not riveted, but I’m enjoying it. It’s a show that teeters on the edge of too much. The villain is too smart and gets what he wants too easily. The ramifications of actions are brushed aside when they’re not necessary… but it is telling an interesting story, and that’s all that really matters.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!