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Evil: Season 1 Review – IGN

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If you’re suddenly seeing a lot of chatter about a show called Evil, you’re not alone. Last month, CBS dropped the first season on Netflix, increasing viewer awareness for this highly bingeable procedural. And if your eyes rolled at the word “procedural” — reconsider. Evil takes its old-school format and twists it gleefully, thanks to its excellent writing and acting, helmed by married showrunners Michelle and Robert King. As the co-creators of The Good Wife, its addictive spinoff The Good Fight, and the maddeningly underrated, single-season gem BrainDead, the Kings are known for bringing excitement and bombast to genres long considered stale. And with Evil, they’ve done it again, only instead of politics, they’re exploring psychology and religion.With campy, supernatural tomfoolery at its heart, the drama follows an X-Files-esque format, teaming up skeptical lapsed Catholic and forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) with believer and church investigator-slash-priest-in-training David Acosta (Mike Colter) as they tackle a myriad host of alleged demons, miracles, prophets, possessions, and other supernatural mysteries for the church. The duo is joined by Ben (Aasif Mandvi) – another skeptic and the tech guru of the team – as each case is shown to have a bit of “what if both sides are a little bit right and a little bit wrong?” curiosity to them, furthering the larger mystery of the series.

Evil manages to be dramatic, exciting, a little bit scary, and very funny all at the same time. The Kings’ sense of humor has become a trademark at this point, bringing new life and irreverence to the monster-of-the-week detective format that isn’t often executed for wider audience appeal, except perhaps on Supernatural.

And oh, what a cast it has! Having appeared on The Good Wife and The Good Fight, Colter has been a King mainstay for years now. And after proving his chops as a show-carrier on Luke Cage, it’s thrilling to see him leading another series and re-teaming with the Kings. Colter’s admirable ability to handle what could be an extremely corny character and make it full-bodied and nuanced is matched by his co-star Herbers. With stunning turns in series like Manhattan and The Leftovers, Herbers is an incredible talent that deserves all the accolades she is getting for Evil. In her hands, Kristen isn’t just a frazzled mom with a curious side, she’s a captivating lead with layers and constant fire in her eyes.

Evil: Season 1 Gallery

Filling out the cast is an excellent cavalcade of guest stars including the likes of Hamilton star Renee Elise Goldsberry and Christine Lahti, the latter of whom gets tied up in the decidedly.. well, evil subplot involving a rival forensic psychologist named Leland Townsend. Played by the master of TV Scary Guy Acting, Michael Emerson, the role turns up the creepy camp to eleven, and makes the show all-the-more exciting to watch. Known for playing the most unsettling characters on TV, Emerson really relishes it here, making us delight and recoil in equal measure, often at the same time. We’d, of course, be remiss if we didn’t mention the hilarious excellence of a certain character named George, but it’s much more fun to go on the journey of who George is than read it in a review. Just trust us, you’re going to love George.

Watching all thirteen episodes of the first season in one weekend is not only doable, it’s likely. The story weaves its way addictively through its weekly and overarching storylines, leaving you hard-pressed to not, uh, press, the next episode button.

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