Is There Good In Evil?

I have recently been hesitant to make TV recommendations in what is supposedly our current “golden era” of television. The fact is there are so many good, quality shows out there I suspect some folks occasionally wind up feeling a bit frustrated because they know they’ll never be able to watch everything of interest. I know in my case there is a lot of sensational TV I’ll flat-out never get to, but I’m resigned to that fate.

I recently came across an article titled “Please Stop Forcing Your Favorite TV Show On Me.” It expresses a couple of theories regarding human behavior which I see merit in, behavior which presents at an early age:

Nobody wants to be told to do something.

If you tell somebody not to get involved with something, they’ll likely try to.

So, for heaven’s sake please do not watch Evil, a series which just got renewed for a fourth season on Paramount +. Currently in Season 3, new episodes of Evil drop on Sundays.

My wife and I started watching from the very first episode in September 2019 when it debuted on CBS. Thirteen episodes later, my wife wasn’t quite sure how she felt about watching it going forward. I definitely wanted to see what was next, especially when it was announced later the show was shifting from CBS over to Paramount +. The creators of the show, Robert & Michelle King (The Good Wife, The Good Fight), were now being given a much bigger canvas to paint upon. The broadcast censorship reins were taken off, and their characters could now live more realistic lives when it comes to having no subject being off limits, foul language, expressions of physical intimacy…as well as depicting more…pure…evil.

The show’s premise is simple enough. Three diverse personalities come together to form a “dream team” of sorts investigating extraordinary events. The goal – to determine if there is a rational, scientific explanation behind these events…or not. A prospective priest wrestling with his career path, a cynical psychologist juggling work while serving as both parents for her children, and a no-nonsense contractor who offers an “Earthly” reason for all he encounters.

That decision to move to a streaming service and engage with the full velocity of the Kings’ creative storytelling skill set has paid off. I am sure you’ve also heard this line from friends and relatives about their favorite TV series. “There is nothing like it on television right now.”

As far as I know, there is NOTHING like Evil on TV right now.

God vs. Satan is fought on cerebral and hand-to-hand levels alike. This show questions and challenges beliefs in religion, relationships…and reality. Twists and turns exist along the way. Some sudden shocks and jump scares, but other frights proceed at a slow burn. Yet, there are guardrails built into the scripts which ensure a balance between at least two…but often three…viewpoints and reasoning on whether events, possessions, demons, miracles, etc. have explanations that are faith-based, science-based…or somewhere “in between.”

Several critics have compared it to The X-Files series from the 90’s. I think that’s fine if you’re trying to give people familiar with that show a general idea of what is going on in this one, but I believe there are more layers to the characters in Evil…as well as more protagonists.

I don’t know if you put any stock at all in the Rotten Tomatoes site, but critics there currently have Season 1 rated at 92%, Season 2 at 95%…and Season 3 at 100%. The numbers are trending upwards, and that tracks for me.

Season 1 does start very slowly, and there is some real weirdness which will have you questioning your decision to even give it a go. If you do start watching Evil, do give it time to produce a return on your investment. Get to Season 2.

The writing, editing, score, and direction are all top-shelf. The cast is stellar: Mike Colter (The Good Wife, Luke Cage), Katja Herbers (The Leftovers, Westworld), Aasif Mandvi (The Proposal, Million Dollar Arm), Michael Emerson (Lost, Person Of Interest), Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope), Kurt Fuller (Psych), and Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Colter, Herbers, and Mandvi come together to investigate and navigate all kinds of crazy. Within an episode you have your case-of-the-week (like…how much does a soul actually weigh?), but there are also character storylines with no quick, one-episode conclusion which continue to develop.

Emerson’s portrayal of forensic psychologist Leland Townsend is a candidate for the most vile, evil villain on any current series. Yet, this show provides its fair share of laughs…especially with a family whose well-meaning kids have a habit of all talking at the same time.

As it turns out…I am suggesting you give Evil a look. If the timing or circumstances aren’t right, write it down for future consideration. Keep it in mind. There’s an awful lot of good…in Evil.

 

Picture Courtesy Paramount +

19 thoughts on “Is There Good In Evil?”

  1. I grew up while TV was still cutting it’s teeth, and am a little dismayed by the recent (last 20 years) at the scope of what is considered acceptable TV. Sometimes they come out with great stuff (my wife and I are binge watching 5 seasons of “In Blind Sight), but to think that “Big Brother” has lasted 20 years and “Survivor” is deeper than that, scares me. Anyway, with so much free streaming (Tubi, FreeTV, Pluto, etc.), there is enough choices to keep me busy and satisfied until my expiration date.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband and I started this series about a month ago. It’s different and interesting! I’m glad to hear that you are still hooked at S4! We watch it together, so I think we’re only on Season 1 E4 right now. Thanks for talking about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You had me at your clever title. I keep forgetting to cancel Paramount + (after watching Yellowstone’s prequel)…I now have an excuse not to.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kerry, as I noted I know there is a ton of TV out there to sample, and people only have so much capacity and resources to chase all the good stuff down. It just seemed to me I wouldn’t be a good blogger if I didn’t shine a light on it. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love TV recommendations and this great show!! While many episodes have left me surprised and wondering how we went off in this direction, I absolutely love the cast and have been a fan of Robert and Michelle King shows since the first episode of The Good Wife. Was just catching up on the last two episodes of this season today and look forward to every scene with the daughters talking together.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those daughters wind up stealing every scene they are in. The Kings also did a one season, summertime show on CBS a few years back called Braindead with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Tony Shalhoub. That’s a pretty wild ride as well. Glad to hear you enjoy Evil! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I loved watching Evil when it was on regular TV. I was dismayed when it didn’t return. I’ve thought about getting Paramount, but my husband refuses to pay another dime to any more streaming services. We are not happy that all of the shows we want to watch on Amazon, that we’ve watched for a few years now, you have to pay for new seasons or episodes. These streaming services are no different than crack dealers…here let me give you a taste…then once they have you…they’re going to bleed you dry. Paramount is vying against Britbox and Acorn in my home. Not that we have those either. Netflix and Amazon are it in our household…and probably not for long. Anyway, I’m so jealous because Evil may be a sin, but it’s an addictive one! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mona, I totally get the frustration about the streaming services. Prices going up again also. I know a lot of people were unhappy about CBS shuffling Evil over to Paramount +. We didn’t have it, but went ahead and subscribed because we liked this show so much. I think a lot of folks are currently making tough decisions about how their entertainment dollars are allocated.

      Liked by 1 person

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