Spoiler-Free Review of “Evil” on CBS: Can another show about demonic possession survive?

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

Even though shows centered around demonic possession often have a lot of potential, they don’t always last that long.  Shows like Outcast and The Exorcist come to mind, which were dark, mysterious, and terrifying in a lot of ways, but yet they were canceled extremely early.  So can Evil pave the way and break the cancellation curse?  Let’s find out!

Evil is a psychological mystery drama series that premiered on CBS on September 26th 2019.  It stars Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, and Michael Emerson.

The show is scheduled to run weekly episodes, as it follows a non-believing psychologist named Kristen Bouchard, who accepts a second job working for a priest-in-training, David Acosta, examining potential possessions, miracles, and hauntings to determine if there is a logical explanation behind them or if they are truly witnessing something supernatural at work.

The Pros:

Evil CBS Pilot
Images courtesy of CBS

An amazing cast and interesting characters.

I absolutely love the chemistry between Kristen (Herbers) and David (Colter), who already seem to be compelling characters with many layers.  I think it works having a non-believer paired up with a believer and I expect to see a great dynamic continue between these two.

I am already a huge Michael Emerson fan (LOST, Person of Interest) and I am super excited that it looks like he will be set up as the nemesis for the series.  Emerson truly shines when he is playing the manipulative and well thought out villain and I think he can really do some damage here…in a good way!

Interesting mysteries with a premise that the audience can truly relate to.

The mysteries behind the potential supernatural occurrences are intriguing enough, but I think this show can truly stand out because it really dives into the man of science/man of faith debate, which I think is something we all look at whenever we examine something that can’t necessarily be explained at first glance.  This plot premise may be enough to allow this demonic possession to survive and it already has a lot of promising potential just from the pilot episode.

The Cons:

Evil CBS George
Images courtesy of CBS

I’m not sure if the show was trying to be funny or not?

Even though Kristen is a non-believer, she starts to encounter her own set of night terrors, but are they simply dreams or is there something evil lurking in her subconscious?  I’m not sure just yet, but some of these sequences seemed kind of silly and comical, but I’m not sure if that was the intention?  You’ll see what I mean when you get to them.

At times, the plot and backstory seemed slightly contrived.

Capturing your audience during the pilot episode is never easy for any show,  but at times, I felt like the plot and backstory were somewhat forced.  The characters are really interesting and I guess I just want to see their stories unfold naturally, but I’m only one episode in, so we will see if this improves over time.

So am I in or out? 

Evil Pilot CBS
Images courtesy of CBS

As of right now, I am slightly torn.  I think that the characters and plot are interesting enough to keep me invested for a while, but I also feel like this show can easily fall into the trap of the weekly mysteries without any compelling plot twist at its core.

I’m hoping that Michael Emerson’s role as the nemesis, Leland Townsend, can shake things up, but we shall see.  I guess I am in about 75 percent right now, but I am looking forward to watching more episodes and I think that this show has a lot of potential.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Evil in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

4 thoughts on “Spoiler-Free Review of “Evil” on CBS: Can another show about demonic possession survive?”

  1. Great review, Amy. I like possession stories, but with so much good TV out there, I might have to give this one a pass. I loved Emerson in Person of Interest. I never watched Lost–I know, I know.

  2. This is one I’m interested in watching. I missed the premiere last night, but plan to catch up with CBS All Access this weekend at some point. However, I do feel like I’m having to talk myself into watching it before I even see it. Not because I worry about the quality, but it’s the same scenario I face with every TV show I watch. How long before I get bored with waiting week to week for the next episode? Ever since binge-watching became a thing, I’ve fully bought into that style of viewing. And while it’s still easy to do that with network programs by just waiting until the end of the season and watching it all on the DVR or streaming it somehow, that doesn’t do a lot for the network’s ratings, which drive whether or not a show is picked up for an additional season or even a full first season… Then I’m left with streaming a potentially great show in its entirety, but didn’t get picked up for more since no one watched it live to bring in all that ad revenue. And I know it’s not my fault a show doesn’t get picked back up. But I do feel a little guilty… what if I’m that one viewer who could have tipped the scales?

    1. It has a lot of potential for sure and I love the cast and characters, but I completely agree with you. Especially since it is a week-to-week show as you mentioned, that’s why I need something to really pull me in. I don’t want it to end up being one of those shows that just has another mystery each week without anything else to really hook you but I think it has promise for sure! 🙂

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