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!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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