My Review of Season One of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD!

9 Jan

Stewart here…

And mild spoilers here, but bigger ones further in…

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So, as I wrote in my glowing review of the first episode, I was enthusiastic about Ash vs. Evil Dead, but unsure how it would go being a ten episode season of half hour long episodes. Heck, that’s longer than the whole Evil Dead trilogy put together! So now that I have seen the whole first season, where do I stand? Generally positive, with a few concerns. But we’ll get there…

Let’s get to the big impressions of this first season, with the obvious: Bruce Campbell is great here. What’s fun about Ash here is that the character has grown from the movies (well the first two movies, but that’s for the heavy spoiler section), and not for the best. He can’t really move on in life because of what happened in that cabin, and because of that cursed Necronomicon he carries around like a millstone. He’s in a state of arrested development that can only be shut off by the return of the Deadites, and even by season’s end, that goes only so far.

A lot of that work for Ash comes from being around his supporting cast, like tag-along Deadite victims Pablo and Kelly, and later, Detective Fisher. They have their own reasons for joining Ash’s mission to stop the Deadites, but Ash himself is not the most reliable hero to follow. He’s a screw up, and more than once in this season, makes decisions that seem to go absolutely wrong. Even when he makes a pivotal decision to save his friends from certain death, he makes a decision that puts the world in bigger jeopardy.

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And thank goodness for this being on premium cable, because Ash vs. Evil Dead doesn’t skimp on the gore, humorous and unnerving as it is. From the midseason bloodbath at a diner to the grand gore fest of the season finale at the old cabin, there’s a ton of the red red kroovy at hand. There’s a healthy combination of practical and CG effects at play, and it helps to have a great soundtrack behind it, from movie score composer Joe LoDuca and a soundtrack of classic rock that has some inspired moments. Just try listening to Bill Withers’ “Just The Two of Us” without thinking about the episode and circumstance it plays under in this show again.

Plus, the show is really funny when it needs to be. Not to say there aren’t some really nightmare moments that aren’t played for laughs, but as I mentioned in my previous review, this is more the horror-comedy vibe of Evil Dead 2 than the straight up horror of the original. With the news we’ll be getting another season of this, its a relief, as it was one of the more enjoyable new shows of the season. That being said…

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Okay, so if you’re not interested in heavy SPOILERS to the whole season, skip ahead to the section below this separated one…

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Okay, something should have clicked on with Ruby when she got sucked into a fire by a Deadite and emerged from it relatively okay. That this superwoman turned out to be the WRITER OF THE NECRONOMICON and wanted to take control of the Deadites was the real surprise. Even more than that, when faced with maybe dooming the Earth or saving his new friends, he chooses saving his friends, believing Ruby will become the Godfather of the underworld and control the Deadites from invading our world. And how does that decision seem to turn out?

Um, sinkholes and Deadites emerging everywhere is how it turns out! And Detective Fisher? She gets killed by the evil Ash double (“Your hand grew another you.”), becomes a Deadite, and gets dismembered gloriously. Considering how the producers tried to make her interest in Ash into something else seemed a bit forced, her stuff as a Deadite performing human puppet theater was great.

And it makes sense when looking at what material the series could use legally, that Army of Darkness goes unmentioned or maybe didn’t happen at all. Oh, there’s a hint to Ash making some trip to some ancient land in the Necronomicon (next season?), but he doesn’t have much to talk about in terms of medieval adventures. Luckily, Pablo manages to give Ash a Power Glove-esque hand, so we lose the wood hand he has in the early episodes. Here’s wondering what will happen if (or ever) Ash gets to Jacksonville, Florida. Will Pablo and Kelly still be friends? What about Ruby? Will Ash realize he just screwed up big time?

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Okay, spoilers over.

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So Ash vs. Evil Dead starts with Ash making a bad decision and this season ends with Ash making another bad decision, although this recent one seems comes from being protective than just being stupid. So what will this mean for the next season of the show? What will the world look like come late Halloween or so 2016? Whatever the case may be, we’ll be getting more of this mug then…

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So, have you seen Ash vs. Evil Dead? Thoughts? Complaints? Favorite Deadite moments? Comment below…

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