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Evil (CBS)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Sep 28, 2019.

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  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    The first episode is currently available for free in HDX quality on Vudu.

    It was the best pilot I've seen this TV season by a wide margin. Robert & Michelle King are in the very top-tier of showrunners, and it's really great to see them step out of "The Good Wife" universe and tackle something completely different.

    Katja Herbers ("Westworld") plays Dr. Kristen Bouchard, a forensic psychologist regularly hired by the Queens County DA to disprove defense claims of insanity. Her professional opinion in her latest case leads to a falling out with the Queens district attorney.

    Mike Colter ("The Good Wife", "Luke Cage") plays David Acosta, a priest-in-training who used to be a globe-trotting journalist.

    Kristen and David cross paths on a case where the defendant's wife suspects demonic possession. With four young girls to raise and debt collectors calling, Kristen agrees to work for the Catholic Church as an independent contractor, helping David and his associate Ben investigate whether there's any validity to the wife's claims.

    The execution is top notch, and the show's mythology is fascinating to me. The pilot is deliberately ambiguous about whether anything supernatural is afoot. At the same time, it is unambiguous about whether evil exists. It does.

    Assuming that David's interpretation of events is correct, this show reminds me quite a bit of where "Joan of Arcadia" left off: There is a battle between good and evil being waged, but both sides are only able to operate via human intermediaries.

    Michael Emerson is quietly terrifying as one of the human intermediaries on the side of evil.

    I really like that Kristen has a fully developed home life, and that Herbers brings a completely different energy to those scenes than the ones where Kristen is operating in a professional capacity. She has four daughters, and they're like an onslaught every time they appear. They feel like real kids, not like precocious TV kids. They also give Kristen a real vulnerability; evil is sniffing around her now.

    I was thinking back, and I think this is the first show to genuinely unnerve me since the first season of "American Horror Story".
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I liked it a lot and plan to continue watching. I was hoping it might be a breakout hit for the network, but it just did OK in live ratings.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    The only good news for it is that the ratings for CBS's news shows are pretty abysmal across the board.

    I do think it might have been a better fit for CBS All Access than for CBS.
     
  4. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    If ratings turn out to be completely awful but not dead last on the network, in principle they can dump it onto the streaming service.

    Evil appears to be owned outright by CBS.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Not just CBS. No new show vaulted from the pack on any network.
     
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  6. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    I really like it and plan to continue watching.

    An excellent pilot that just took off. Didn't need a heavy backstory to get me invested. Good/Evil. Very simple and really creepy episode, especially Michael Emerson. Interesting that he and David have a past.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I wasn't planning on watching this series, but it does have a couple of actors that I liked a lot so I ended up recording the pilot episode that I watched today. I liked it, but will stick as long as I find it interesting.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Any thoughts on the second episode? It's interesting that the two leads have weaknesses/vulnerabilities.
     
  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I really like that they have vulnerabilities. Adds tension to their doing their work. Enjoyed the second episode just as much as the first, and I like that not every mysterious occurrence is being explained. That's like real life. Michael Emerson is super creepy.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That is how evil preys on us by exploiting our vulnerabilities.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    So far this is the only new series that has me hook, line, and sinker.

    I do wonder if the show will eventually get off the fence and firmly establish supernatural elements. So far everything has been explainable, though this week's explanations were more of a stretch than last week's explanations.

    Assuming that God is real within the mythology of this show, and that Michael Emerson is playing a demon instead of a regular psychopath, I like that it's not a simple affirming version of faith. I mentioned "Joan of Arcadia" in my first post, where God was a supporting character. In this show, He might not have (yet?) been seen at all. But one thing the two shows have in common is that God isn't a genie who grants wishes. He is a vast omnipotent being with a vast plan which is good but largely unknowable, and permits much suffering and heartbreak within His grand design.

    Michael Emerson is just a nebbish guy in a suit with glasses, but he's the most terrifying fictional villain I've come across in some time.
     
  12. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Watched the first episode and enjoyed it enough to stick around. Echoing Adam's post, I do wonder if the show will go all in or will continue to straddle the fence. "George" definitely creeped me out. Need to catch the second episode before the on demand window expires, probably Monday.

    Michael Emerson has had a ping-pong sort of character trajectory in his career. After Person of Interest I guess he is back on the other side of the fence.

    - Walter.
     
  13. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Cinematographer

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    For me, the second episode was pretty disappointing. Seems like this is going too "Scooby Doo" for my taste.
     
  14. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Watched episode two a little earlier today and I think I'm hanging around. Curious to see if the show evolves beyond the 'case of the week' structure and develops a larger story arc. We got glimpses of where that may lead with more revelations about David Acosta's past.

    Perhaps I missed something, but the OR footage seemed to clearly point to 'something' supernatural with the 'angel' footage and the account of her (near) death experience by Naomi Clark. The 'ground loop' would not explain Clark's vision / experience.

    Probably the most enjoyable element of the second episode was early in the episode when David and Kristen were discussing the nature of miracles and the seeming randomness and chaos in our world. I usually enjoy that sort of exposition / dialog in entertainment and I expect we will see plenty more of that sort of thing in this series.

    I hope Michael Emerson is given more screen time and that his role is developed.

    - Walter.
     
  15. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    Seemed a bit more talky this time, but the screen really exploded once Michael Emerson was on hand. He need to have more than just a couple of scenes. The opening was very creepy.

    No sure why David's "boss" wouldn't allow him to continue the investigation of the photo. Wonder if that will reappear sometime later. Again very intrigued by this show.
     
  16. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Viewed Thursday's episode a little earlier today. It was nice seeing John Glover again; always loved him as Lionel Luthor on Smallville. This episode seemed to blur the lines between supernatural and reality based events perhaps a bit more than the prior episodes. I am guessing that this will be the norm for the entirety of this season; but I do wonder if the show will fully embrace a supernatural explanation at some point in the future for an event that defies rational explanation.

    I'm getting just a small The X-Files vibe with Kristin being the skeptic to David's true believer. Will they reverse roles (if even temporarily) at some future time in the series?

    - Walter.
     
  17. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I'm still watching for now, but the show's not really what I was hoping for, and I can feel my interest waning (seems like this might be a trend, as the ratings have already fallen by about 50% over three episodes).
     
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  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Yes, the ratings are not encouraging. The next couple of weeks may tell the tale of whether the show even gets a back nine order.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    The third episode definitely upped the number of things that couldn't be explained.

    I think if this show has a future beyond the first season, it's going to be on CBS All Access. I don't see it continuing on broadcast given CBS's ratings expectations.
     
  20. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Though as Adam and Matt noted above, prime time ratings are pretty awful across the board, and CBS seems especially dire this year with the loss of The Big Bang Theory.

    Evil did actually win its timeslot this past week in the revised final ratings.

    upload_2019-10-13_15-53-39.
     
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