Ash vs Evil Dead Season 1- Thoughts

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Click the pic to see the review of the penultimate episode.

Ash Vs Evil Dead

They Pulled It Off

Ash vs Evil Dead has wrapped up it’s freshman season, and goddamn was it good. This is one of the rare series where I was able to say they did everything right. The gore, the acting, the plot, the humor, this show was firing on all cylinders. It quickly went from a show I was a bit on the fence about before it started to a show that was hilarious, gory and endlessly quotable.

One thing I’ve always loved about Evil Dead is just how much it was able to shed it’s skin. Evil Dead went from a pretty straight up horror movie (cabin in the woods, young people and evil), pretty standard. It wasn’t until Evil Dead 2 that the franchise seemed to change gears and branch into horror comedy, which is the perfect place for this gem.

Season One Recap

We catch up with original franchise star Ash Williams, the genre’s douchiest final girl, and he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s the only character who would summon evil because he was high, and that be totally believable. Ash is that guy who thinks he’s the shit but is really just A shit, but that’s what makes him hilarious.

As great as Ash himself is, the real standouts here are Pablo and Kelly. Ash vs Evil dead is an ensemble show, and it works so much better than it would as Ash and Friends. Pablo’s blind loyalty to Ash was great and positioned him as a sort of Samwise to Ash’s Frodo.

Kelly’s Heroes

But in the end Dana DeLorenzo’s Kelly has emerged from season 1 as the true standout character. She was funny (watching her attempt to punt a severed head and failing miserably made me crack up), didn’t mind getting her hands dirty (watching her cut a deadite in half with an automatic weapon was sexier than anything Kim Kardashian has ever done) and tough as nails.  Plus she (the actress) is super nice and has tweeted with us several times. We love her. Yay, Dana!

dana delorenzo kelly ash vs evil dead

If I got to hang out with Kelly I’d fight demons every goddamn day

The first season was a home run in almost every way, despite some pacing issues, and some slow episodes, which are understandable. Considering the nature of this show there’s bound to be some slower episodes.

Ruby

One aspect of the show that didn’t quite track for me was Lucy Lawless’s Ruby.  I’m sure the show meant well by including her, but she just didn’t get enough screen time to make an impact, and it took her way too long for her to connect to the rest of the story.

She always seemed on the outskirts of the story so the big reveal of her as the author of the Necronomicon didn’t have the impact it could have. Nonetheless, I’m always happy to see Lucy Lawless. She really is great. While watching the finale I could only hope that she didn’t get killed off, and she didn’t so that hopefully we’ll get to spend more time with her in the inevitable second season.

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The action in this show was incredible albeit goofy as fuck. The fight in the diner in “Killer of Killers” was a particular high point as far as action is concerned. A child gets thrown into a ceiling fan, a deadite gets it’s face sliced up by a deli meat slicer, all while blood goes everywhere by the bucket load. It’s things like this that makes Ash vs Evil Dead so damn good. They are 100% willing to embrace the completely over the top, ridiculous and bloody disgusting, which are all things that make this show truly feel like the original films.

One thing I hope is that they’ll be able to work out the licensing issues with Army of Darkness so we can get a few more direct references to it, because that is truly Ash at his most outlandish.

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“Pucker up and give me a kiss.”
“Fat fuckin’ chance!”

In the end the show is hilarious, has great characters, great performances and turned the gore and ridiculousness up to 11. They didn’t change Ash one little bit. He’s still as doofy, idiotic and self absorbed as he ever was. That and Bruce Campbell’s performance go a long way in connecting this show to it’s predecessor, and truly makes it feel like a proper continuation of that series.

Both Ash and Kelly were huge factors in lifting this show beyond a gore fest or nostalgia kick, and I’m really, really excited to see what’s coming in season 2.

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Ash is back baby!

 

 

 

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You’re the Worst Is The Best

you're the worst great comedy

Sex, Drugs, and Hip Hop

You’re the Worst.

Thoughts On Season 2

Ah, You’re The Worst. I watched you one day out of sheer boredom, and you turned out to be one of the best shows on my long list of shows. Season 2 has just wrapped up an extremely strong season. We had character growth without losing the bastard factor.

When the show first started it was about cynical dicks being cynical dicks and interacting with other cynical dicks. The second season really pushed it to a new level.

I’ve heard the opinion that Gretchen’s clinical depression is a way to pander to young high school age girls who think their problems matter and believe that mental health issues is a way to make them seem interesting, a sentiment shared by our sweet friend and my co author Mark (Mark here. I never said that. I said it was stupid to humanize assholes on a show about assholes). (Dale again, He totally said that)

Feeeeelings

I don’t believe that Gretchen’s clinical depression was mere pandering. There is no way people can possibly be as shitty as Gretchen and Jimmy without some deep underlying issues. Where this season really triumphed was not in showing Gretchen sinking faster than a bowling ball, but showing how she was handcuffed to Jimmy and he was drowning too.

He tried so hard to understand what Gretchen was going through, but was completely unable to understand. Granted, Gretchen did eventually become annoying and her depression began to weigh on the show. I believe this was done on purpose to put the viewer in Jimmy’s position. Mark believes this was a bit heavy handed, and led to a couple of dud episodes.

Depression > PTSD?

One thing that annoyed me was Edgar’s PTSD. It predates Gretchen’s depression and it seems odd to not deal with that before springing more mental illness on us.  It’s has been a source of laughter and was swept under the rug in favor of Gretchen. Mark sees this as evidence of pandering to 20/30 something yearning for love and meaning. A pillow fort and company is all it takes? Welcome back Gretch, we missed you more than you can know. Hopefully in season 3 we’ll truly tackle  Edgar’s issues and the deep inner pain he must constantly struggle with. Edgar deserves peace too. Plus he’s not an asshole.

Slow Burn

The season was a slow burn, Gretchen felt off from the beginning, and that all culminated in her sneaking out of Jimmy’s house with her burner phone in the middle of the night. We all automatically thought she was cheating, but in the end she was simply driving to a spot she liked and crying alone in her car. After that it was all a slow motion train wreck. One thing about this season that rings true to the character is the moment Jimmy begins to flirt with the bartender Nina, and the viewer couldn’t blame him, Gretchen wouldn’t give him an inch. Remember? Assholes.

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For an incredibly douchey and average looking Brit, Jimmy gets some top shelf women

Resolution

The finale was in my opinion the strongest episode of the series to date, everything seemed to come full circle. Gretchen wasn’t completely her old self again but she had made a giant leap towards becoming the Gretch we know and love. It also puts all the key characters in the same place, literally and figuratively. Like the season 1 finale, there’s another party at Becca and Vernon’s house, and again it turns into a disaster. Thanks  in no small part to Vernon’s special trash juice.

The wonderful thing about the finale was found in the final moments. Everybody seems to be relatively good, and by relatively good I mean not completely shitty place. It mirrored real life. When it rains it pours but for the most part when the storms have cleared  they’re all still standing. Some barely, but still standing.