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Review: 'Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2' is a bloody good time

Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 2:37 PM Central
Last updated Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 2:40 PM Central

by John Couture

I have a pretty big confession to make. Up until I reviewed Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season, I had not seen a single frame of anything in the Evil Dead franchise.

Not the original film. Not any of the sequels. Not a single episode of season one of Ash vs. Evil Dead.

So, why would I even attempt to watch and review Ash vs. Evil Dead: Season Two? Because I like a challenge. No, really, I adore Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi and I have absolutely no excuse for not having gotten into the Evil Dead franchise. I mean, I grew up on horror films so this should have been a match made in heaven, but there's no going back in time, is there?

Well, as I found out by watching Ash vs. Evil Dead: Season Two time travel is very much in play in the Evil Dead world. In fact, I went back after watching this show to read up on the Evil Dead franchise and time travel was very much a big part of the original film's sequels. That blew me away.

But, as a newbie, I think that I am one of those rare people that can provide honest feedback and this show is pretty amazing. Naturally, Bruce Campbell's snark and charisma are perfect for the lead role of Ash and his natural wit really helps to sell the not-so-delicate balance between horror and comedy.

I really thought that with Campbell's involvement and the fact that it's a TV show, the horror aspects would be downplayed and softened to focus more on the comedy. But then I remembered that The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are also on TV, so I shouldn't have been so naive. The fact is that Ash vs. Evil Dead works so well as a gory horror series that it satisfies both horror die-hards and those that prefer a little more levity alike.

The question remains, how accessible is the TV series to someone that is coming in tabula rosa? Well, I can tell you from first-hand experience that jumping in midstream I didn't feel lost at all. In fact, the series does a good job of filling in the important plot points between flashbacks and exposition. And when that doesn't work, they simply turn to time travel for some added fun.

Did I feel like I was losing some of the appreciation of the in-jokes and easter eggs? A bit. It wasn't until I went back and read the background of the entire Evil Dead franchise did I come to understand a few of the more subtle things. And I'm sure that when I eventually go back and finally watch the films and Season One, I'll get even more appreciation for the little stuff, but I didn't feel like it took away anything from my enjoyment of the show.

I'm notorious for not stepping into things in the middle. For instance, I have to go back and read all the books in order if I find a later volume that interests me, so I had some trepidation in accepting this review, but I'm glad that I did. As I mentioned, I love love love Bruce Campbell and he is completely on his game here. It's a real treat and if you like him or enjoy horror comedies, then you need to check out Ash vs. Evil Dead.

Even if you are like me and know absolutely nothing about the Evil Dead universe, I can guarantee that you will enjoy this TV series. And hey, it might just motivate you to go back and see out the other films and seasons in the franchise. When you do, give me a shout and we can compare notes. I have a feeling that I'm really going to love it.

Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.