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Featured TV on DVD Review: Ash vs The Evil Dead: Season 2

August 21st, 2017

Ash vs The Evil Dead: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand

Ash vs The Evil Dead

I previously reviewed the first season of Ash vs The Evil Dead and loved it. The ratings were also very good and it was renewed for a second season. The network renewed the show for a third season less than a week after the second season premiere. However, ratings slipped and the season finale was watched by barely more than half of the people who watched the first season finale. Does this mean the quality tanked? Am I still excited for season three?

The Show

First a recap. In the movies, Ash reads from the Necronomicon, demons called Deadites possess his friends, and he has to kill them. He is then sucked into a portal, kills a bunch more Deadites, and returns home. That’s the end of the Deadite problem, until a drunk Ash reads the book trying to impress a women he picked up at a bar. Soon Deadites are swarming and he has to go on the run with two of his co-workers, Kelly and Pablo. They create a trail of carnage and a police detective, Amanda Fisher, begins to follow them and soon becomes an ally. On the other hand, Ruby Knowby is also following them, but she’s no ally.

At the end of the first season, Ruby makes a deal with Ash. She will take the Necronomicon and “protect” it and Ash will be able to live a normal live in Jacksonville with Kelly and Pablo. It seems like a perfect deal, at least to Ash. Ash is not smart.

At the beginning of season two, it’s Ruby that appears to be regretting this deal, as she’s attacked by new monsters. She realizes that the only one who can help her is Ash. She figures the best way to get his attention is to send some Deadites to Jacksonville to get his attention. It works. Not only do the Deadites attack, they call Ash “Ashy Slashy” and from that, Ash knows where he has to go, because that was the nickname Ash had after the events of the movies. The only people who call him that are from his home town, Elk Grove, Michigan. Ash hasn’t been home in 30 years, partially because people blame him for what happened in the cabin during the movie, but also because his dad, Brock, hates him. They are too similar to like each other.

The only one who seems happy to see Ash is Linda Bates, who used to date Ash in high school. Linda’s husband, Sheriff Thomas Emery (Stephen Lovatt), is less happy, because Ash used to bully him in school. The townsfolk aren’t interested in helping Ash find Ruby, but Pablo’s been having visions and he leads them to Ruby. Ash’s plan is to used the Kandarian Dagger to kill Ruby for good; however, after encountering Ruby’s “children” and seeing these monsters attack Ruby, Ash realizes they are on the same side.

Ash vs The Evil Dead is a show for immature people who like gory / gross humor. This is not an insult, but merely a statement of truth. There is a fight early in the season where Ash is attacked by some animated intestines and dragged up the butt of a corpse. ... Yeah. That’s arguably as gross as it gets this season, but it might be enough for those who were already on the fence to run away from the show at top speed. On the other hand, I think most people who enjoyed season one did so for the over-the-top gore and violence. ... And dumb jokes. There are a lot of those in the TV show as well.

Compared to season one, season two has some elements that have improved and some that have gotten weaker. On the down side, it is more predictable and a pattern has set in from the first season. On the positive side, there was a rights dispute that got settled, so we have a lot more direct connections to the original movies and this gives the overall plot more depth. Furthermore, the writers and the cast are a lot more in tune with Kelly, Pablo, and Ruby, so they are more fleshed out and three-dimensional. A lot of the supporting characters were great additions to the show; however, the turnover rate is just as high as it was in season one, so don’t get too attached to anyone.

Overall, Ash vs The Evil Dead isn’t the most mature show on TV, but it delivers on its promises. If season three is merely more of the same, then I will be entertained.

The Extras

Most of the extras are on the second disc and these start with a two-minute first look at season two. Inside the World of Ash vs Evil Dead are short looks at each episode. Individually, they are not much, but they do add up. Up Your Ash is a two-minute look at a particular special effects scene, which I won't describe here, just in case someone is eating. Women Who Kick Ash is another two-minute featurette, this time about the female characters in the show. Puppets Are Cute is short and what it is about is a spoiler. Dawn of the Spawn looks at one of the new monsters from the show. Bringing Henrietta Back talks about bringing back one of the characters from Evil Dead II. Delta looks at the iconic car from the TV series / movies. How to Kill a Deadite is exactly what it sounds like. Fatality Mash-Up is a short montage of gory death scenes.

All of these extras are really short, but they do add up and if this was all they had, then it would be a good collection of extras. Fortunately, there are also lots of audio commentary tracks; in fact, each episode has an audio commentary track lifting the Blu-ray into Pick of the Week material.

The Verdict

Ash vs The Evil Dead isn’t for everyone, but for those that enjoyed the movies for their gore, as well as Bruce Campbell’s signature charm, this show is a welcome addition to their TV schedule. Season Two is more or less on par with season one in terms of quality, while the extras on the DVD and Blu-ray are more than enough to be a Pick of the Week contender.

Filed under: Video Review, Evil Dead, Bruce Campbell, Jill Marie Jones, Lucy Lawless, Lee Majors, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Michelle Hurd