Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Seven Moments That Prove Ash vs. Evil Dead is Nostalgia Done Right

On Saturday, the first season of the hugely anticipated Ash vs. Evil Dead came to a close. The show has proved to be an enormous hit, winning over new fans and providing old fans with what they want at the same time. It’s already been greenlit for a second season coming later this year. What really, pleasantly surprised me about the series was its ability to make nostalgic references that don’t distract from the developing storyline.

This is something that every property is trying to do right now. From Star Wars all the way down the ladder, almost every current movie and TV franchise is trying to appeal to the viewer’s inherent sense of nostalgia. Ash vs. Evil Dead is among the very best of them. It’s a series that’s irreverent, funny, goofball, but also pretty smart about exactly what it’s trying to be. This is an extension of the films, but at the same time, it does a great job of reminding people why they cared so much in the first place. What drew people to Evil Dead and what made them become such loyal fans over such a long period of time? Because that fandom, rabid as it was, is the only reason a show like this was ever allowed to happen.

Naturally, the fans deserve callbacks and references, but these aren’t just dished out right out of the gate. They appear gradually, maybe one or two an episode—at least until the finale which is a virtual Evil Dead movie in its own right. As a longtime fan, this series was everything I wanted. All of the old stuff I loved was there, making it so much easier to accept and embrace everything new.

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