The new Netflix resident Evil Series is finally out tomorrow. It’s the first live-action show within the franchise and given how polarizing they all essentially are resident Evil Movies and shows were, I expect a rigorous scrutiny from die-hard fans of the video games.
But I have to say, even though I’ve only played the games occasionally, I loved this show. It’s one of my favorite new Netflix series of the year. From the creature design (which is literally identical to the game in many ways) to the characterizations and production value, resident Evil is clearly a labor of love. The first season is full of easter eggs and references to the games and even the movies. I also loved the movie and I don’t feel bad about it, but this show might be the best adaptation yet.
While watching the first season there wasn’t a moment that I felt bored and I was blown away by the performances across the board. From Ella Basinka’s serious and layered performance as adult Jade Wesker in 2036 to Lance Reddick’s subtly menacing Albert Wesker and Paola Núñez’ deliciously hammy performance as main antagonist Evelyn Marcus, I was in love with the show from the first frame.
resident Evil is split into two timelines, one in 2022, three months before the outbreak that triggers “the end,” and 14 years later in 2036. We begin by meeting Albert and his two daughters, half-twins Jade and Billie Wesker . The young actresses carry much of the show’s emotional weight, and they do it with a skill beyond their years. I loved watching Tamara Smart and Siena Agudong compete and Agudong in particular has many challenging sequences that she handles brilliantly.
The 2036 timeline has more of the conventional horror, gore, and creature madness we’ve come to expect from the franchise. And honestly, I was surprised at how great the CGI looked overall. There are several different monsters that fans of the games will recognize immediately. But the 2022 timeline feels like the true heart of the series as we see what life was like in New Raccoon City before the outbreak began.
It’s fun to see what Umbrella was like in those days before it all went to hell in a hand basket. It also feels particularly timely to see this evil corporate world prioritizing their bottom line over the well-being of the people. just played The Outer Worlds and bioshockI am currently very interested in exploring the dark side of capitalism resident Evil doesn’t explore these themes with the kind of nuance and depth I might have liked, it’s still present.
I think there are aspects of the show that people might find frustrating in it resident Evil somehow draws from many different resident Evil lore and throw it at the wall to see what sticks. I think the 2036 timeline in some ways bites off more than it can chew, as the early episodes introduced multiple factions that are never discussed or heard from again. In some ways, the adult Jade’s storyline quickly becomes repetitive, but even so, I was always on the edge of my chair and it evens out in the second half of the season as the show introduces another layer of story and Jade’s characterization.
There are moments of pure badassery, where Jade gets to wield a chainsaw and slaughter zombies, or tense car chases like a truly remarkable one-take sequence with lickers in the third installment of the series, which expertly nails the games’ vibes.
I just had such a great time watching this show and I really fell in love with all of the characters, especially Jade Wesker. It’s not often that I end a show and think, “Okay, I’m ready to watch it again now,” but I felt that way resident Evil and there are rewards for re-watching as various aspects of both timelines foreshadow things to be revealed later in the season.
By the end of Episode 8 you will have many unanswered questions. Another thing I’m a little frustrated about on Netflix is that some of these shows don’t resolve their season arcs at the end. I had this problem with first kill to. It feels more like a midseason finale than a season finale, which can be frustrating when you know the odds of a renewal on Netflix are so hard to predict these days.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a second season though because there’s so much great preparation going into the end of the season that I can’t wait to see what happens next. Don’t expect resolution here, but expect plenty of teasing for what could become an excellent new addition to Netflix’s genre fare.
Is Netflix’s Resident Evil Series Worth Watching?
It is absolutely worth seeing! Eventually, resident Evil It’s so much fun, there’s just no other way to put it. Don’t compare it too much to the games because it’s its own thing and while it borrows from the lore, it also introduces plenty of original elements and characters.
And yes, maybe if you think too hard about analyzing certain aspects of the show you’ll find some plot holes and clumsy writing, but overall I think fans will be pleasantly surprised by everything resident Evil has to offer. While its story is decidedly different from the games (which I think is a good thing, why keep telling the same story over and over again?), it never forgets its narrative roots.
There’s plenty of zombies, creatures, action sequences, horror, and it’s all anchored by a well-rounded cast that consistently delivers top-notch performances from start to finish. Give the show a chance! Even if you don’t know resident Evilthe show is very accessible.
Excuse me now while I’m watching it for the third time.
resident Evil Premieres on Netflix tomorrow, July 14.
https://netflixlife.com/2022/07/13/netflix-resident-evil-review/ Netflix’s Resident Evil is a monstrous good time anchored by an awesome cast