There were a lot of shows that I was looking forward to this fall, but none with nearly as much eagerness as Ash vs. Evil Dead. I’ve been a big fan of the Evil Dead franchise since I was a kid, so I was beside myself with joy when I found out that Starz was turning it into a television show. That elation skyrocketed into the stratosphere when I learned that Girlfriends and Sleepy Hollow alum Jill Marie Jones was cast as the female lead. She plays Amanda Fisher, a State Trooper who is tracking down Bruce Campbell’s character Ash Williams.
It took a year of not-so-patiently waiting, but the wait was definitely worth it. Dropping an extended pilot on Halloween (could the date have been any more perfect?), the premiere had plenty of humor, gore, and Bruce Campbell’s perfectly-timed one liners that left me clamoring for more. Call me greedy, but I can never get enough of Groovy Bruce.
But let’s get back to the wonderful Jill Marie Jones, shall we? I was wary about what the treatment of her character would be, because up until recently it didn’t seem like Jill got all that much promotion. She didn’t go to San Diego Comic Con, and every time I saw an article, they generally tended to discuss Lucy Lawless’ role on the show and mentioned Jill only in passing. So naturally, given my distrust of Hollywood because of their terrible treatment of people of color, I was hopeful–but not convinced–that Ash vs. Evil Dead would do right by her.
I’m happy to say that, so far at least, I was very wrong. Jill Marie Jones killed it, and the writers gave her material to kill it with. Amanda Fisher is beautiful, smart, brave, feminie, vulnerable, and a complete badass. We understand her motivation right away and what’s going to drive her character for the rest of the season. Not only is she given a purpose, but we’re given a hint that she has a much larger part in the narrative when one of the Deadite demons menacingly tells her, “We know who you are.”
How does this evil force know who she is? Why is she suddenly able to see the Deadite demons? Has she been chosen and if so, for what reason? What is her role in the show’s overarching mythology? I’m definitely intrigued, and from what I’ve read in reviews and heard on several podcasts, so is everyone else. It’s still early so I’ll be watching carefully for any bullshit, but even after only one episode, I’m fully along for the ride. I’m already invested in these characters and can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for them. And us.
Whether you’re a fan of The Evil Dead franchise, a lover of all things horror mixed with a
little lot of humor, or would just like to see a black woman kicking ass, taking names and looking gorgeous while doing it, Ash vs. Evil Dead is for you. I laughed. I shuddered. I covered my eyes. I think I might have even fist-pumped once or twice. Yes, it was that good.