A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ash vs. Evil Dead is a horror-comedy show that furthers the adventures of the Evil Dead horror movie franchise. Like the related movies, this show contains over-the-top violence and gore. As human heroes fight an unstoppable army of zombies, there are slashings, stabbings, and shootings. Bodies are impaled on chain saws and broken glass and deer antlers; zombies and humans are stabbed in the eyes with scissors and many other sharp instruments. Limbs and heads are hacked off, and blood spurts, pools, and flies through the air. Our hero wisecracks as he commits brutal violence against the undead. Expect sex jokes and references; a perverse sex scene takes place in a bar bathroom, and we see naked backsides (male and female). Cursing includes "hell," "damn," and "bitch." Characters drink frequently on-screen and smoke marijuana before making poor choices. The overall vibe of the show is funny and shocking, but all the gore and violence could be quite horrifying to younger or sensitive viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Thirty years after the events of the Evil Dead trilogy, ASH VS. EVIL DEAD picks up with our hero, Ashley "Ash" Williams (Bruce Campbell). He's working as a stock boy at the big-box Value Stop, pushing 60, and surrounded by 20-something coworkers such as the sardonic Kelly Maxwell (Dana DeLorenzo) and impressionable Pablo Simon Bolivar (Ray Santiago). But even with his wooden hand, dead-end job, and crummy living situation in a rundown trailer park, things aren't that bad for Ash -- until the night he gets stoned and tries to impress a bar pickup by reciting "poetry," which is, naturally, the Necronomicon Ex Mortis of the earlier movies. You know the one. It's the one that raises the dead and turns them into evil zombie-esque Deadites. Now Ash, Kelly, and Pablo must hit the road, fighting Deadites wherever they pop up, on a mission to save the world.
Is it any good?
It's pretty weird to have a 57-year-old guy providing most of the muscle on an action-comedy-horror show, and this show has great fun mocking both the concept and Campbell himself. Where Ash was once a virile young rebel-with-a-chain-saw-arm, now he wears sparkling dentures and a gut-concealing corset and complains that his heart can't take the constant jolts. However, he can still wield a chain saw (and a broken bottle, and a pair of scissors), and Ash vs. Evil Dead makes the most of the contrast between a grizzled (yet still square-jawed and handsome) Campbell and his young-and-vigorous (yet in need of leadership) crew of two, Kelly and Pablo. The chemistry between Ash and his cohorts is terrific, with Ash and Kelly matching each other in the deadpan game, and Pablo alternately breaking down emotionally before drawing the strength to do what he must.
Widening out Ash's world a bit: Amanda Fisher (Sleepy Hollow's Jill Marie Jones), a haunted state police officer who loses her partner to evil forces following a creepy house call involving a Deadite, and Ruby (Lucy Lawless), a mysterious woman who has a message for Ash. It all makes for a snappy, electric half hour of horror comedy, easily the equal of the cult-fave movies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Ash vs. Evil Dead is coming out at this time. Why might a show about zombies have particular resonance on TV now? Which shows or movies have made zombies a TV fad?
Horror-movie characters are generally less threatening stand-ins for things people fear. What might zombies symbolize for viewers?
Have you watched the movies that preceded this show? Does doing so increase or decrease a viewer's enjoyment?
For kids who love scary stuff
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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