CBS’ ‘Evil’ “Trying To Avoid Exorcism Of the Week” As Supernatural Thriller Explores Non-Binary Nature of Evil – TCA

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Evil deals with the complicated, non-binary nature of evil and how social media has changed its definition, creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King said during the TCA session for the upcoming CBS psychological drama.

Evil, about a skeptical female clinical psychologist (Katja Herberts) who joins a priest-in-training (Mike Colter) as they investigate supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and other extraordinary occurrences, has had a long journey to the screen. “We’ve been writing it for the last year and researching it for the last thirty,” Michelle King said.

Robert King spoke about present-day villainy and how the show came about after conversations whether modern acts of terrorism are supernatural phenomenon or a result of our current social media landscape.

“I think the show is trying to avoid the binary… What we wanted to do is explore how social media has changed in terms of what is evil and how evil has moved from one person to another… We are making that a real focus, especially in this first season, how social media has basically changed the definitions”, said Robert King.

While the pilot deals with a suspected demonic possession, that won’t be the topic of every episode.

“We are trying to avoid exorcism of the week,” Robert King said. “The second episode is about miracles. It’s about those question marks in life that you don’t quite know how they happen, a school where all the girls start laughing, and it seems to be almost viral. The other thing is you’re looking at life, and you’re seeing evils often not with a capital E but with a small e, the boss who throws things at his employees. Where does that fit in?… What our people are about is just figuring out what is genetically based villainy, if you want to use that word instead of evil, and what is something that’s even bigger, something more supernatural?  But also looking at hope.”

When asked whether there would be any thematic crossover to the King’s previous works which include the short-lived drama In Justice, Emmy-winning show The Good Wife and its CBS All Access spin-off The Good Fight Robert King explained that the current political climate is definitely material to explore but did not further detail any relation to their other work.

Given the scary nature of the show Michelle King quelled panel member’s concerns that the show would not lend itself to goriness as the season went on.

“I don’t anticipate it becoming more gory than what you saw in the pilot. That’s probably tonally what we’re looking at”, she said.

Robert King said the show will be slightly different from other CBS procedural dramas where the antagonists are the obvious culprit. He added the endings “will be a little more vague.”

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