Inverse Recommends

The Most Underrated Demonic Procedural Just Got a Second Life on Netflix

The greatest of all Evils.

Inverse Recommends

Sherlock Holmes once said, “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” However, when the occult is involved, what’s impossible is hard to define. That’s what makes the supernatural mystery genre so fascinating. Whether the investigators are FBI agents, monster hunter brothers, or dead boy detectives, a mystery that doesn’t play by the rules of the known world is almost always a hit.

But sometimes, these hits can fly under the radar, and there’s no greater example than this CBS series that premiered in the last great days of network TV but has found a second life on streaming — a second life that now includes Netflix.

The supernatural investigation team in Evil.


Evil starts off with a simple premise: three people from wildly different backgrounds: David Acosta (Luke Cage’s Mike Colter,) a journalist-turned-seminary student; Dr. Kristen Bouchard, a lapsed Catholic psychologist (Katja Herbers); and Ben Shakir, an atheist skeptic (Aasif Mandvi) investigate supernatural mysteries for the Catholic Church. But their own otherworldly issues all seem to tie to the mysterious Dr. Leland Townsend (Fallout and Lost’s Michael Emerson), a psychologist who may or may not be working for the Devil.

Under the guidance of showrunners Robert and Michelle King, Evil is totally different from every other supernatural mystery. Not only does it effortlessly combine one-episode mysteries and season-long arcs, it treads the line of what’s appropriate for television not just on a gore level, but by exploring disturbing questions of sanity itself.

While the episode arcs can be a little goofy — like a group of Catholic schoolgirls driven mad by an insanely catchy meme song from an influencer’s video — the season arcs are as dark as can be, involving sleep paralysis, demon therapists, and grotesque malformed newborns. What results is an addicting balance of darkness and humor that tiptoes on a thinner line than similar shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural.

Calling Evil a bloody show would be a vast understatement.


It’s a unique format and tone, which makes it difficult to sell — after all, there’s nothing it can really be compared to. Unfortunately, the series was even further disadvantaged by pandemic-related delays, which forced it from the primetime CBS schedule onto Paramount+. But those who have seen it love it, so the show has been quietly running for three seasons, with the fourth and final season set to premiere on May 23, 2024.

Evil is a throwback to an earlier age when shows like Hannibal were stretching the limits of what could be deemed “appropriate” for broadcast while using classic procedural techniques to tell a story that would stay with viewers — and build a fandom — that would last far longer than the show.

With 36 episodes — and more on the way — now’s the perfect time to dive into this series and immerse yourself in its religious yet supernatural intrigue that is as delightful as it is unpredictable.

Evil is now streaming on Netflix.

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