Friday, 20 April 2018

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD cancelled

Starz have cancelled Ash vs. Evil Dead after three seasons, citing low ratings.

The TV series began in 2015 as both a reboot of Sam Raimi's iconic horror-comedy movie trilogy starring Bruce Campbell and a sequel to it, picking up the action twenty-three years later with Campbell's character Ash having to battle the forces of evil. The first season resurrected the horror-comedy stylings of Army of Darkness very satisfyingly, whilst the second season remarkably upped its game and became as much about psychological horror (particularly the exceptional asylum story arc and the scenes directly referencing the original, less-humorous movie) and homage to other horror properties. The second season was outstanding...right up until the last episode when producer Robert Tapert rather abruptly ousted effective showrunner Craig DiGregorio in a behind-the-scenes power struggle and rewrote the finale so it no longer made sense.

I haven't seen Season 3 yet, but the season has picked up a much patchier critical reception so far than the first two seasons did, with accompanying plummeting ratings.

On the one hand, it is regrettable that we won't see Bruce Campbell chainsawing his way through hordes of deadites any more (at least in the short term; don't rule out future movies), but on the other hand it's hard to complain when just three years ago it looked like there'd be no more Evil Dead, ever, and now we have 30 episodes totalling some 15 hours of further hijinks for Bruce Campbell and his chin, at least two-thirds of which were pretty damn good.

I suspect that the low ratings were only partially to blame. The behind the scenes shenanigans were likely not helping the situation either, and Starz misstepped by not teaming with someone like Amazon or Netflix for international distribution. The show's presence in the UK only as a Virgin cable exclusive likely contributed to its poor viewership over here.

You can't keep a good chin down and I wouldn't be surprised to see Ash and the Evil Dead rise again at some point in the future. But for now, the Necronomicon has been closed.


Silent said...

I liked the first season, but couldn't get into the show after that.

Anonymous said...

Hilariously, my Facebook ads since have been nothing but STARZ... using this show as the ad piece.