3.5/10 While the debut season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” was a huge disappointment, this sophomore season is still overall awful, but an ever so slight increase in quality over the 3/10 of season one. Many pros and cons remain the same which is the case for most shows in terms of consistency. Sure, you will get a random season that sucks if certain creative minds leave the show before finding their footing again but most shows and this one included, remain consistent. We still get the over the top, cheesy, ultra-violent, goofy humor, Ash (Bruce Campbell) cracking wise and buckets upon buckets of red blood, black ooze, yellow vomit and bodily liquids in almost every color of the rainbow. Campbell is still a lovable idiot and highly entertaining and the practical effects still look terrific. Unfortunately, some of the same cons from season one stick around like the horrible special effects (more on them later) and individual moments that go too far to where I can no longer suspend my disbelief. I did enjoy how new characters were introduced from Ash’s past like his father for example. Returning to Ash’s hometown was a nice break from the cabin in the woods. Since Pablo Simon Bolivar (Ray Santiago) and Kelly Maxwell (Dana DeLorenzo) have already been introduced, we get to have some fun with them as they don’t lose any loved ones like they both did in the first season. Kelly gets the best character arc of the season and while I love Pablo, who is the heart of the group, his character is a little sidelined by what happens to him this season. While most of the special effects look horrendous, I will say that they used a little less this season to focus more on practical effects, which was incredibly smart and likely cost effective. The special effects they did use, while still nowhere near the level of quality they should be, were a slight upgrade from last season. Michelle Hurd as Linda was a great addition to the cast as well as Lee Majors as Brock, Ash’s father. On the negative side of casting, despite being the brother of Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi (Chet) gives a horrible performance and is too over the top even for this show. Joel Tobeck plays the main antagonist this season, the main demon Baal, but he didn’t seem intimidating or menacing enough for a role requiring such gravitas so he feels miscast. While the roughly half an hour running time still gives the show fantastic pacing and makes this a speedy binge watch, this season did have the worst episode of the combined 20 episodes from the first two seasons thus far. While every episode has been action packed for its short running time and kept the momentum up, the seventh episode titled “Delusion” and the following episode both take place in a mental asylum but it is “Delusion” that completely kills the momentum of the season and doesn’t have the signature, bloody action of a normal episode. While I won’t go so far to call it a filler episode because it does push the plot forward, it slowed the energy of the season down and I was happy once that episode ended. Flaws aside, the soundtrack is still high energy, the action is highly entertaining, the main characters continue to grow on you and the special effects have slightly improved and been used in greater moderation. While this penultimate season is still nowhere near good or worthy of my firm recommendation, I am glad the quality ticked up and hope that trend continues into the third and final season.

#Baalywood / #TheWailingBaal / #NecronomiConflictOfInterests / #MajorDaddyIssues / #BaalOrNothing / #ASHamedOfHimself

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