Warning: some SPOILERS for Netflix resident Evil streaks are at stake. Take this as a caveat that separates relative safety from all the gory details.
It’s like feeling resident Evil great debut in the canon of Netflix shows inspired a bit of mixed reactions. I’ve seen stories of some critics and fans absolutely destroying the show, while other comments are either warmly positive or ready to defend the show in “The Discourse”.
As a fan of Capcom’s storied game franchise, as well as some of the media outlets it inspired, now felt like the perfect time to weigh in on what I thought of showrunner Andrew Dabb’s new series. Frankly, I’m on the very enthusiastic side of the table, and I think my colleagues resident Evil enthusiasts must watch this Netflix series.
Before jumping into the details of why, I repeat that there are will be be spoilers in this summary; not enough to completely spoil the show, but enough to explain why I think it’s worth watching. Also, if you want to get a better idea of where I come from as a franchise enthusiast, you can also read on why i was bothered by Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.
Landmarks like these are important in fandom discussions like these, and I recommend taking this article as a companion to what I’m about to discuss. From now on, it’s time to get our hands dirty and say why Netflix is resident Evil should be in the streaming rotation for all fans of the games.
Resident Evil Lore Easter Eggs Aren’t Obtrusive
Reject it to Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, or any other project based on a beloved saga in that vein, Easter eggs are a very tricky subject. In the case of this latest cinematic trip to Raccoon City, they were an overbearing mess. I’m happy to say that in this live-action series, Easter eggs are much easier to accept. The show is so well put together that when resident Evil Season 1 finale name removes a fairly large character from the games, you want to know where it goes next.
These references also add texture, as there are everything from mentions of research papers written by Resident Evil 2 character William Birkin and emails about “Uroboros” that are hidden in plain sight. Even the presence of a Chainsaw Man in the mix isn’t awkwardly included as “something significant,” but rather a nice nod to something fans love.
Despite the mix reception how resident Evil the myth works In the gaming canon, part of the fun is how this Netflix show handles the balance between what to use and when. There are a lot of references to the original event of Raccoon City, and the whole question of how Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick) is alive in the first place refers to the events of resident evil 5.
That said, there’s still plenty of time left unaccounted for between these games and the shifting timeline of resident Evil events. Trying to figure out how other characters from Capcom’s games might appear in the new chapter of the saga, as well as how OG Raccoon City takes things into account, is a catalyst that works to the series’ advantage.
Rather than simply chronicling the disastrous events of that first T-Virus outbreak, Andrew Dabb and the writer’s room honor those events without having to rehash them entirely. This makes the end result unpredictable, with a familiar base that is always very important to resident Evil coming.
The gigantic mutated T-virus monsters are back, baby!
It may not be as important as acquiring the tradition of resident Evil series right, but most previous incarnations skimped on the massively mutated creatures the games featured in previous entries. While you could always count on the presence of a Doberman infected with the T-Virus, gigantic spiders, sharks and more recently alligators had not yet been presented on the screen.
Well, at least that was the case until the Netflix series brought back gigantic monsters mutated by T-Virus! Caterpillars, spiders, and yes, a very heroic alligator all add to the fun throughout Season 1. The alligator is an especially nice touch, as how the character is used is borderline. Godzilla-style territory. resident Evil has always had a strange menagerie of beasts that pose a threat to humanity, and now they’re finally coming back into the live-action fold!
Resident Evil organically brings the game’s famous puzzle mechanics into one episode
One of the biggest problems in adapting a game like resident Evil organically integrates game mechanics into an unfolding narrative. Working with clues steeped in puns, traps that can be triggered at the slightest disturbance, and various puzzles involving a piano has always been a strength for Capcom games and their storylines.
Yet somehow no one seemed to understand how to make this element work in an actual filmed narrative, at least not in the way that the resident Evil series did. In Episode 5, aptly titled “Home Movies”, a good portion of the episode sees Billie (Siena Agudong) and Jade (Tamara Smart) Wesker working on a set of clues that their father Albert (Lance Reddick) left them in case of emergency.
Prove how resident Evil works very well as part of a television series, dedicating an episode to such a wink is a smart decision. Instead of putting it into a feature-length narrative, the majority of an episode lets the effort put into these puzzles shine through an impressive slow burn. It’s also a contender for Season 1 Best Episode honors, but that’s something we can talk about another time.
Albert Wesker is both a whole new character and the same old maniac
Speaking of Albert Wesker, the legendary Umbrella Corporation maniac happens to occupy two different contexts in resident Evil. Throwing Lance Reddick is one of the brilliant moves that allows Wesker to return as his usual, ruthless self, which we can see in some flashbacks.
However, if you’re a die-hard Yarn fan, you’ve probably guessed a crucial truth about Wesker’s entire plot that’s set in a world that includes the the story of resident evil 5. Yes, there are Wesker clones in the story that New Raccoon City builds its bones on, and Lance Reddick plays all four variants of the same genetic code.
Ranging from total asshole to excitable patron of Olive Garden, with a firm father figure right in the middle, Reddick’s performances further nail this exciting twist on the resident Evil mythos. Hopefully more flashbacks will allow each incarnation to shine even brighter, despite the events that brought Season 1 to a close.
This series allows Resident Evil to have a bigger heart than ever
It wouldn’t really be a resident Evil unrelated project in the usual battle against the greed and hubris of the Umbrella Corporation. With the ruthless Evelyn Marcus (Paola Núñez) trying to restore her family’s legacy to the business, and a very dangerous drug known as “Joy” seeking to spark the next great T-Virus outbreak, the things are pretty much business as usual in 2022 But in both halves of the temporal narrative, a thread is present that allows resident Evil have a bigger heart than ever.
At the crossroads of a teenage family drama and a deadly case of adult sibling rivalry, Billie and Jade Wesker’s story takes on a lot resident Evil exchange and return them. Building a real and emotional storyline, these genetically modified twins aren’t just a spooky themed wallpaper for game protagonists to encounter. As there are still quite a few gaps in the story of these sisters’ separation, both physically and morally, the few clues we have about what happened between 2022 and 2036 are deadly and heartbreaking.
Even the mostly vicious Evelyn Marcus has moments that show her as someone who cares for her family, while wanting the world. There can be a lot of the usual horror, action and dark humor in resident Evil Netflix series; but there’s also a core that keeps the audience caring about the characters moving through the apocalypse. You might even find yourself worrying about a gigantic T-Virus mutated alligator if you’re not careful.
It is inevitable that the reaction to by Netflix resident Evil (opens in a new tab) is a mixed bag when it comes to audience reactions. Some want more of a faithful retelling of the games plot, others might want something different, and some just think that no proper adaptations of Capcom’s games exist.
From my perspective, Andrew Dabb and his team have created something that’s the best of both worlds, with a lot of promise as to how it can evolve in the future. If you want to take this journey on your own (and I highly recommend it), Netflix subscribers can currently stream all eight episodes of Season 1.