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The supernatural crime series everyone's binging on Netflix

Where's the line between moral depravity and demonic possession? CBS' supernatural crime drama Evil suggests there may not be one — or, at the very least, there's not one that we can accurately perceive. The show follows a secular forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers), a mystical Catholic priest in training (Mike Colter), and a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic (Aasif Mandvi) as they try to get to the bottom of crimes of great evil.

The series premiered in September 2019 to strong ratings (via Variety), and the first season was added to Netflix this October. On the streamer, new viewers have been getting acquainted with Evil's mix of satisfying police procedural and genuine scares. In fact, at the time of this writing, Evil was on the list of the top 10 most-viewed shows on the streaming service.

Exactly what about Evil has been capturing audiences' attention? Here are a few things you should know about the terrifying crime drama that's currently taking over Netflix.

The premise of Evil is personal for its creators

On Evil, Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Herbers) finds herself out of a job after working on the case of a murderer who claims he committed his crimes while under the influence of demonic possession. She gets the opportunity to continue her profile of the murderer thanks to David Acosta (Colter), a trainee priest who investigates cases of possession from a religious perspective, and his skeptical-but-loyal contractor Ben Shakir (Mandvi). Although the two begin to work together, they come at each case from two distinct viewpoints: Dr. Bouchard defaults to scientific explanations, while Acosta leaves the door open for the possibility of the supernatural.

The conflict at the center of Evil is one that mirrors that of the show's creators, Michelle and Robert King of The Good Wife and The Good Fight fame. As Michelle King explained to TheWrap, "Robert's more religious, so he typically goes toward a divine explanation ... I am more secular, so I tend to think things are the result of psychology or science."

This real-life dichotomy between the husband-and-wife duo fuels the ethos of Evil. But deciding what's real and what's imaginary is far from the point of the show. In fact, the creators and the series are more interested in exploring the grey area between the two ideas. As Robert King told TheWrap, "If you're of the scientific or empirical bent, you do have to acknowledge that there are psychopaths in the world ... You don't have to believe in demons to believe there are lone gunman who influence each other to kill. If you are of the spiritual bent, you might think, 'Okay there's an element where these human beings cross over into demonic behavior, so what is the difference?'"

Evil is a big hit with critics

It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Evil has been a hit with Netflix viewers, as it was a critical success when it premiered. The show's effectively chilling scares and strong chemistry between its leads were noted by many, and it even garnered favorable comparisons to The X-Files. The first season's enviable 91 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes would be a feat in and of itself, but the series also appeared on several critic's lists of the best TV shows of 2019.

TVLine's Rebecca Iannucci included Evil on her list of the "10 Best Drama Series of 2019" and wrote, "The cases of the week are flat-out scary in a way broadcast network supernatural dramas usually are not." Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker agreed with Iannucci's assessment about the show's scares in her own best-of roundup: "It clicks, owing to the chemistry of the ensemble — Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, and Aasif Mandvi — and its willingness to be legit scary."

At NPR, David Bianculli added the series to his top 10 TV series of 2019 list, and said it was proof that "commercial broadcast networks still could produce and present a smart, entertaining TV drama series, if it hired the right people and left them alone."

With all that critical heat behind it, it seems inevitable that we'll be seeing Evil season 2 sometime soon, right? Right?!

When are fans getting Evil season 2?

Based on the good ratings, critical praise, and success on Netflix, CBS itself would have to be facing a case of demonic possession to not renew Evil for a second season. And sure enough, the show officially got picked up less than a month after it began airing (via The Hollywood Reporter). However, even though we're well into the beginning of the fall TV season, there's still no sign of season 2. Evil is facing delays thanks to the ongoing disruptions to the TV and film industry. However, there is some good news on the horizon for the show's second season.

Back in August 2020, series co-lead Mandvi gave an interview with Inverse, during which he was asked about the status of Evil season 2. He answered, "There [are] a lot of conversations between the networks, unions, and New York state about safety. From what I've heard, we'll start in the next few months. I hope sooner than later."

Then, in September 2020, Deadline entertainment reporter Nellie Andreeva reported that while Evil still hadn't been greenlit to start filming, it was on the precipice of getting the go-ahead. If the show does indeed begin filming in the fall of 2020, that would likely mean we'll see season 2 premiere on CBS sometime in the winter of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

That gives you plenty of time to join the possessed masses and catch up on Evil season 1 on Netflix.

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