My Take On….ABC’s KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD
Absurd and too-long title notwithstanding, I love everything about KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD. If there was any actor that should interact with an imaginary possible-angel when his family already thinks he’s insane, Jason Ritter is the guy for the job and ABC’s new show, premiering at 10/9c is the show for me.
KEVIN is the story of Kevin Finn (Ritter), an admittedly selfish and sometimes crappy person, fresh off of what we learn was a bit of a breakdown. He finds himself in need of time away from his daily life and lands on the doorstep of his sister Amy’s home (Joanna Garcia Swisher), where she’s raising her daughter Reese (Chloe East) alone after Amy’s husband passed away. When a meteorite lands near the house, a curious Kevin’s life is flipped upside down when he meets “celestial guide” Yvette (Kimberly Hébert Gregory), who tasks him with a seemingly impossible mission – finding, and “awakening,” enlightened souls around the globe in an effort to bring humanity out of crisis.
Jason Ritter is perfectly cast as Kevin – flighty and selfish, flippant, but sweet, warm, and emotionally damaged; he’s twitchy and uncomfortable but completely relateable, with a classic physical component to his performance that takes it up a notch (his performance is a huge reason why the show succeeds, period).
There’s an easy chemistry with Swisher, though her connection to the meteorite is a bit flimsy in the set up. She’s an engineer who just happens to get pulled into a mission on Kevin’s first night in town; I’m willing to suspend disbelief in the meantime as their family relationship is explored and repaired.
I loved the reluctant relationship that he forms with Reese and it’s always nice to see familiar faces J August Richards and India de Beaufort as old friends (and possible new flames). I also think Dustin Ybarra is hilarious as Kevin’s old friend Tyler and I liked what Gregory brings to Yvette (though perhaps knowing it was once played by Cristela Alonso, I found myself yearning to see what that might have meant for the role).
It comes from the minds of Michelle Fazekas and Tara Butters who, yes, gave life to AGENT CARTER, but who first brought us REAPER about another young guy with a mission. It shares characteristics with that show, for sure: fast, charming, with witty sidekicks, crazy stories, and missions to (possibly) save humanity. KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD is a bad title in a historically bad time-slot for ABC (I’m still not over FOREVER), but I’m hoping that on its charm and warmth alone, it finds a way to stand out in the crowd. Arbitrary B+ with fingers crossed it is given time to become an A+ down the line!