Resident Evil Season 1 Review – Recognizable in name only; a poorly written, lazy mess

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 2/5

 

Resident Evil is not a difficult story to adapt. Our protagonist tries to escape a mansion in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Resi 2 and 3 then upped the stakes, adding Nemesis and the wider world of Raccoon City to play with. This is before the later games added new elements to mixed reception from fans. Some working well  (the family and move to first person in Resi 7) and some not so well (Resident Evil 6).

Along the way though, Resident Evil has been adapted numerous times and it’s actually impressive how often Hollywood have attempted (and failed) to translate this formula across to the big and small screen. However, Netflix’s newest series, Resident Evil, may actually be the worst attempt at adapting this hugely popular IP.

Familiar in name alone, Resident Evil is essentially teen dystopian drama, split across two different timelines sporting a bunch of one-dimensional characters and a story that begins poorly before spiraling out of control, with a story that become more farfetched as the episodes progress. This is full of contrivances, stupid character actions and a distinct lack of logic. If this didn’t have the Resident Evil name attached to it, you’d be hard-pressed to believe this is the same source material.

The plot itself is split between a “Before” in 2022, and “After”, in 2036. A post apocalyptic event has wiped out a good chunk of the population, while our protagonist across both storylines is Jade Wesker, daughter to Albert Wesker.

In 2036 Jade is on the hunt for a cure to the “Zero” plague (yep, another zombie show that refuses to call its undead inhabitants zombies) and ends up on quite the fetch quest, leading her to the south coast of England, the North of France and eventually back to her family as everything collides into a dramatic final chapter.

The 2022 plot is where the meat of the story lies though, as we follow Jade and her sister Billie as they arrive in New Raccoon City with their father, Albert Wesker. Set in South Africa, Jade immediately comments how white their neighbourhood is. Not just from its inhabitants’ skin colour but from everything else too; white house, white picket fences, white interiors, you name it.

Anyway, Billie and Jade decide to break into the unguarded Umbrella lab one night, where their father works. It’s here Billie ends up bitten by a mutated dog. With time running out, Billie decides to go back to school, party and generally engage in teen drama clichés, as you do.

As this storyline develops, they uncover secrets involving their father, leading back to 1998’s original Raccoon City and big steps away from the mythos and lore of the game series. In essence, Resident Evil feels like someone read the wiki page for the games and decided to use that as loose guidelines for their own story.

Unfortunately, Resident Evil is the next in a long line of IPs that have been distorted by modern writers to fit their own sensibilities. A good example of this is Evelyn, the CEO of Umbrella Corp. Every single episode we’re told through expository dialogue that she has a wife back home. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it seems like such an odd choice to continue mentioning this when we get such limited information about Billie, Jade and the other characters’ history.

But then one quick glance at IMDB will tell you that 6 of the 7 writers involved in this project have barely penned a screenplay for a big project before. And boy does the bad writing rear its ugly head every chance it gets.

Most of the characters are bland and poorly developed, there’s an abundance of deus ex machina and contrivances used to get characters out of sticky situations, and to make matters worse the worldbuilding is not very good at all.

Part of the blame lies with the way this has been spliced together. The two timelines do not work and neither really complement the other. Neither storyline is particularly interesting, and even worse, everything is baited for a second season too.

Under any other name, this may have been a passable to below average teen horror drama. Parading around the Resident Evil name whilst simultaneously doing absolutely nothing to honour the source material makes this a terrible adaptation. In fact, I’d rather watch the Milla jovovich movies again than watch another season of this. Save yourself the trouble and play the games instead.


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  • Verdict - 3/10
    3/10
3/10

17 thoughts on “Resident Evil Season 1 Review – Recognizable in name only; a poorly written, lazy mess”

  1. Alright first off whoever did this review is way off with them being lazy their going straight off the plot of the game if you were a gamer you would of known that and second this series can actually make it unlike with them going with the whole plot throughout the old movies it was all about Alice having powers please your going to tell me those are better alice never had nothing to do with the game….the ones that did this re series are not lazy they put more thought into it and they know what their doing

  2. If you’re going into this series expecting a video game to show adaptation you will be sadly disappointed but if you go in with a different Outlook and not expect that then you might actually like it.

  3. Are they try to re-establish Apartheid again here in South Africa with the dominant white cast background and enclosed suburbs. I can’t enjoy the series knowing that it deminish the racial diversity

  4. I live in Cape Town where the series was shot and I’m just wondering why is there so much white people.The first episode shows less than ten people of colour and the background people are all white…I’m mean it’s not a white dominant place.

  5. I haven’t played a single RE game, I’ve watched videos of the game and read the lore. As soon as it was revealed that Wesker had two daughters in this series I had to tap out. If you want to adapt a video game series, stick to the source material for characters that are already established. If you want to introduce new characters, make them unrelated to the established characters. Not that hard.

  6. All these bad reviews are just from people who are crying cuz it didn’t copy the game. This show was awesome we binged watched it and enjoyed the whole thing. Every RE movie or show that comes out is gonna get all these 40 year olds in their moms basement crying cuz its not like the games. Why make a show thats exactly like the games? Just play the game then. Is every episode of Simpsons the same story? Dont listen to these nerds and check out the show for yourself, its pretty good.

  7. Just had it confirmed via a websearch: if you look for a “massive pile of stinking crap” you’ll see an image of the Netflix series of “Resident Evil”.

    It’s awful. Beyond awful. Full of very PC writing (which appears to have been done by someone with Alzheimer’s, who was described some God awful version of the original games.

    I’d sooner take a bath with a plugged in toaster than watch this rubbish.

  8. Man, you are right!
    I couldn’t have said it better.
    This is a message to any studio company that is planning to adopt Resident Evil again, please do it just like the original story with the original characters or don’t try to do it at all because that’s what we all wants,or else your work will only be a mess and no more so enough of your “new” ideas to the original story and let us see the old thing going
    As they say “old but gold” so stop ruining our gold !!!

  9. Garbage. Just change the title so people won’t be tricked into seeing this flaming mess. Like “from the makers of Resident Evil” is the new Netflix series “Monsters and Emotions.” Nothing to do with the Resident Evil Series at all, just a bore fest of me me me and a monster scene.

  10. This review is spot on and 100 percent accurate. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I thought the movies were bad enough (including the latest one) but damn this is just a heaping pile of burning trash

  11. Not only is this show terrible the way they tried to collide ye backstory with their present time is confusing and I hated it I Love Resident Evil games and movies especially RE8 and Silent Hill

  12. For the love of God what crap is this?
    We should blame Capcom for giving the go ahead for all these bad RE movies.

  13. Did The Biden Administration did the Casting and the plot here?
    I was born in Brazil,and not even there we have that much Wokeness. Lol 😆

  14. Very Woke Cast. Equity has reached our favorite’s Survival Horror Video Game. Go Woke! Go Broke! This is not The Justice League.There is a reason why Kevin Costner can Play JFK and Morgan Freeman Can’t and a Reason Why Morgan Freeman can play Malcom X and Kevin Costner Can’t. Whoever was the Casting Director He/She,,Him/Hers didn’t a proper research, likely is someone from Google or Twitter HR Department.

  15. Not only is it bad but it’s woke too what a surprise. Shows how out of touch the writer is when he doesn’t realise how badly treated “white” people are in South Africa.

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