TV Review - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World

Jason Ritter (Parenthood) was in a CBS series called Joan of Arcadia where he played a guy named Kevin who was the older brother to a girl who talked to God or a messenger of God. In this series, Ritter plays a guy named Kevin, Kevin Finn, who himself talks to a messenger from God. This show feels a bit like Joan of Arcadia not just in its premise but also in its tone and stakes. The protagonist in Joan of Arcadia was a high school student, so there's not much that she could do or was asked of her. Here, Kevin has a sister with government connections and his messenger from God insists he has to save the world. Yet, the tone and stakes thus far feel like he's in high school dealing with hormonal issues.

For example, in the second episode, Kevin has to help a white guy who works at a brewery and that help includes being there as the guy tells his dad he wants to quit. That ends up being a ruse or a kind of red herring, but where it leads is not anything that required Kevin's presence. Initially, Kevin thinks he's going to be helping people with serious problems like addiction or depression. Instead, the show gives him a problem that's incredibly lame. Yes, this is only the second episode. Better things or more serious problems could come in future episodes, but the show needed to hook me in its first, two episodes and it didn't.

The premise of this show is one that reminded me of such TV series as Quantum Leap (1989) or Early Edition (1996) or even something like My Name is Earl (2005) where each episode is about helping an ordinary person. Yes, this is a comedy, but linking it to God and saving the world would force the show to up the stakes or else the higher power makes no sense or is inconsequential. Quantum Leap and Early Edition always had great stakes, sometimes life-or-death, but also managed to incorporate comedy as well. This show has no stakes. It's otherwise boring. The only hook is how charming and adorable Jason Ritter is, especially when he's shirtless.

What's also disappointing is when it comes to religion, this show does less than The Shack, which is a film about a guy who allegedly talks to God, which may or may not be real. This series does less than that movie, even though this series is supposed to have a guy really talking to God, no allegedly. There's no questions about God, Heaven and its hierarchy that get answered. At least a series like Supernatural provides solid answers. Even a show like The Good Place provides more answers about God than this series.

Kimberly Hebert Gregory (Devious Maids and Vice Principals) co-stars as Yvette, the aforementioned messenger from God. J. August Richards (Angel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) also co-stars as Nate Purcell, the sheriff deputy. Richards has such a smaller role here than he should. Hopefully, this series makes better use of him than is made in the first, two episodes.

Rated TV-14-LS.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Tuesdays at 10PM on ABC.


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