Ash vs. Evil Dead is perfect. It encapsulates the gory glory of the original two films while creating and expanding on the mythology of the series. So this review is going to be a short one: watch this show (and check back later this week for my thoughts on long-form horror). Wait, what do you mean WHY?
(What follows is completely spoiler free and as vague as as I can be, just stop reading here and go watch this show.)
Why should you watch this show? You demand reasons and answers? Very well. For starters Bruce Campbell. It’s standard operating procedure around here to watch anything he is in (yes including The Man With The Screaming Brain) and enjoy it but this is different: Ash Williams is back. Campbell (as he did with aged Elvis in Bubba Hotep) is perfect as an aged Ash. This is the character that we grew to love over three films but older and even more broken than we remember. This show will be worth it just for the character study alone.
Then there is the fun factor. This show is serious business, the stakes are going to be high, higher than they ever were in the films but there is also a lot of fun here. Quips and one-liners abound and the action sequences were tremendously gorey and over-the-top fun. It never gets old watching Ash off a few deadites.
Setting nostalgia and a love for wit (cheesy or otherwise) aside, there is the fact that this show—the first episode at least—was almost perfect in its pacing and handling of both the comedic and the horrific, Raimi is always at his best when doing horror comedy as evidenced here. (This might have been my only complaint with the remake, its unrelenting nature. A little infusion of light heartedness to offset the bad awful evil stuff going around and it might have been even better.)
So give this show a shot, especially since it is free to watch at this moment online. Starz went all in on this series and the result is something truly special.