Resident Evil season 1 review – does it live up to the legacy of the game?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 12, 2022 (Last updated: April 3, 2023)
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It might not be the best show you will watch this year; however, Resident Evil is still much better than other shows based on video games. There’s plenty of action/drama, and while not all episodes are at the top of their game, this is a fun watch.

The review of the Netflix series Resident Evil season 1 does not contain any spoilers.

It’s been a slightly long wait for fans of the video game. While the series started to be developed in 2019, it wasn’t until 2020 that Netflix formally announced that it would be making Resident Evil. And like many other shows, the Covid-19 pandemic slowed things down by eight months. But was it worth the wait? Somewhat.

First of all, while Resident Evil obviously takes its name from the horror game series, it is, in fact, set within its own universe. However, it doesn’t steer too far away from the game and uses the initial story for much of its inspiration. It’s split between two different timelines — one in 2022 before the outbreak and another in 2036 when the impact of the T-Virus is in full effect. For the earlier round of episodes, the 2022 timeline is, without a doubt, more substantial in terms of entertainment, story development, and characters. But as the series progresses, and Resident Evil naturally leans more towards the 2036 timeline, the quality of both timelines begins to match up.

One of the weaknesses of Resident Evil is how several characters come and go throughout the eight episodes. For some of the characters that leave so quickly, it’s hard to make a connection with them. And therefore, it’s hard to care when they depart or, in some cases, die. However, saying that, the character development between the two sisters, Jade and Billie, is one of Resident Evil‘s biggest strengths, so much so that I will go on to claim that their relationship is the best part of the series.

Another strength of Resident Evil, and an aspect that some shows aren’t recognized for, is the use of music and pop culture references in the 2022 timeline. Maybe it’s due to the recent pandemic that we’ve all lived through, but the characters’ problems feel so much more real. And using current songs makes the crisis in Resident Evil seem like something that could occur in the real world.

READ: Why is Lily Gao from the Resident Evil 4 remake being harassed by creepy fans?

Whilst it was said that each episode would be an hour, most episodes don’t break the 50-minute mark, although in many ways, this works out for the best. The story of Resident Evil may not be complete (mainly because it’s likely that the show creators want to return for a second season), but if the episodes had been much longer, it could have caused many viewers to grow tired of the series long before the season finale.

On the whole, though, Resident Evil is a respectable watch. Whilst many shows/films based on popular video games have fallen flat, this series is entertaining enough to warrant watching all eight episodes. So, if you’re a fan of the game franchise, you may as well try and watch the series. More importantly, it could easily return for a second season. And with Lance Reddick playing one of the lead roles, how wrong can you possibly go?

What did you think of the Netflix series Resident Evil season 1? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
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