If America could use anything right now, it is a feel-good network drama. They might not get Emmy love, but sometimes it is just nice to watch a show that makes you warm inside. While the trend might be to lean toward the dark and gritty, I have been seeking an oasis. That is why I was looking forward to Kevin (Probably) Saves the World — a show described as being filled with hope, heart and a good dose of irreverent humor.
Unfortunately, the show doesn't hit its mark right out of the gate. Kevin Finn is down on his luck when he visits his hometown and his sister and niece. When a meteor strike hits near his sister's home, his life is changed as he discovers that he is the last of the "righteous" and he has to find and anoint 36 new righteous individuals. He is assisted by a celestial guide, Yvette, who only he can see and tries to provide the exposition.
This is where the show seems to fall apart. I acknowledge that it is hard to make a pilot that fills you in on everything you need to know in 44 minutes, but the show never seems to indicate why this quest is important outside of some very concerned looks from Yvette when things go sideways.
There are two ways to handle this kind of show. One is to not discuss the mythology of the show and just let it be the mystery. The second is to give a little bit of information to entice the viewer to tune-in each week. Unfortunately, this program chooses neither route. They spend some time in a military compound trying to understand the meteors that set the shows' events in motion, but that is never mentioned again. You get the sense that there is more to the story, but it is not presented in a way that makes you want to know more — just in a way that is confusing.
Jason Ritter has inherited his father's likeability factor. And I will acknowledge that there are some fun moments as he deals with his unfathomable situation. His character does seem to move from attempting suicide to embarrassing his divine mission fairly quickly, but I will excuse that as needing to get somewhere in the pilot. The rest of the cast is also strong, which helped the show make up for some of its odd pacing and uneven plotting.
It is the cast that will get me to episode 2. I presume that once the set-up is taken care of, the show will find its footing. The strong cast and uplifting premise will force me to give the series another shot. I just hope that it finds a way to balance the bigger picture with the character moments so we aren't left wondering why we should care.
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World premieres Tuesday, October 3rd on ABC.