Resident Evil (2022)

It is a fact, that while some things remain as timeless as denim jeans, a lot of times, things will inevitably fall out of fashion. While those of a certain age will have fond memories of the Resident Evil franchise, a bunch of less-than-well-received sequels and a constantly evolving market may have limited their appeal to the youth of the day. However, In 2022, the stories of Resident Evil got a television adaptation for the streaming age. One that does its bests to understand its new audience, all while experimenting with its own thing. Taking some creative leaps, to introduce the new world to Resident Evil.

Resident Evil constantly maintains a vibe that feels like it’s aiming to appeal to the youthful Gen-Z crowd.

Meet the Weskers: they are a typical family, with a widower, Albert, and his two twin daughters Jade and Billie, who moved out to the planned community of New Racoon City So that Albert can do secretive work for the Umbrella Corporation. At the start, the Wesker girls have a hard time settling into their new location, as suspicions are raised about their dad’s work. Resident Evil flashes back and forward to the near future of 2032 as the full extent of the zombie onrush is realised, where a family reunion might be just the ticket to save humanity.

Meet Billie and Jade, new characters that help further flesh out Wesker’s story.

Throughout the series, there is a dare I say cool vibe, that is on display during the 2022 sections.  There’s a very palpable sense of Gen-Z hipness running throughout, especially with the youthful protagonists. So much so that you get the feeling that somebody likes Billie Eilish in the production, or at least expects the show’s target demographic to have a similar regard for her work. It is a demographic I wouldn’t imagine having much of an attachment to the decades-long franchise. Outside of Resident Evil VILlage, which had a positive reaction from the likes of TikTok. Whether this show will inspire a new generation to return to the classic games, it is fortuitous that the remakes of the original games are now available on most common consoles.

New Racoon City is a fascinating creation, ultra-modern and full of living people, it is a direct counter to the city of 1998!

The eight episodes do take a lot of liberties with the core ideas of the franchise, such as turning the recognisable mid-western community of New Racoon City. South Africa has been the prime filming location for contemporarily futuristic sci-fi properties of the past, and here has a very clean and somewhat futuristic look that lends to the hip appeal. This is contrasted with the very post-apocalyptic, and very 28 Days/Weeks Later, globe-trotting tour of post-apocalyptic London and beyond. The sections that take place in the near future also feel unique to the franchise, far beyond what the games have (although I haven’t personally kept up with the storyline past the fourth game). If the series does end up influencing the games, it will be fun to see the results.

Lance Reddick is a great choice for the iconic Wesker!

Something is refreshing about the way that Resident Evil approaches such a storied franchise. Sparking fresh inspiration from the reams of lore that the games have produced over the twenty-plus years. The show manages to take the franchise in new directions that the returning fans might not recognise, but at least will probably be curious to see resolve. Although culled after a single season, despite apparently being a hit for the platform, Resident Evil might show that you can’t bury an idea like it.

Resident Evil distinctly flashes between the present of 2022 and the apocalyptic future of 2032.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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