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‘Evil’ takes on the last taboo topic: religion


A skeptic and a believer walk into a bar …

The new CBS drama “Evil” — yes, the one on seemingly every single MTA bus — from “The Good Wife” creators Robert King and Michelle King, isn’t a joke though. In fact, the series, about a clinical psychologist (Katja Herbers) and a priest-in-training (Mike Colter) investigating supernatural phenomena, may take itself a little too seriously. But it also has the guts to talk about religion like so few shows do.

“It’s an extension of a conversation Robert and I have been having for over 30 years,” Michelle King told the Daily News.

She identifies as a “cultural Jew,” while her husband is a devout Catholic. So for them, the battle between science and faith was never just in the script.

“There is evil in the world, but we tend to think the cause of it is different,” she said.

At its heart, that’s what “Evil” is all about: Where did this come from? Is the serial killer possessed by a demon or is he just a monster? Is he Evil or evil?

Maybe, the show posits, it’s both. Or neither.

“It’s a show that really encourages the conversation without judging or critiquing,” Colter (“Luke Cage”) told The News. “They do a very good job of portraying people who have a very unique point of view and very structured, complete arguments, a very good job at balancing the two sides, or the three sides, or the four sides.”

Premiering Thursday at 10 p.m., “Evil” never feels like it’s lecturing you, even when it’s weighing in on one of society’s most controversial topics: literally, God. In a time and place where debates are won by who shouts the loudest and longest, the CBS show actually seems interested in discussion. There isn’t an answer, so why force one?

“We’re posing questions for the sake of argument,” Colter, who reunites with the Kings from his turn on “The Good Wife,” told The News.

“Evil” isn’t just one long college class, though. The Kings are trying to bring horror back to the small screen; the first episode alone includes a terrifying demon who cuts off fingers. It’s also a procedural, even though the showrunners promised it wouldn’t be an exorcism of the week. Robert King teased storylines involving (alt-right web community) 8chan, child psychopaths and incels, among others, but it’s still unclear if there’s a bigger picture to “Evil.”

“It tries to make sense of the world and how we can fix it,” Herbers (“Westworld”) told The News. “If you can understand it, you can try to fix it.”