ABC’s new hour-long dramedy, ‘Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,’ will win viewers over with its sincerity, quirkiness and feel-good message. In a time plagued by conflicts and tragedies, we could all use some hope. We’ve seen unlikely everyday heroes rise to the challenge and step up when help is needed during unfathomable crises. Kevin Finn (brilliantly played by the always charismatic and lovable Jason Ritter), has the potential to be one of those people.
Kevin has lost his way. For years, he has prioritized selfish and superficial desires over his family’s needs. Despite being a constant disappointment, his twin sister, Amy Cabrera (wonderfully portrayed by the ever enchanting and sweet JoAnna Garcia Swisher) refuses to give up on him. Ritter and Swisher are perfectly cast as siblings and their scenes together will tug on your heartstrings. Their brother-sister dynamic is very relatable and their relationship poses a clever narrative paradox. Amy is smart, selfless and reliable, whereas Kevin squanders his talent and indulges himself. However, Kevin is the one destined to save the world. Yeah, even he’s surprised to be the “chosen one.” Speaking of which, let’s discuss the show’s supernatural spin.
If you think the sassy angel angle is a cheesy gimmick, then you are greatly mistaken. Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) is an enigma. Gregory brings a cool mothering energy to the angelic role, playing her as a no-nonsense nurturer and protector. Yvette volunteered to take Kevin’s case and left paradise to do some good on Earth, so the stakes are very high for her. Plus, she fell from the sky in a meteor shower Superman style and can swing some sweet miraculous mojo. That’s always cool, right? The fact that Kevin is the only who sees her also makes for a lot of laughs.
One of the show’s best qualities is that you don’t have to prescribe to a particular faith to believe in the supernatural and spiritual premise. She isn’t a stereotypical angel with a halo and wings. Instead, she acts as the invisible Jiminy Cricket to Kevin’s misguided Pinocchio. He needs to get back in touch with what’s truly important in life and she’s there to help him do it.
‘Kevin (Probably) Saves the World’ offers a lesson in humanity and humility. It is not preachy, it’s practical. Let’s face it, American pop culture feeds off of and encourages self-indulgence and consumerism. Seriously, how many more Kim K selfies do we really need to see? We live with blinders on and only see what we want to see, including problems that are right in front of us. Some people become so self-consumed that they even tend to overlook obvious cries for help from loved ones, which is why Kevin’s first lesson from Yvette is something we all can learn from.
Kevin’s niece, Reese (Chloe East), bears a grudge against him ever since he let them down after her father died. She calls him out on his shortcomings and admits that she expects nothing from him because he always fails them. There’s no point in hoping for more if he’s predictably unreliable. I think we’ve all felt that way about someone in our lives, so it is easy to sympathize with her. If Kevin really wants to make a change, he needs to begin with himself. He needs to be the kind of brother and uncle his family needs before he can successfully rise up to Yvette’s challenge, which is no small feat.
Yvette drops a literal and figurative bombshell on Kevin, knocking him on his bum. It is time to live up to his potential and fulfill his destiny. The night of Kevin’s arrival back home with his sis, 35 meteors fall to different locations all over the earth. Yvette isn’t the only guide trying to set an unsuspecting Joe-Schmo on the right path. In every generation, there are 35 chosen ones who will then pick their 35 successors. The time has come for Kevin to choose his.
This knowledge of his divine task gives Kevin a brand new outlook on the world. Everything suddenly becomes brighter as though he’s experiencing everything in life for the first time. Kevin has an innate ability to connect with others on a profound level. By following his intuition and staying on the right path, he will know when he meets “the one.”
In the pilot, Kevin finally understands Yvette’s meaning after a powerful and moving encounter with a stranger. This scene gave me goosebumps and moved me to tears. It showcases the best in humanity and the experience begins Kevin’s transformation. Ritter plays this role with such conviction and honesty. You can’t help but feel for Kevin and become instantly invested in his journey.
You’ll understand what I mean after checking out this extended look at ‘Kevin (Probably) Saves the World’ with cast commentary:
Tune into the premiere Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. on ABC. I believe this is a truly special show and I really hope the ratings reflect its greatness. Don’t be dissuaded by the late time-slot, this is a wonderful family show. Odds are people may choose to watch it with their kids the next day. So set your DVRs and show this refreshing series some love.
*This article is also published on BuzzFeed.