Heart and humor help Kevin (probably) save the world


Rarely does a television show actually make you feel good. As in, by the end of each episode you feel better than you did before it began. It is a difficult task to pull off. To accomplish this feat a show must be entertaining, engaging, and uplifting without being too heavy-handed.

Jason Ritter in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. (2017) ABC.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World accomplishes this on a weekly basis. I’ll insert a small ‘spoiler alert’ here. I will do my best to not give away any surprises, but basic plot and character details will be discussed. The premise of Kevin (Probably) is that our titular hero, Kevin, is a ‘righteous soul’ tasked with saving the world. As his guide, Yvette, explains, there are 36 righteous souls for each generation who protect humanity simply by existing, but Kevin is mysteriously the only one this time around. It is Kevin’s sacred mission to anoint 35 new souls.  Yvette, a warrior for God (not an angel), can only be seen and heard by Kevin —a fun plot device that offers extraordinary opportunity for physical comedy. Each episode follows Kevin as he waits for signs about people who need his help and then accomplishes selfless tasks. Yvette helps keep Kevin focused, guides him in building his spiritual power, and protects him from any physical danger. Each time Kevin completes an act of kindness or selflessness, he receives a brief, cryptic vision that they hope will eventually lead them to other righteous souls.

Jason Ritter in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. (2017) ABC.

Righteous Souls and Warriors for God?

That’s right. Righteous souls and warriors for God. If this sounds like an extremely religious show, and perhaps the dread of being lectured has kept you away from tuning in, consider this as your unbiased assertion that Kevin (Probably) does not preach or teach. The heart of the show is man who is trying to be better. An admittedly flawed and selfish human being, Kevin is simply trying to be a better brother, a better uncle, a better friend, and a better person. After surviving a suicide attempt, Kevin moves back to his hometown in the pilot episode to live with his widowed sister and her teenage daughter.  As the episodes unfold, we gradually learn more about the family and friends Kevin had left behind as he reconnects with them.

JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Jason Ritter in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. (2017) ABC.

Wonderful Cast

There are several recognizable faces populating Kevin’s world. Jason Ritter’s Kevin is at turns charming, vulnerable, funny and hopeful.  Kevin’s twin sister Amy is played by JoAnna Garcia Swisher.  Amy is an incredibly intelligent engineering professor who is constantly juggling her concern for her brother and her daughter.  Amy’s daughter Reese is played by Chloe East.  Withdrawn and inquisitive, Reese is the first to observe some of Kevin’s odd behavior and suspect that something otherworldly may be happening.  Kevin quickly reconnects with ex-girlfriend Kristin, played by India de Beaufort, and old friend Tyler, played by Dustin Ybarra.  Yvette, played by Kimberly Hebert Gregory, guides Kevin along his journey as she adjusts to life outside of heaven.  Deputy Nate Purcell, played J. August Richards, is a friend of Amy’s who often helps Kevin find his way out of trouble.

Chloe East and Jason Ritter in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. (2017) ABC.

Drama + Comedy

For all the drama that is inherently present in any show that deals with God or grief, Kevin (Probably) is also full of comedy, fun and light. Kevin’s weekly missions often put him in embarrassing and amusing situations that he is physically unable to explain his way out of. Any time he attempts to explain about righteous souls and a mission from God, he instead reveals a secret from his past against his will. He quickly learns to become an impressive liar in order to get out of sticky situations.

Jason Ritter and Kimberly Hebert Gregory in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. (2017) ABC.

Due to the fact that Yvette can only be seen and heard by Kevin, there is frequent brilliant use of physical comedy as they interact.  There are plenty of the expected comical scenes of Kevin seemingly talking to or arguing with himself.  Because Yvette is a celestial being with unexplained powers that she uses to protect Kevin at all costs, there are also scenes involving Kevin levitating or sleep-walking across the surface of the pool.  Jason Ritter clearly inherited not only his father’s looks, but his gift for graceful physical comedy.  Few can take a fall as smoothly as Kevin frequently does.

More from Bam Smack Pow

Hopeful, joyful, uplifting, charming — these are all words I’ve used to describe this clever show and skilled cast.  Every time I tune in, I feel better by the end of the hour, simply for having watched.  Following along as Kevin strives to selflessly help others does wonders for the soul.  It restores faith that there are people in the world who value kindness and want to help others.  If you have yet try out an episode, now is the time to catch up.  Kevin (Probably) Saves the World airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on ABC.