Netflix Resident Evil

Netflix’s ‘Resident Evil’ Is an Unbelievably Hilarious Mess, Especially This One Major Detail

Wait, what?

MAJOR SPOILERS for season one of Netflix’s Resident Evil

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So I spent the weekend binge-watching Netflix’s Resident Evil series. As a longtime fan of the video game franchise who knows better than to have high hopes in any film (and now television) adaptation, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. And, well, I did… kinda.

Let me just say that laughable dialogue is exactly what I expected out of something with Resident Evil attached to it. That’s not the part I’m tripping over. The series is full of nonsensical moments that I either fondly rolled my eyes at or laughed so hard that I had to pause the episode – whether this was the reaction I was supposed to have or not is up for debate. The reveal of the REAL big bad comes after a mind-controlled dance number? Sure. Wesker is part of a family of Wesker clones created by the trenchcoat-wearing Wesker from the video games? And that Wesker did, in fact, die in a volcano where Chris Redfield punched a boulder into submission? Sure. In fact, Wesker is the part I enjoyed most out of this entire series.

Netflix’s Resident Evil is a silly mess of a story, but within that silliness comes one teeny tiny MAJOR detail that I can’t get over. It’s not Wesker clone “Bert” loving Olive Garden breadsticks (he’s right and he should say it) or the Zootopia porn or even Jade Wesker being protected by plot armor while everyone dies around her (though that is annoying), it’s, out of all things, COVID.

Wait, COVID exists in Resident Evil?!

Netflix’s Resident Evil does that thing that some media franchises feel the need to do where it makes references to the real world. I don’t mean that in a “takes place in the Midwestern town of Raccoon City” kind of way, but in a “Wesker knows what PornHub is” kind of way. Okay. Fine. Albert Wesker threatened a guy while referencing PornHub. That’s certainly a choice but hey, what’s done is done. However, the series flies too close to the sun and decides to mention COVID more than once (though, really, once is too much).

This is an issue that we’ve discussed before, whether or not fictional media should address the ongoing elephant in the room. For me, personally, I don’t necessarily need a series to tackle COVID even if it does take place today because, to be perfectly honest, I’m watching Netflix to NOT think about COVID. However, if a show does decide to address COVID, I’d like for it to do it properly and not talk about it in the past tense. It’s 2022. COVID is still around. There is no past tense for it.

If you don’t want COVID to be a thing in your show why mention it at all? Why talk as if it’s over? But that’s exactly what Netflix’s Resident Evil does. We already HAVE a virus for the characters to deal with, so why even bring up a real-life one that you have no real interest in fully investing in? Honestly, what the COVID mention does is make things a lot more unbelievable. Umbrella is already attempting a notepad apology tour to rebrand itself after everything that’s happened, but with the existence of COVID, wouldn’t that make folks even MORE suspicious of Umbrella? Or anyone showing symptoms of any kind of infection?

Admittedly, this could’ve been an interesting (albeit sadistic) plot thread – shady company responsible for viral outbreak is trying to rebrand itself in a world where EVERYONE is paranoid because of a virus they had nothing to do with (COVID). Instead, COVID is treated as a nod to our world like every other reference. This was so frustrating to me, especially because one of the characters gets infected with the T-virus and starts showing terrible symptoms in public.

How is no one paranoid???

So Billy Wesker is bitten by a dog and infected with the T-virus after she and her sister, Jade, sneak into Umbrella. It’s comical how easy they get into the lab, by the way. Circling back to my “Umbrella Rebranding” comment, it’s astonishing that this corporation is so lax about its security. Do you WANT people to find out your secrets after the T-virus incident? ESPECIALLY in a world where COVID existed???

Anyway, Billy gets infected and even asks if it’s like COVID. Wesker assures her it isn’t and, eventually, she returns to school when she starts to look better. She’s not better, of course, and starts to show signs of being severely ill. If you’ve played a Resident Evil game (or seen any kind of zombie media) you know how bad this looks. She basically looks like she’s two seconds away from turning into a zombie. Somehow, no one freaks out. No one insists that she stay inside for a certain amount of days. No one tells the rest of the students to mask up or stay six feet away. I guess we’re supposed to believe that Billy’s… good at hiding it? But this even extends to her loved ones, her sister letting her go to a party because they think she only has a couple of hours to live. Like… you’re letting her hang out with a large group of people? Without a mask?! When you KNOW she’s sick?!?! Then when you get to the party you LEAVE HER ALONE?!?!?!

This is so unbelievable to me because we currently live in a world where someone coughing too hard raises eyebrows. Resident Evil has that AND a virus that turns victims into zombies. How is there not a single person scrambling for hand sanitizer or… something! I know, I know, I’m expecting too much out of Resident Evil, but they set themselves up for that when they mentioned COVID. They truly could’ve just let the zombies sit there and eat their food.

(Featured image: Netflix)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)