There’s only a handful of episodes left in the first season of Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, and — not for lack of trying — it’s still unclear if Kevin (played by the inimitable Jason Ritter) will actually manage it.
Not helping the situation is the fact that at the end of the last episode, Kevin lost the support of lifelong, loyal, no-questions-asked best bud, Tyler (Dustin Ybarra) or the mounting problem that his spiritual guide Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) seems to be falling victim to human ailments. Basically, there’s a WHOLE LOT going on and there’s not a lot of time and it’s all a little stressful, so EW asked Ritter for some answers to help ease minds before the last few episodes of the season air. It’s (probably) all going to be okay, right?
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I feel like this show is so unique in its ability to be frivolous and lighthearted one minute, and then very touching the next, while still spreading the message of doing better and looking out for others… but not in a preachy way. Anyway, I’m gushing. Is it just a blast on set?
JASON RITTER: (Laughs) That’s so great to hear. It is a joy to shoot. It’s so much fun and we laugh all day. It’s an hour-long show so there’s long days, but we all love each other very much, so it’s just fun. Like you said, it’s a lighthearted show that has some painful moments, but for the most part, we’re just trying to make each other laugh. We finally saw the gag reel the other night at the wrap party and it was just a reminder of just how much joy there is on set.
All these characters are so unique. They’re close to people we see on other shows, but they’re more unpredictable — probably no one more so than Tyler. In the last episode, Kevin kind of broke his heart. It was just horrible. Please tell me you guys fix that fast?
I have to say shooting these episodes where Tyler was mad at me was difficult. I had to keep on reminding myself that Dustin wasn’t actually mad at me because he’s such a lovely guy and he does have as big of a heart as Tyler does. It was hard to see him sort of cold like that, or just sort of disconnected. It’s even more painful to see him just be like, “Oh, yeah, we’re fine, we’re just not friends anymore.” You’re right, it really was heartbreaking. So Kevin, in the next couple episodes — as he’s also trying to do what the universe is telling him to do — has this conflict of, I do wanna do what the universe is telling me but I can’t concentrate on anything else while Tyler is mad at me. He’s sort of trying to do both and that has its own set of repercussions, but Kevin’s main goal is to stop Tyler being upset at him.
I feel like that’s the constant struggle: Kevin trying to do what the universe wants but not hurt the people he loves around him at the same time.
Yeah, you’re right. There’s actually an episode coming up, I think it’s 15, called “The World’s Worst Domino,” because he starts to feel like he does one thing good, but then it causes all these other bad things to happen. He’s trying to clean up the messes he’s making and sometimes it can seem overwhelming, so he has a little crisis as well. But, he’s giving it his best!
Hey, that’s all we can do. What about with Kristin (India de Beaufort)? Do we get any closer to them getting together by the end of the season? I’m so ready for them to be a couple.
Ah, well, Kevin can’t seem to let it go. It feels like there’s still a spark there for Kristin too, but she’s very protective. She doesn’t want to get hurt again and he doesn’t want to hurt her again so it’s become a little bit complicated. Also, there are stages where maybe they’re considering it, but then there’s her friends who used to know Kevin who maybe have a different idea about them getting back together again…
Do we get to see some flashbacks of them when they’re younger and Kevin was less great? I really wanna see some of this infamous high school Kevin.
Oh, well, lucky for you, in the very next episode you see a peek of them in high school, Kevin and Tyler and Kristin. Maybe some flashbacks will tide you over while we see what happens with Kristin!
Okay, great. And Dave’s back. Is he going to stick around?
Yeah, he’s back and he and Yvette are trying to navigate this new problem which is that they seemed to not be impervious to human problems. They’re trying to keep it a secret from me, but meanwhile, it’s getting worse so they’re sort of trying to figure out what to do. There’s so much going on – all in three episodes!
I know there’s so much to resolve! Can we go back and talk about fish acrobatics from last episode? That was impressive. How much was done with real fish?
(Laughs) Well, that huge one that crushes that little girl was fake and some of it was CGI, especially the one when we’re sort of juggling. For the most part, the fishes we were throwing around were either rubber or something else, but all of the talking fish stuff that was real. It was fun.
It was hilarious. What about other stunts and stuff? You’re forever being doused in water, dragged along the ground, and thrown around. Do you just walk away covered in bruises at the end of every shoot?
Oh, I’ve got a couple of bruises! I’ve got a few scrapes on my arm I’m looking at right now, but I’ve always loved to do that. I love throwing myself around. I wanted to be a stuntman when I was growing up. My friend and I would throw ourselves down this hill and try not to use our arms and all have these weird, strange rules because we didn’t know about all the math and safety involved in stunt work. At that point, we just thought you just built up a high threshold of pain and courage. Courage and swallowing your pain, that was all it was. So I’ve never been scared to take a fall or get hit or all sort of things, or, you know, get covered in bugs.
The important part of the show, though, is promoting kindness to others. Kevin’s random acts always get derailed and he ends up in trouble but that never deters him. Do you have a favorite one at this point?
Oh, man, that’s difficult. It was really fun when Yvette lost her temper for the first time and made Kevin beat that guy up. I’ve gotten to do so many fun things on this show. It’s really a dream job for me; I’ve gotten to go to space! But some of my favorite stuff is some of the vision magic happening in the next couple of episodes — especially in 15.
Kevin (Probably) Saves The World airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Watch an exclusive preview of the next episode here.