In competition with Ash vs Evil Dead, IFC released the first season of Stan Against Evil. There are many similar concepts between both shows — An older gentleman begrudgingly battles evil forces all the while spouting witty dialogue. Not saying I don’t totally dig both shows, they are both a lot of fun and they will fit nicely in my DVD collection together someday.
Stan Against Evil does feel a bit more fast-paced with the quick cuts and also having about a 20 minute time slot/10 episode season. I had some trouble keeping up character names and some of the finer details of the plot, but that didn’t stop me from watching episode after episode. Being on IFC, they do get away with a bit more colorful language and some real sweet gore effects. Nothing as hardcore as Ash, but really what could compete with that shows shock value in season 2?
I started watching the Stan Against Evil series not expecting to get hooked, partially because I can’t juggle too many shows and storylines, but with this show, I can kinda shut off my brain and just sit back and laugh.
The concept is that a former cop who lost his wife finds out that his wife was actually a demon/witch hunter. You may ask how could that be kept a secret from a spouse? Stan is an easy sell on, yeah, I believe he had no idea at all, ever. Stan lives with his grown daughter who is kinda simple… I don’t know how else to explain her. He has to take up the fight in his hometown against the forces of evil even though it conflicts with his schedule of drinking and sports games.
There are a few other characters in the show that get some screen time, but to me, they don’t have the same charisma as Stanley. Gun to my head, I can’t even pull up their names in the show, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment.
The big key to the show in my opinion is the star who plays Stan, most recognized from his role on the show Scrubs as Dr. Cox. Of course I’m talking about John C. McGinley, a name you might not recognize, but this dude has been in almost everything. Personally I loved his portrayal of Dr. Cox on Scrubs and pretty much that same character is present in Stan — The same interests in hockey and displeasure of those he deems less intelligent. The man delivers rants in the exact same tone and rhythm and it honestly makes me want to see more of him in action.
With the show being so short, it leaves you wanting more and that’s always a good thing. So, for me this show surprised me in how much fun it was, since I went in not wanting to get hooked on another television series. I’m looking forward to another season, which I hope actually happens. My gut tells me, if there is another season, it might be short-lived. It just has that vibe of one of those shows you talk about with friends saying, “Hey, you remember [that show]? Yeah I wish they did more of those, too.”
All in all, I give season one of Stan Against Evil a 4 outta 5 star rating. It may be tough to talk yourself into starting it, but once you do, it’s a show that falls easily into that ‘binge watching’ category… and I’m kinda hard to sell on ‘binge watching’ shows, nowadays. It helps greatly that a season is a one night event and your done.
If you’re a fan of Ash vs Evil Dead and need more of that kind of vibe while the season is on break or you’re a fan of Scrubs, you will have a good time with this show.