Friday, 16 December 2016
Review: Series 1 Stan Against Evil
John C McGinley, Janet Varney, Deborah Baker Jr
First off this series, it will and has been compared to Ash vs Evil dead, I think it has enough differences to be something itself though. McGinley has his own dry, angry and humorous way of acting. I've loved his acting style ever since Scrubs.
Don't compartmentalize him though he is a very good actor when not playing that type of character too. John must be invested in this as he is also a producer on the series. I think his character Stan is definitely the high point of the series and episodes. So enough gushing over that whats this series actually about?
Stan Miller (John) is a small town sheriff in New Hampshire, he is getting on in years and is a bitter leave me alone kind of guy even before his wife dies. So his wife, you see this town has a curse every sheriff before Stan has met a grisly end, unknown to Stan his wife has been killing the things trying to kill her husband.
Why is this i hear you ask?
Well a few hundred years ago the sheriff of the town put 173 women to death as witches, most of them were actually innocent of the crime so now they actually want revenge on all future sheriffs of the town. Unfortunately Stan's wife finally gets killed (seen in a later episode) and we see them at the funeral. When a crazy woman approaches Stan taunting him he goes a bit mad and attacks the old crone. Of course he causes a scene and gets 'retired' from his job as the sheriff.
We then meet Evie Barret (Janet), moved here to be the new sheriff of the town. It's not long before she learns of the curse and is attacked. Stan finally learns that his wife was protecting him all these years and the two team up against the evil witch of the first episode.
Evie is almost killed until Stan helps (reluctantly), the rest of the episode we meet deputy sheriff Drinkwater a guy totally inept at his job who never seems to do anything except be more comedy relief in the show.
There's also Stan's daughter Denise (Deborah) she's also thick and constantly comes up with stupid ideas for then situations they find themselves in. She sure is cute though!
So each episode is like witch/demon of the week with the overarching story of the past deaths, sheriff and the curse. everything from demon summoning flowers to life draining succubi.
Each episode will also deal with a small insignificant plot like dating or Stan getting an old signed hockey stick back. these episodes mostly gel well and the length of 22mins doesn't allow for much else.
This brings me to some bad points now, the episode length can be a bit short, 22 minutes is a short time to get everything in so some character progression is left out. Especially since there's also only 8 episodes. This isn't a bad thing as we do get some and by the end we generally know what we need for that season. I just hope the series stays on long enough so these small episode length and series size allows them to expand all the characters, universe and story they want to tell.
Secondly this is going to be compared to Ash vs Evil Dead no matter what, despite it being only the same in premise alone, you know fight an evil protagonist over the whole series with little monster of the week episodes with an older reluctant hero spurned on by younger more willing people.
I like this series it's not perfect there are sometimes drab writing and it shows.
THN awards Stan against Evil a strong four out of five stars with a recommendation to watch.