STAN AGAINST EVIL, season 3, debuted on Halloween evening, October 31, 2018, on IFC. Stan Miller (John G. McGinley) returns as the retired sheriff fighting evil, along with Evie Barrett (Janet Varney), the new sheriff in town, Stan’s quirky daughter, Denise (Deborah Baker Jr), and Evie’s dimwitted but well meaning deputy, Leon Drinkwater (Nate Mooney). Also making an appearance, is Denise’s love interest, the sad-eyed but kind gravedigger, Kevin, played by the creator of the show, Dana Gould.
STAN AGAINST EVIL is a horror-comedy romp in a small town that was built on the gravesite of burned witches, cursing the land with demons and other monsters, who wreak havoc in the neighborhood. A portal has opened due to Stan’s attempt to save his dead wife through time-travel last season, and there’s creepy goons everywhere, itching to destroy humans.
Janet Varney is good at both grounding scenes and dropping one-liners, such as, “Bart? You’re named after a Fart,” while she fart-dances away in a Hammer Horror dress; and Deborah Baker Jr, who pulls laughs by merely reacting to the paranormal. Dana Gould has collected a great cast of performers, including Nate Mooney, who does a fine job as a buffoon, trying his best to help his friends in a supernatural jam. John G. McGinley holds the show together, with his gruff, no-bullshit meter, just what is needed when fighting monsters.
Season 3 features several, great comedian-actors such as Scott Adsit as a demon plumber, who tries to fool Stan into committing a Satan worshipping ritual; not only is Adsit hilarious as a self-deprecating demon, he’s also a pretty good plumber, who knew? In episode 7, Intensive Scare Unit, Matt Braunger plays a doctor, who wants to crack open Stan’s skull; and Maria Bamford appears briefly as one scary, freakin’ nurse, seemingly sent to keep Stan in the hospital, forever.
Episode 3, Larva My Life, stars Eddie Pepitone, as a child’s party entertainer — imagine Pepitone entertaining happy little kids at a birthday party, well, that’s both frightening and wonderful, now throw a gorilla costume on him and imagine him fighting Dave Koechner, in an miniature Godzilla bit.
But I particularly loved Vampire Creek, a send up of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, which featured sexy vampires for tweens, teens, and lusty soccer moms. “Take me to vampire prom...” cries Deborah, when a hot vampire attempts to lure her into the neck-sucking life, where she can be the belle of the forever prom, if she’s willing to be bitten and live forever in fantasy land. But alas, even vampire romance gets old quick. Sparkles, be damned.
Criticism on the internet has always included a negative comparison against Ash vs Evil Dead, which feels misguided, since it is possible for several horror-comedies to exist simultaneously. It feels unfair to pit two horror-comedies against each other, rather than accept that there should be several horror-comedy shows on air, each with a different point of view. The horror-comedy genre shouldn’t be limited to one standout show, as the genre is continually reinventing itself.
And since Ash vs Evil Dead was canceled over the summer, we need STAN AGAINST EVIL more than ever now. The horror-comedy fandom is still reeling over the loss of Ash, we need Stan and Evie! Besides, a show with a female sheriff and female writers on staff is always going to receive my attention. The end of season 3 suggested more horror to come...like demons up in New Hampshire, doing no good demon shit.
Season 3 was bursting with fun stuff like puppets, a butter turkey, David Bowie scrapbooking, an X-files homage, and vampires mistaken for pirates — STAN AGAINST EVIL is a playful show with a little something for everyone, who likes comedy and the paranormal. Season 3 is streaming on IFC from October 31, 2018 to November 21, 2018.