Programming

The Watchman: ‘Stan’ Keeps Evil Spirits Flickering

‘Shameless’ cast stays blameless 10/30/2017 8:00 AM Eastern
IFC's "Stan Against Evil"
TakeAway

Contributing editor Michael Malone’s weekly look at the programming scene

Viewers can keep the spirit of Halloween alive even after the hallowed day ends, as a new season of spooky Stan Against Evil starts on IFC Nov. 1. John C. McGinley plays Stan, a retired police chief in a small New England town where witches were burned centuries before. Stan battles an array of witches, and his own demons.

McGinley gets a kick out of playing a wounded soul. “People who are damaged, who are hurt — I’ll watch them,” he said. “I’m intrigued by what hurts us, and how we recover from injury.”

Video: Watch IFC's 'Stan Against Evil' Season 2 Trailer

Dana Gould created the series, and McGinley is a producer. As with season one, McGinley said the Stan braintrust is looking for the right balance between horror and comedy. “It’s almost impossible to straddle the two tones. That’s what Stan purports to do — we wander around in, and straddle, the two,” McGinley said.

The highlight of season two, for McGinley, is a brief moment when Stan reconnects with his deceased wife. “It’s an unexpectedly beautiful scene,” he said. “It’s startling and really emotionally satisfying.”

Fans got a peek at the new season when IFC shared an episode on Friday the 13th. The stunt went over well, according to McGinley: “The numbers blew everybody in New York away. Everybody seemed completely thrilled.”

He’s particularly pumped about season two. “I’m super-proud of the show,” McGinley said. “I can’t wait for people to get a hold of it.”

And the new season of Shameless kicks off on Showtime Nov. 5, marking eight seasons for the edgy comedy. Steve Howey, who plays barkeep Kev, promised plenty of “cool drama” in the new batch of episodes. “It’s not just all comedy,” he said. “There’s a lot of heavy stuff too.”

It’s a big ensemble cast, and Shameless has done a pretty remarkable job of keeping the Gallagher clan together across its many seasons. Howey said William H. Macy, who plays patriarch Frank Gallagher, sets the right tone. “He’s not a prick, and it trickles down,” Howey said. “When the top guys are not assholes, no one else has reason to be.”

Howey’s highlight of the new season? Sporting some S&M gear, he said, as Kevin “tries to get his balls back” after being betrayed by Svetlana. Bizarro costumes are the norm, not the exception, according to Howey. “They say, here’s your wardrobe, a leopard-print G-string,” he said. “I’m like, yeah, it’s normal.”

Will Shameless live on after season eight? Howey thinks so. “We’ll see what everybody’s doing, but I’m pretty sure we’ll do one more,” he said. “Nine is a good number … maybe 10.”

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