This is it, people. The moment I’ve been waiting for since the season three trailer hit the Intertubes – A PUPPET EPISODE of Stan Against Evil. Episode 5, “Nubbin But Trouble”, introduces us to Willard Mill’s own evil band of felted friends. I was not disappointed.
I love puppets, but also find something particularly creepy about them. This makes for a kind of horror/comedy sweet spot for me, and perfect for use in Stan Against Evil. We open the episode with a bit of snarky narration and then are immediately treated to a puppet murder (and a show callback to a season one character!). Writer Mike Mendez wastes no time showing us the monster this week, thankfully. Every moment I can spend with a crazed puppet onscreen mumbling “Nubbins, nubbins, nubbins….” Is a moment I’ll treasure.
Sheriff Evie and Deputy Leon investigate the body, and Denise drops by to introduce a subplot… Stan is opening a brewery in his toolshed. Leon and Denise bring Evie up to speed on our puppets. The Nubbins are a 70s kids’ show with some cringe-worthy
throwback characterizations. Denise takes Marty home, where hilarity ensues.
The episode is brimming with references to Aliens, The Warriors, Assault on Precinct 13, Meet the Feebles, and more. I loved the designs of the various Nubbins Family puppets, especially when they attacked. They develop what appear to be human teeth.
(That’s all it takes to make a puppet horrifying, for future reference. Just add people-teeth.)
I found this episode to be wonderfully tight in how the stories came together, with Stan’s beer subplot providing the catalyst for both his Zen Master state as well as the final plan to rescue everyone. The gore-to-jokes ratio was perfect (watch for an incredible knife-and-biting fight… with puppets, obviously). Kevin’s part in the episode gives us the best Bobcat Goldthwait cameo imaginable, and the comedic timing between Janet Varney and Nate Mooney has never been better. The show continues to operate at a peak with season three.
As they say on the Nubbins Family Power Hour:
Doesn’t matter who you are, to us you are a shining star! Keep it in the family!