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Devil May Care creator Douglas Goldstein imagined a different kind of hell. One inspired by Knight Rider.
Devil May Care — premiering Saturday, Feb. 6, during the TZGZ block at midnight EST — stars Alan Tudyk as the voice of Devil (please note: not "THE Devil" just "Devil"), who's looking to rebrand Hell for a new age of the afterlife. Sure, Hellfire and brimstone are fine and all. You can't beat the classics; Dante's Inferno and all that jazz, but a makeover sounds like a great idea. That makeover (or, as Devil terms it, the gentrification) comes in the form of kale, Hell-centric social media, and, uh... fidget spinners?
It's understandably a lot to take in. So SYFY WIRE caught up with Goldstein via email to get the pre-premiere lowdown on where Devil May Care came from, that name debacle, and the show's hilarious stars.
Where did the original inspiration for the series come from?
The original idea was a lot different. I thought having someone summon the devil to make a deal would be a funny send-up of the old “problem of the week” shows of the ‘80s like Knight Rider and A-Team. “This week the Devil has to prevent a local gang from trashing Uncle Joe’s cigarette shop!” And if the Devil had no special powers on Earth it’d be funny to see him get thrown through a plate glass window and such. But that format would wear down I think after a few episodes so it had to grow from there.
Why is it "Devil" instead of "The Devil"?
My idea is that we’ve misinterpreted a lot of what’s really going on in Hell and I searched for ways that could be true. I thought a lot about what it means to say “The” Devil. Why is the “The” there? I figured “Devil” is just the guy’s name and he’s frustrated that he has to explain that to every new soul that comes his way. Now he has “Just Devil” as the nameplate on his desk.
What about the voice cast makes them perfect for these roles?
I listened to a lot of voices for each role and basically did a spit take and yelled “that’s it!” when I heard each one. They just matched what was in my head. Like with Stephanie Beatriz playing Gloria, the Head Demon. I figured Gloria is like a building’s super who knows how everything works, has seen everything, is above it all and over it. Authoritative but deadpan. I heard Stephanie’s voice and did a spit take.
What's the one "improvement" to Hell that you would approve if you were in charge?
What’s with all the heat? It’s gotta be hot in here? You want me to be napping all the time? Turn it down, put on a jacket if you’re cold.
What other genre works inspire you as a creator?
I get bored really easily so anything that makes me say “what the Hell is that?” is good. Sci-fi, fantasy, horror. As the co-head writer of Robot Chicken, I pitched so many sketches that made the writer’s room go “what’s wrong with you?” and I’m like “I dunno, this weird sh*t is what keeps me from being bored.”
What do you think people will enjoy most about Devil May Care?
I’m really proud of how Hell works and why. I hope people watch the show and keep saying “of course!” This is a Hell we can all get behind.
Devil May Care premieres tonight (Saturday, Feb. 6) during the TZGZ block at midnight EST.