Monday, October 1, 2007

The 200 Word Knee-jerk Review for the CW's Aliens in America

This was the critic's underdog darling heading into the new TV season? This was the show that Entertainment Weekly called "funny" and "surprisingly sweet"? Hey, if 30 minutes of an entirely unlikable cast is your glass of bourbon, then whatever. Dan Byrd and Adhir Kalyan are the central characters in this sorry farce that revolves around a Pakistani exchange student stuck in the middle of Middle America. There's an ignorant matriarch (Amy Pietz), a tightwad dad (Scott Patterson) and a breasty kid sister who are all played so over-the-top – well past satire or parody – to the point of incessant annoyance.

The premiere episode introduced "Raja" (Kalyan) to the family as an ostensible pawn towards upping the popularity of the awkward, gawky "Justin" (Byrd). When the family realizes that Raja isn't really from London (see, it was only his layover flight from Pakistan) they fight like hell to send him back. Most surprising, to me, was the mean-spirited vibe that enveloped every scene from the first episode. Really…what's funny about a room full of high school kids raising their hands in agreement with a classmate who is upset at Raja for "crashing those planes into those buildings"?

Verdict: One and done...

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