Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Alien to Aliens In America

I am watching Aliens in America for the first time. Usually, I am wrapped up in the never-ending drama of Prison Break on Monday nights. Thanks to baseball, I am killing time on the CW.

This show is a one trick pony, but the pony is kind of funny. The premise in one sentence: A Muslim foreign exchange student comes to live with a traditional family in a small Wisconsin town and befriends their teenage son.

As you can guess, every joke is rooted in the "comedy" of American stereotypes. For instance, when the family's daughter Claire tries out for the cheerlading squad (Nice local touch with the team being the Muskies BTW) she is denied because the captain doesn't want the squad to "...look soft on terror." Like Borat, the humor is focused at stereotypical Americans as opposed to the exchange student, who is usually the moral compass. I get it, but you can't build a long-lasting sitcom off of it.

There are a few redeeming factors to AiA though.

  • Amy Pietz, (Caroline in the City) plays the Mom, Franny. Pietz is from Wisconsin and her accent is convincing without being heavy-handed.
  • Scott Patterson, (Gilmore Girls) is dad, Gary. I wish the writing was as snappy as GG, but it's just nice to see him keeping busy.
  • Small-screen fresh face Dan Byrd plays Justin, the aforementioned teenage son. Byrd's dialogue is witty and familiar. It seems like he'd be friends with everyone. Plus he's got a charming baby-face, even at 21.
I'd love to say I'd watch Aliens in America again, but it will never win in a fight against Prison Break. (They have shanks!) But for those you not addicted to all things Michael Scofield, you should give it a chance.