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Hercules Profiles CW’s
ALIENS IN AMERICA!!

Published at: Oct. 1, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!!
A sitcom with big laughs, a big heart and the insanely milfy Amy Pietz from writer-producers Moses Port & David Guarascio (“Mad About You,” “Just Shoot Me”), “Aliens in America” tells the tale of a nerdly Wisconsin high school outcast who finds his stock rising after his family hosts a good-natured and devout Muslim Pakistani exchange student. “Aliens” is paired with “Everybody Hates Chris” and airs opposite “Chuck,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Prison Break” and “Dancing With The Stars.” No one is going to watch it (because, I ask rhetorically, who doesn’t enjoy Mark Cuban doing the Rhumba?), but I do look forward to whatever Port & Guarascio conjure next, hopefully with Pietz in tow. Entertainment Weekly gives it a “B-plus” and says:
… two likable, unaffected actors (or at least as unaffected as Aliens' heightened reality allows them to be; this show would be a mess in lesser hands). Along with the fellows of Chuck and Reaper, they are guys who just seem kinda...nice. It's a pleasure. …
USA Today gives it two stars (out of four) and says:
By all rights, you'd expect CW to cherish and nurture Aliens in America, a cross-cultural fish-out-of-water comedy that received a near-rapturous reception when it was first screened last spring. Since then, however, the show has been subjected to development "improvement" — changes that include a new star in tonight's premiere and, much worse, a shift in next week's second episode to the smarmy that makes one wonder whether the real out-of-touch aliens in America are sitcom writers. … What gives you hope for the long run are the heartfelt moments, from Justin's pain at being an outcast to Franny's transformation from bigot to loving mom. …
The New York Times says:
… fresh, funny and charming in a tart, sardonic way, one of the best sendups of adolescent angst since “The Wonder Years” and “Malcolm in the Middle” (and perhaps even “My So-Called Life”). …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… winning …
The Chicago Tribune says:
… not your typically brainless network sitcom. It's a topical, sharp comedy … The well-made, provocative comedy mixes the wistfulness of "The Wonder Years" with the prickly outsider humor of the CW's "Everybody Hates Chris," and as one perceptive Northside student noted, it also has elements of "Freaks and Geeks," …
The Washington Post says:
… despite plenty of surface sparkle, there is something discomforting about the show, and not just because it borrows tone and form from other sitcoms with youthful heroes, especially Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle." The show says not only that racism but also bullying, baiting, ignorance, homophobia and other social afflictions can be quite hilarious. Maybe up to a point -- but it's a point beyond which "Aliens in America" unfortunately seems willing to go. It's no fun to laugh and then feel guilty about it. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
Easily the funniest of the new broadcast network comedies … more than another series about a geek. It's a timely look at cultural differences and a timeless depiction of young friendship. It's that rare TV comedy with both humor and heart. …
The Boston Herald gives it an “A-minus” and says:
You’ve seen high school depicted as hell in everything from those John Hughes and Cameron Crowe teen films to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." But you’ve never seen its cruelties and heartbreaks so comically detailed as in The CW’s "Aliens in America," the biggest surprise of the fall season. … Of all the new fall shows, "Aliens in America" is the one worth protecting and nurturing. This culture clash deserves to be a smash. …
Boston Now says:
… easily the best new comedy of the season. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… reminds us in ways both satiric and sweet that it is possible to feel like an alien even if you don't belong … The "Aliens" pilot has some of the funniest writing on TV this fall. Its single-camera format makes it earn each laugh, which it does repeatedly. A second episode, also supplied to reviewers, dials back the humor considerably but loses none of the warmth and heart that makes this show so irresistible. … consistently clever and lively, well played and directed, its corners filled with nice throwaway lines and small visual jokes.
8:30 p.m. Monday. The CW.





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Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 1, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    "Someone said aliens, she

    by meatygoodness

    "Someone said aliens, she thought they said `illegal aliens' and signed up..."

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Fir...

    by OtisSpofford

    No, just can't.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 4:46 a.m. CST

    This year's Freaks & Geeks?

    by OtisSpofford

    One can always hope for some new Feig/Apatow-type crunchy goodness...

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Sounds good

    by mrfan

    Might check it out

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 5:44 a.m. CST

    It Does Sound Good

    by kevinwillis.net

    And of course mom is a bigot. Because parents are always bigots. Ooops, I mean white-bread American parents. But, fortunately, she will become enlightened and realize that Muslims are actually better than Americans, and that white people generally suck balls, and she'll start to hate herself. It'll be a laff riot!<br><br> Seriously, I haven't seen it, but it sounds great. Although the Pakistani Muslim sounds a little bit more like Fez from That 70s Show than a real devout Madrasa educated Death to the Infidel Muslim. Hah! I kid, I kid.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Meh. It's all about "Chuck" @ 8

    by Yeti

    And this sort of sounds like a watered down version of CBC's "Little Mosque on the Prarie"

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Heroes please

    by jimbojones123

    Thank you .

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    is this anything like angels in america?

    by newc0253

    except less with the gay?

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8:23 a.m. CST

    HERC!!! WHERE'S THE HEROES TB?

    by PROF IKAMONO

    ...sorry to go off-topic, but there's a bunch of us out there waiting for our usual weekly over examination of the current episode...

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Maybe Heroes after lunch???

    by jimbojones123

    Please!!!

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Will CHUCK be added to the weekly TB rundown.

    by jimbojones123

    Journeyman SUCKED, but Chuck was awesome.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Why not post at the same time as Heroes?

    by jimbojones123

    Will Heroes not be covered anymore? Will it go the way of GG and be an every 5/6 episodes thing? Didja forget.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Don't forget the greatness of INVESOTEXT

    by jimbojones123

    For the Heroes story tis week. Mkay.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    "Ok, stick with me for a second...

    by smackfu

    You know how everyone likes Fez from That 70's Show, right? Right? What if we make a show that's like...all Fez, all the time. ONLY, we don't have to get that Herve Villachez guy cause he'll ask for too much money, so instead we'll just get some unknown Pakistani guy, it doesn't matter how funny he is, as long as he's brown, talks with an accent and acts clueless it will be just as funny. Plus if we make him Muslim then we can also have a running moral in each story about how Muslims are really just human beings like us, and not all savage, suicide bombing murderers. Because for some reason, all us TV execs think this is some kind of fucking revelation that only we have figured out, and need to teach the retarded masses." - Aliens in America pitch meeting

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    smackfu

    by jimbojones123

    So, Borat with heart?

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST

    ... winning ...

    by tonagan

    Makes me curious as to what the rest of the review said...

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 9:49 a.m. CST

    can't wait

    by tme2nsb

    to watch it...I heard Chuck will repeat on Saturday again like it did this past week...so I can check out this show and still watch Chuck.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Okay Herc, I'll be back from lunch in 90 minutes.

    by jimbojones123

    My F5 key is begging for you to post the Heroes talkback. I want to discuss Maya and Miguel and how well they have transferred from childrens animation to the big time on Heroes. Thanks.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    tonagan: The rest of the review

    by chrth

    "This show was horrible, thus winning me the bet I made with my editor"

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    To the moron who hates Flight Of The Conchords..

    by tristeele

    Hey dumbshit.... You do know it got picked up for season 2 already right?

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Yes, just like Angels In America...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...in the end everyone dies of AIDS. Probably.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Who needs AICN. Just read "Enterainment Weekly"

    by C.K. Lamoo

    That's like the weekly Heroes fan magazine.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST

    COME ON!!!

    by jimbojones123

    GEEZ!!!

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST

    New Season --- Same Herc.

    by jimbojones123

    Good Gravy!!!

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Yobo....

    by Kevin

    Turdy shit? Goddamn, you are an idiot. Know I understand why you didn't enjoy it. Oh by the way, stay mysterious...jackass.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST

    this year's WHAT A COUNTRY!

    by Sir Loin

    With that one famous Russian guy, Veejay Armitraj, and a few others...somebody surely remembers that stinkbomb show. It usually follwed SHE'S THE SHERIFF.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 1:45 p.m. CST

    What the FUCK are these CUNTS talking about?

    by Son of Hades

    Seriously, this show is terrible. These critics are all talking shit.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    What a waste of a good Monday -- HEROES!!!!

    by jimbojones123

    Pretty Please Herc?

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Why couldn't they get the canadian show?

    by jccalhoun

    Seriously, if there's any way that the "creators" of this didn't see CBC's Little Mosque on the Prairie, I'll eat my hat... That's some creativity you got there CW...

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Aliens

    by The Real MiraJeff

    is solid family entertainment. Listen, no one's going to mistake this for The Office or Always Sunny or Curb. It's not that type of comedy. But there's a real sweetness in the writing and in the characters. I think Adhir Kalyan, who plays Raja, the Muslim exchange student, is going to break out with this role. He's got a great sense of comic timing and his chemistry with Dan Byrd is very natural. The pilot and the second episode are directed by Luke Greenfield who also mixed heart and humor successfully in The Girl Next Door. I think this one's going to be a really pleasant surprise. I know it's been garnering controversy but you have to appreciate the low-key show for what it is. The major networks seem to have gone out of their way to make the fall season Bigger and Better than ever, but high-concept, big-budget shows like Journeyman and Bionic Woman and to a lesser extent, Chuck, don't always work well. This one is a throwback to the sitcoms I grew up watching. It relies a little too much on the fish out of water scenario but overall the show plays like the Wonder Years in post-9/11 America.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    I am no burka watcher

    by borisF

    No way I am going to watch show about muslims unless they are killed in massive numbers.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST

    You know that show 'How I met your mother'

    by Bobo_Vision

    Its actually pretty funny. And Neil Patrick Harris rocks the party from the early morn' to the broad daylight. Afterwards I'll watch that Aliens in America show...I'll let you know what I think in a few minutes.

  • Oct. 1, 2007, 8 p.m. CST

    So I just watched the show...

    by Bobo_Vision

    ...and it was more of a drama than a sitcom...and it was really good - I liked it. A lot of the jokes were pretty risky, and it touches on a lot of topics you don't often see covered in a sitcom, so I'll keep watching. If it can continue to walk the right side of that line and explore the scenario without getting cheap, preachy, or offensive...this could be a real quality show...which means it will likely get cancelled.

  • Oct. 2, 2007, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Annie Spodero is MILFy now?

    by Napoleon Park

    so this means that her last series, the one with the southern stand-up comic, Doofy or Woodroy or whatever his/its name was, and the one before that, the Curse of Webber, are canceled? Because she was great as the other title character on Caroline and the Clitty.

  • Oct. 2, 2007, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Son of Hades

    by messi

    You swear like me cunt. that shit is trademarked so fuck off.

  • Oct. 2, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I swear like your cunt?

    by Son of Hades

    Goodness!

  • Oct. 2, 2007, 6:15 p.m. CST

    need a kung fu sitcom

    by todho

    maybe there is a market for a Kung Fu sitcom like the Burger King Spicy Chicken Crisp Chicken that advertises a sandwhich based on his own kind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfJeOyzVrjY