PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

October 1, 2007

Aliens Among Us (Well, at Least One)

Filed under: Entertainment,TV — CPav @ 10:47 am
Tags: , ,

Happy Monday, gang. I just dashed over to PavCo headquarters (virtually speaking, of course) on my lunch hour to let you know that one of my favorite pilots is premiering tonight, with a couple of huge caveats:

Aliens in America is launching tonight on CW at 7:30, following the second season debut of Everybody Hates Chris. The show centers on Justin (Dan Byrd), a nerdy outcast of a Wisconsin high school student with a quirky dad, Gary (Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls — More on him in a minute); a driven mom, Franny (Amy Pietz, Caroline in the City); and a popular sister. In an effort to make Justin’s lot in life a little less bleak, Franny and Gary (mostly Franny — Gary’s in it for the money) sign up to host a foreign exchange student, thinking they’ll get the Nordic track star that’s pictured on the brochures, and Justin will become instantly more popular by association. Imagine their surprise when instead they get Raja (Adhir Kalyan), a Pakistani Muslim.

The show is snarky and satirical, as the small town displays and deals with its prejudices (mostly displaying, not so much dealing) and preconceptions. There are a number of cringeworthy moments, and a few laugh out loud ones. I was charmed by the pilot, especially by Amy Pietz, who’s long been a favorite. And for any of us who have been dumbstruck by the thought of a pretty girl in close proximity, Raja’s reaction to Justin’s sister is real and maybe a bit close to home.

Now the caveats:

Since the pilot I saw was made, the role of Gary has been recast with Scott Patterson, definitely a different physical type than the original actor, Patrick Breen. And, according to USA Today’s review, the balance of the family is thrown off somewhat, but there’s potential.

Also according to USA Today, the second episode of the series goes swiftly downhill in terms of subject matter and execution. So the real litmus test will be on October 15, when the third episode airs and we see which of the first two will be the true indicator of the series. But the premiere, at least the one I saw, is not to be missed.

Also premiering tonight are the other CW Monday shows, Girlfriends and The Game, neither of which I am in any position to comment on.

I’ll be back tonight with the rest of the week’s premieres, including my favorite new show of the Fall.

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