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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Resident Alien is largely a quirky, dark comedy, but it does contain some positive themes around disparate characters connecting and finding common ground.
Positive Role Models
The series features a racially- and ethnically-diverse supporting cast, as well as characters who attempt to do the right thing in difficult situations.
Violence & Scariness
A man is attacked and killed by an alien. An apparent victim of domestic abuse displays cuts and bruises. Corpses and organs (as part of an autopsy) are shown often. References to murder, including a running joke about the titular alien needing to kill a child who can identify him, are frequent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters flirt in a bar. References to teenage pregnancy. An extended joke about feminine hygiene includes use of the words "vagina" and "douchebag."
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The middle finger gesture is used several times, including by a child. "S--t," "d--k," "bastard," "hell," "bitch, "douchebag," and "taint" are used.
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Products & Purchases
The show is based on a comic book series available for purchase.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and whiskey excessively in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Resident Alien is a comedy-drama series about an extraterrestrial trying to fit in among humans in a small Colorado town. The series stars an ethnically- and racially-diverse supporting cast of characters that, while generally flawed, possess some admirable qualities. Language includes the use of "s--t," "d--k," "bastard," "hell," "bitch," and "taint." Characters, including a child, "flip the bird." A character flirts in a bar, and another talks about her teenage pregnancy. A nude, male character is shown briefly, although his private parts are hidden from view.
The series contains some potentially unsettling scenes and imagery, including a man attacked and drowned by an alien, as well as an autopsy featuring plenty of human organs. There's also plenty of references to murder, including a running joke about the alien needing to eliminate a child that can identify him. There's also a character in a physically abusive relationship, who displays cuts and bruises on her face. A man also reveals a gun in his belt in a threatening manner. Characters drink beer and whiskey to the point of drunkenness.
Is It Any Good?
Countless TV series and films have utilized the fish-out-of-water premise, mining tons of comedic and dramatic mileage from characters trying to acclimate to unfamiliar environments. At first glance, Resident Alien's extraterrestrial-stuck-on-Earth story seems like another attempt to squeeze any remaining originality from the cliched conceit. But thanks to fantastic performances -- most notably Tudyk's thoughtful, nuanced turn as the titular foreigner -- this latest trip through well-trodden territory feels like a breath of fresh air.
Even when the series walks the tightrope with potentially tired jokes, like an alien consuming alcohol for the first time, Tudyk puts an unexpected spin on it. It doesn't hurt that the show isn't the straight comedy you might expect, but rather a bizarre blend of genres that continually surprise. One moment Resident Alien might evoke the folksy, quirky charm of Northern Exposure, before pivoting to a murder mystery, or taking an even darker, more mature turn. The unpredictable structure might not appeal to everyone, but again, Tudyk's excellent performance -- whether he's playing clueless doctor, armchair detective, loyal friend, or evil-doing E.T. -- is the common thread that'll keep you engaged regardless of where the wild plot takes you.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.