Resident Alien

TV review by
Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media
Resident Alien TV Poster Image
Quirky, funny genre mash-up has language, some violence.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

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. 


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. 


Characters flirt in a bar. References to teenage pregnancy. An extended joke about feminine hygiene includes use of the words "vagina" and "douchebag."



The middle finger gesture is used several times, including by a child. "S--t," "d--k," "bastard," "hell," "bitch, "douchebag," and "taint" are used. 



The show is based on a comic book series available for purchase. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer and whiskey excessively in a bar. 

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThankfulmom January 2, 2022


Very enjoyable for sci-fi fans. We watch it as a family with our 14 year old.
Adult Written bystst December 6, 2021
Kid, 12 years old March 27, 2021

Alien in town!

I love this show soooo much! So funny and entertaining! There are some sexual jokes but nothing serious at all, highly recommend :))
Teen, 14 years old Written byRomcomlover March 15, 2021

So funny!

I watch this with my 9 and 12 year-old siblings and we all love it. This show is hilarious, but keep in mind that some of the jokes are a little bit inappropria... Continue reading

What's the story?

RESIDENT ALIEN is based on a comic book series of the same name. It tells the story of an alien who's crashed his ship on Earth, while on a mission to wipe out the human race. This quickly leads to the extraterrestrial invader (Alan Tudyk) killing a local doctor and stealing his identity in an attempt to fit in among the quirky populace of a tiny Colorado mountain town. This premise takes the series in a number of narrative directions, borrowing from various genres and subgenres, including comedy, drama, science fiction, and mystery. 

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various characters in the small town. What are their professional roles in the town? What are their relationships like? How do their lives differ from people who live in large cities?

  • What human qualities does the alien possess? How does he relate to the humans? What circumstances make him empathetic toward the human characters?

  • How does the series use different genres to tell its story? What other series similarly blend different genres? What genres do you recognize in the series? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi comedy

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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