Review of the fantastic comedy series Resident Alien

“Intruder from space” / Resident Alien

Genre fantasy, comedy, comic series
Creator Chris Sheridan
Cast: Alan Tudyk (Dr. Harry Wenderspiegel), Sarah Tomko (Astra Twelve Trees), Corey Reynolds (Sheriff Mike Thompson), Alice Wetterlund (Darcy Bloom), Levi Filer (Mayor Ben Hawthorne), Judah Pren (Max Hawthorne), Linda Hamilton (General McCallister), etc.
Syfy channel
Release year 2021
Series 8
Site IMDb

The Resident Alien series is based on the Dark Horse Comics comic book of the same name, which has been released with varying success since 2012. Its authors Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse are in no hurry: in 9 years, only five small stories with four issues each have been published, in 2021 it should the sixth one will appear – Your Ride is Here. However, the Resident Alien series is connected with the original comic only by the name, the names of the characters and the general idea, everything else, including the characters of the characters, is radically different. It’s a completely different genre.

Each issue of the comic is a rather sad detective story in which an intelligent and well-read alien, hiding under the guise of Dr. Harry Wenderspiegel, plays the role of a kind of Poirot, unraveling complex criminal mysteries, but often refusing to condemn the people who committed the crime.

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The series is an absurd black comedy with a fantastic plot, in which the same “Dr. Harry Wenderspiegel” gets into various funny situations related to earthlings, and gets out of them in the most stupid way.

Harry from the series is an insensitive blockhead and often a complete jerk who gradually gets used to people; Comic book Harry is a compassionate aesthete, homesick, gradually becoming attached to others and amusing himself by solving detective mysteries. But both the comics and the series begin in exactly the same way.

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An alien ship sent to Earth on an important mission crashes in the central states of the United States. The ship’s commander, the alien Hah Re, ejects and, according to protocol, tries to get lost among the people. Hah Re can disguise himself as an earthling, and only one person in a million is able to see his true nature. Unfortunately, in the tiny town of Paytens in Colorado (in the comics, this is the East Coast, Washington), there is at least one such person. Hah Ryo pretends to be retired doctor Harry Wenderspiegel living in a remote house, but after a local doctor is killed in the town, he, at the request of the mayor, must “temporarily” take over his practice. Well, at the same time unravel this murder.

111Review of the fantastic comedy series

All. This is where the similarities between the comic and the series end. In the comics, the fake “Harry” did not commit any illegal acts on Earth, was always polite and extremely correct with the people around him, and was well versed in human medicine, the study of which he devoted his free time to. He wasn’t looking for his ship, and he wasn’t looking for a mission that didn’t involve mass destruction of entire species. In the series “Harry” treats patients on YouTube videos, cuts the truth right and left, not really caring about what hurts anyone, treats people down and constantly gets into a stupid position because of this.

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However, in such a cardinal change of genre and overall tone, there are even advantages. The filmmakers make good jokes, and sometimes on very sensitive topics. Moreover, it turns out they did not even go. Mostly. Well, Chris Sheridan, the creator of the Resident Alien series, has been doing edge-to-edge humor for 20 years, with his most famous work in the Family Guy series and Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story based on the show. So he definitely has experience, nominations for Primetime Emmy and BAFTA TV just don’t give.

However, no matter how funny Chris Sheridan’s jokes were, without the leading man, Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Serenity, Death at a Funeral, I, Robot, Doom Patrol), they would not have worked. It needed someone who looks and moves like it’s not of this world, and the creators of the series found him. Alan Tudyk is perfect for the role of Harry Wenderspiegel in this interpretation, moreover, he, by and large, draws the entire series on himself. Tudyk turns every appearance of Harry on the screen, every dialogue with him, into some incredibly funny and at the same time scary show – the perfect combination for black comedy.

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To be honest, the series itself is quite banal. His main idea – it is worth getting to know people better, and you will certainly become attached to them – has already been played out so many times in fantastic works that it is even somehow indecent. Plus, some storylines in the series look somehow too strained and far-fetched, such as the line of the same Darcy, who once participated in the Olympics, and now is obsessed with finding a partner and drinks too much; or the line of a sheriff’s deputy that the boss doesn’t appreciate. But the presence of Alan Tudyk and jokes with his participation suddenly pull the lost show to a very decent level. The 45-minute episodes are being swallowed one after the other, and honestly, you’re looking forward to next week to find out where “Harry” will take this time around.

So I wholeheartedly recommend Resident Alien to fans of black comedy and satirical sci-fi. But for connoisseurs of detective stories and social fiction, I would recommend the original Resident Alien comic. It does not complement the film, these are two separate, completely self-sufficient works.

Pros: Alan Tudyk and his facial expressions; really funny jokes on rather sensitive topics at times Cons: The series is fundamentally different from the comic book on which it is based; rather banal plot; somewhat far-fetched additional storylines

A good black comedy with a fantastic plot, pulled by Alan Tudyk and his unreal facial expressions

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