Zombies in the Mainstream-- Ugly Americans

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here. 

Despite having satellite television with several hundred channels, I often find myself watching the same shows over and over. It’s hard to break out of my routine of watching the same shows every day, week, and month. The last new television show I started watching was this past Fall’s premier of NBC’s Community, and I only started watching that because I am a huge fan of Joel McHale (the star) from his other show The Soup on E! Channel, a show which I have been watching for years.

But recently, a friend of mine recommended a new show that debuted on Comedy Central a few weeks ago-- Ugly Americans. The name doesn’t sound like much and, to be honest, unless she had specifically told me that it was a show made just for me (“Miranda, it has zombies!”), I probably would never have bothered watching it.

I was finally able to record and watch an episode, and it seems like it is a pretty cool show!

The basic plot revolves around an alternate reality world taking place mostly in New York City. Here, not only do regular humans live, but the world is populated with any sort of monster or sci-fi creature you can imagine-- werewolves, vampires, blobs, demons, and yes... zombies!

In fact, one of the main characters, Randall, is a zombie. Randall is the undead roommate to the main human character, Mark. (Mark is a social worker who helps integrate all the different creatures into lives as citizens.) The episode that I watched this week involved Randall and Mark taking a trip to New Jersey to visit Randall’s parents... parents who don’t know that he is a zombie. (Randall “went Zombie” to impress a girl. As he stated, “it is never a good idea to make life decisions with a hard on and a fifth of tequila.”)

In the world of this show, the people of Jersey are extremely prejudiced against zombies. While stopping at a local diner, signs on the wall state there are “No Brain Substitutions” in the meals, while outside “townie zombies” are ambling around moaning “brrraaiiinnns.” This type of behavior is ridiculous to a city guy, er zombie, like Randall. Locals enjoy such games as “Shoot the Zombie,” “Rip the Arm of the Zombie,” and “Zape,” which Randall claims you don’t want to know about.

As Randall and Mark arrive at his the parents’ home for a barbeque, Mark meets the family including Randall’s father who fought in the “Zombie War of ‘68,” this reality’s version of Vietnam. His father’s prized possession is a severed zombie finger he has mounted on the wall as a “kill” from the war. Mark soon learns the ‘rents don’t know their son is a Zombie! Hilarity ensues, but you’ll have to check the show out to see how it ends, as well as the side plots involving Mark’s Demon coworker/office fling, his dorky Wizard employee, and a dead mobster turned Blob!

Even though I’ve only caught just the one episode, this show seems like it will be pretty good. The subject matter is already an instant draw for me, and many horror fans will find it equally as entertaining since all the characters you know and love from classic films and genres are here! Oh, and by the way... did I mention it’s animated? The world definitely needs more good cartoons for adults! The writing seemed pretty good, and there were some nice jokes thrown into the mix and I often found myself really laughing out loud. However, I will caution that some of the jokes are a bit on the politically incorrect side, so if you are easily offended or touchy about certain things, just know that going in before you watch it. Although, there was nothing too out there or inappropriate, but a few rape jokes (or allusions to rape) and some ‘potty humor.’

I will definitely be setting my DVR to record this! According to the Wiki site, it was originally slated for 7 episodes, but hopefully it will get more or a second season. And I’m excited to see a show like this on the air. The horror genre is often treated like the “redheaded step child” in popular culture, films, and television. But more and more it is entering the mainstream in a way that many people can enjoy, even those who previously may not have been into monsters and zombies. And speaking of zombies, going all the way back to my first Zombie Thursday Blog... this is just more evidence that zombies are becoming an everyday thing in life. People are loving the z-culture! I’m still trying to figure out the reason, and when I do, I’m sure I’ll blog about it.

For the moment though, I will take this show as a victory for the zombie loving team!

Ugly Americans airs on Wednesday nights at 10:30 eastern/ 9:30 central immediately after South Park. So, go check it out! And since you have a week to wait before next week’s episode, check out this short clip--

Ugly AmericansWeds 10:30pm / 9:30c
Randall's Parents
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