Four episodes of the new Comedy Central show Ugly Americans have now aired. Everyone who has seen it has their own opinion…and here’s ours!
The concept behind Ugly Americans is great: picture New York in an alternate reality, where creatures like demons, zombies, and various other monsters inhabit the city and interact with each other on a daily basis. The show focuses on Mark, an employee at The Department of Integration, similar to a job search program for people down on their luck or in legal trouble. His room mate is a zombie, his boss is a succubus, his co-worker is an alcoholic magician, and the boss of the whole place is a demon. The description of the show alone is enough to make you immediately like it!
Aside from the wildly diverse cast, the first thing you notice about Ugly Americans is the animation style. Animated by Augenblick Studios, Ugly Americans continues the visual style of other shows they have done, including Superjail! and, less notably, Wonder Showzen. Here, the artwork and animation appear more refined, more detailed, and less sketchy. Hard lines are slightly softer than in their other shows, and the overal visual style isn’t quite as grimy-looking. The character designs on the various creatures inhabiting the city are great, with some extremely creative ideas appearing throughout each scene. Facial expressions on all the characters is top notch, and the voice actors portraying them have been cast almost perfectly. I don’t know if the voice actors were cast prior to the final design of the major characters, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their looks were individually tailored to better fit the voices. The script is fast paced and witty, with more than a passing resemblence to Mission Hill in overall tone.
The show deals with some fairly adult subjects, but everything is presented with a slapstick-style approach. Nothing seems to surprise the inhabitants of this alternate New York, which allows all sorts of insane stuff to be presented as daily happenings. I can’t really figure out why, but something about this show just gets under your skin and won’t leave your thoughts. The visual style, the music, the humor…it all works together flawlessly.
There isn’t an overreaching story arc that persists throughout the series…at least, not so far. Each episode is mostly self-contained; you could easily pick this series up starting with any episode. You wouldn’t even have to watch them in order! I’m not sure how much could be done with this show before it begins to burn out, but its flame is going to burn quite brightly for at least a little while. Based on the wikipedia page (linked at the top of this article), Comedy Central has initially signed a contract for only 7 episodes. If the response I’ve seen on Facebook is any indication though, it’s gaining in popularity with each new episode aired. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets renewed for more episodes…or at least, I hope it does
Ugly Americans airs in the United States on Comedy Central at 10:30 PM, EST. It’s a really great show, one that I highly recommend you check out if you can.