The series, Resident Alien, premiered last week on Syfy and we received our first full look at the Dark Horse comic adaptation. We’re introduced to Harry Vanderspeigle, an extraterrestrial who crash lands on Earth while on a mission to destroy the planet. After successfully disguising himself to fit in, he is asked to help with a murder investigation of a small town’s only doctor. This puts him into close contact with the people of Patience, Colorado and he becomes more familiar with human ways.
Showrunner, Chris Sheridan, is a former writer and producer for Family Guy and you can see the influence of the animated series in Resident Alien. Much of the humor is low brow and broish when it comes to Harry whether it’s when he performs a pelvic exam to his overall poor bedside manner.
It was mentioned in the previous review, but the Harry and Max relationship is still a bit irksome. It could have a different feel in animation with the cartoony aesthetic, but is harder to pull off in live-action. At least the murderous intent is toned down in the end of “Homesick”. It seems more playful when the pair are only hated enemies rather than when Vanderspeigle tries to kill a young child, the only person who sees his true form.
However, Sheridan’s experience in Quahog does help him create an endearing cast of characters in Patience. Corey Reynold’s Sheriff Thompson continues to steal every scene he is in with his exaggerated performance while Elizabeth Bowen brings a subtle comedic touch with Deputy Sheriff Baker. She also adds some heart when Baker is the only one to entertain Max’s alien accusations.
With Harry’s occupation as a doctor, it makes it easier to introduce Patience’s citizens including the promiscuous Judy Cooper; the one who needed the previously discussed pelvic exam. Actress, Jenna Lamia, develops a fun frenemy vibe with the town’s bartender, and possible Harry love interest, D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund). The pair can exchange biting barbs and quickly transition to pleasantries with such ease.
Other than Harry, Asta Twelvetress is the person developed the most in Resident Alien so far. Sara Tomko has brought the emotional weight these past episodes as she manages the loss of Dr. Sam Hodges. You really feel how much he meant to Asta through the flashbacks and her cultural means of mourning him. Now she’s turning to the new doctor to fill that void and despite fighting it, he is up to the task. Harry is already changing himself to accommodate other people’s feelings and we’ll see how else the people of Patience change his heart.
Though there is no progress on the murder mystery, “Homesick” is bookended by some intriguing developments regarding Harry’s plan. We gain more insight into the device he is so desperately searching for and what kind of space age properties it might have. Also, him finding traces of it helps alleviate some of his homesickness since it’s something that ties him to his home world. But, we are left with the question if someone found the device before him.
The second episode of Resident Alien improves on the premiere by developing the entertaining residents of Patience and leaving us with a titillating cliffhanger with regards to Harry’s device.
New episodes of Resident Alien air Wednesday nights on Syfy.
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