TV show ‘Resident Alien’ is new this year from Sci-fi. The premise concerns an alien who crashes to Earth in a remote Colorado mountain town and assumes the identity of the town doctor.
The TV show on the surface is a wacky comedy-drama about an alien trying to pass as human and engaging in a variety of ridiculous endeavours, including a war with a 9 year old who sees through his from. However, beneath the surface are a number of discussions about adoption, Native American experiences, toxic relationships and abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and the damage of lost dreams. All of this seems to fit within the scope of a small town and a dramedy, but the depth of consequence is sustained and examined in a very thought provoking manner.
BIG SPOILERS: The other massive story plot point is "Harry’s" (the alien) original intention, which is to destroy Earth. The first half of the series centers around his need to find the item that will allow him to do this. An expectation is set forward that perhaps he will change his mind due to his relationships with the people of the town. However, it is revealed that Harry’s people have visited Earth for thousands of years, and the decision to wipe out humanity is in response to the degradation they have caused the Earth and the potential consequences of our refusal to make the changes the Earth needs. This framing poses the question about the right of life, the impact of choices and the issue that humankind will eventually need to face the consequences of inaction (although maybe not from alien threats!).
QUESTION (Safe to read again): The moral questions being raised in the show are not simple, and the show is not offering easy, quick solutions, but rather examining the deeper impact of being trapped in toxic cycles and the roll on effect of consequences from choices. Once the show has finished I think it would be an interesting case study to explore the use of dramedy genres to raise important questions, and to evaluate the complexity of the moral decisions being raised that face humankind today (and with this the consequences of continued inaction).
Just to address the suggested Revision - I think it is important to not only look at texts from a structural (functional) perspective - this indeed has value, but I don't believe Resident Alien is actually innovating in the approaches to TV elements. Rather it is the choice of a very traditional approach to tropes and concepts but is actually addressing the issues rather than the usual "just a joke" approach of sit-coms.
However, if someone wanted to delve into the stylistic choices they could but that would be a different topic. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood2 months ago
Oooh, I love a good moral dilemma! Nice topic! – Stephanie M.4 weeks ago