Space Ramblings

Ugly Americans

Rarely has a show with a promising premise been botched as badly. The concept, aliens, monsters and creatures of all kinds are among the immigrants lining up to get into the United States and New York City. Rendered in a cartoon, you get a cruder version of what Futurama tried to deliver on in its first few episodes, but then gave up on.

So what’s the problem? A main character who takes every twenty-something slacker working in an office stereotype and lobotomizes them. The difference between Archer and Ugly Americans, is that Archer knows Archer is a moron and builds itself around that, Ugly Americans thinks its main character is great and the only sane person around. Ugly Americans might have been funny, if it understood that its most human character is actually its ugliest. But instead it gives into politically correct impulses, using him to teach the unseen audience lessons about getting along with werewolves and monsters.

The last thing you want in a cartoon not aimed at four year olds is preachiness, and the last character you want to be preached at by, is an even more annoying version of Jim from The Office, who looks and sounds like he’s taking a break from a commercial from Bud Lite. And that’s a shame, because the supplementary characters in Ugly Americans aren’t bad. The art is weak, but it passes. What doesn’t pass is the pandering.

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