Throwback Thursday: Ugly Americans ‘Pilot’


Spoilers Below

Guys, as a nerd, I enjoy a multitude of different genres ranging from horror to science fiction. So when all of the things I enjoy gets thrown into a pot, heated to boiling, stirred and then served to me in a steaming bread bowl of originality I take a spoonful and say “ah, Ugly Americans.” The show, which I regret to say was recently cancelled over at Comedy Central (I guess Daniel Tosh needed more airtime,) follows the story of New York City social worker Mark Lilly, as he tries his best to help supernatural beings adjust to life in the Big Apple.

You’d think this would have “crappy drama show on the WB’ written all over it, but what we have here is a witty, offbeat show filled with demons, monsters, ghosts, and all kinds of crazy characters that seem to have come out of a bad acid trip. The animation lends itself well to the overarching story. The colors are drained of any sort of vibrancy which is great because Mark is dating a succubus and we all know what those things do, right guys?

I chose the pilot episode of Ugly Americans for this week’s Throwback because I wanted to rediscover what I liked about the show in the first place. Like I said, it’s a mish-mosh of all the things I enjoy. Mark is an everyman working for the city of New York, he has a best friend who is a zombie, his girlfriend is a life draining demon with daddy issues (daddy is a head demon with ripped abs,) and each week they find themselves trying to make sense of the mystical world they inhabit.

Basically the plot sets up the show. We delve into the world Mark inhabits. Regular folks and monsters live side by side while Mark helps new supernatural people at the Department of Integration. He has sex with Callie, the demon, who is his boss. His zombie roommate experiences girl problems (and probably performance issues. But maybe not since he’s always…stiff! HA!) And the potential cutbacks looming for the Department. Add this to the fact that Callie wants Mark to meet her father in hell, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good idea about where this show is going.

Overall, I enjoyed this series but didn’t get much of a chance to watch it when it originally aired. The shows I did watch were very well scripted and kept with the spirit of the pilot. Each week we were treated to a new set of problems for Mark as a new creature finds adjusting to life in New York very difficult. The animation is what really drove me to this show and the writing kept me wanting more. It’s a shame this show got the boot, but we’ll always have reruns to keep us company.

6 out of 10.