Review: Alien News Desk “Simultaneous Vortex Exit”

But what about Ancient Orleans?

Overview (Spoilers Below!)

Today, Drexx discusses the worst refugee crisis of our age: billionaires, who are so oppressed they need to build primitive spaceships flee into space to find peace. Tuva takes on the “gig economy,” describing the “total isolation and no job security” experienced by people who work for apps like Uber or Lyft. Drexx works in the gig economy with his countless jobs, including growing ears on his body to sell, and eating vintage coins so his digestive system can work off the rust.

In “Invade It or Avoid It,” Drexx and Tuva discuss New Orleans, a hub of culture that would be fun to destroy. However, New Orleans is hiding a dark secret: all its residents are ashamed to live there, hiding their faces behind masks. Drexx decides on invading it, but Tuva recommends avoiding it.

Tuva explains the concept of cultural appropriation, especially “chromeface,” a form of robot appropriation that hits home for her, in which humans “do the robots” and use Autotune to mock robot culture. Drexx then uses an autotuned microphone onscreen, claiming it’s a “loving tribute.” Tuva teaches us to “Be appropriate, don’t appropriate.” An ad recalls a product called “iVort,” warning about the dangerous possibility of “simultaneous vortex exit,” when two people try to teleport at the same time and fuse bodies.

Drexx discusses the epidemic of rude, irresponsible young men called “scumbags” who often can be found in spring break locations. They can be quarantined using a system called SCUBA, placed safely underwater where they can’t harass anyone—and could possibly get hurt or even die! Yay!

Drexx and Tuva call upon their field reporter to play “Where on the Earth is Plunx Gizbit?” A song plays displaying all the places on the planet he’s been. He gives a series of very obvious clues indicating Canada before he’s brutally killed in a wood chipper. So they play a preproduced video in memoriam saying they can’t be held liable (fortunately, they’re growing a clone called Qunx).

Drexx describes construction on the Jetta Tower in Saudi Arabia, soon to become the world’s tallest building—but it’s not as cool as Stonehenge. Neither is anything else in human history, for that matter.

Our Take

Some moments that made me blast off into space laughing:

  • “I don’t just hunt down the truth, I murder it and make love upon its pelt.”
  • “[Scumbags] are humans, fathers, husbands, brothers, boys, males.”
  • “A heartbreaking case of incurable blurry genitals”
  • “Even the buildings seem embarrassed to be” in New Orleans (they show a giant Mardi Gras mask decorating a railing)
  • Humans don’t need to appropriate robot culture—they have their own highly rich set of traditions (i.e. juggalos)
  • New Orleans is more popular than similar attractions Old Orleans and Today-times Orleans
  • The St. Louis arch is the first wicket in a “continent-wide game of croquet”
  • If you give someone an under five-star rating on Uber or Lyft, they’re automatically branded a sex criminal
  • Tuva is horrified at the idea of a book made out of “the skin of dead trees”

Once again this week, the satire is sharp and on-point. Drexx and Tuva criticize the job insecurity and lack of living wage suffered by many Americans and the rudeness and entitlement of misogynistic young assholes, and they deliver a humorous but educational introduction to the topic of appropriation.

Some jokes don’t quite land—like when Drexx says he doesn’t know why certain members of the Trump family identify as Trumps when they’re quite obviously genetic Busseys (Bussis? Booseys? I just have no idea what this means). At times, the point the show is trying to make becomes muddled, like when they heavily condemn the gig economy—that many millennials are forced to participate in due to lack of steady jobs available—but then also mock the “disinterested millennial ingrate” who receives these services. Some moments are a little grating or overdone, such as Tuva’s use of “Yaaaaaaas.” And we’re making fun of spring break again, which is all good and fine—but didn’t this show already do that last week?

Other moments do land, not because they’re satirized in an interesting way, but because they’re just an interesting news story—such as the woman who threw away her ISIS costume and caused a bomb scare. That’s not comedy writing, that’s just hilarious non-fiction news reporting.

I was also not expecting this show to end up as gory as it is. The Plunx segment is very long (his intro song is pretty drawn-out for a 22-minute episode) only to end in a horrific accident that frankly made me uncomfortable. I get that this is adult TV, so anything goes, but Jesus. That’s more horrific than funny (although the hasty video explaining to viewers that Drexx and Tuva aren’t liable is pretty clever).

This episode uses a lot more gross or shock humor than its predecessors, but the laughs are still just as strong.

Bodie Shanis

Bodie is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. You can often find him in odd costumes, either because he's at an anime convention or performing in a musical. He's currently working on his first novel.

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