A group of aliens has come to Earth to learn about its population, customs, etc. To avoid detection, they have taken on human form which gives them human emotions, physical needs etc. WITHOUT the understanding of what they mean or the inhibitions normally present in humans. Their leader takes the position of a college professor, their military expert as his sister, their intelligence expert, supposedly oldest of group takes form of his teenage son. The uninhibited reactions turn everyday events into unusual situations. Written by
Jim Brawn <email@example.com>
One of John Lithgow's reasons for doing this television series was to allow him a "family friendly" work schedule which he was unable to manage in theatre with 8pm curtain and motion pictures, which require location shooting. Lithgow wanted to be at home with his family and 3rd Rock gave him that. See more »
My remorse at not discovering this wonderful comedy before its syndication origins last fall cannot be matched. I didn't even find the show as enjoyable at first as I do now until a time later still, when I unearthed the roots of the plot and actually comprehended the inside jokes. I find this a phenomenal, unique show, a refreshing touch amidst an enormous accumulation of 'single-people-in-the-city' comedies (although some of these are worthy amongst themselves). I love the ingenious concept of providing insights of human culture, civilization, and particularly behavior in such a comical, hilarious method. Bizarre components of humanity I would never have noticed are cleverly pointed out in this terrific series!
The entire cast does an outstanding acting job, each performer portraying their character as vividly and illustriously as possible. From the moment I was introduced to Dick, Tommy, Sally, and Harry, I fell in love with them - each one is so comical and likeable, their separate characteristics distinctly shown, yet their vulnerability blends them in so closely.
John Lithgow does a brilliant depiction of the hopelessly gullible and seriously self-centered Dick Solomon. His emphatic, articulate voice and precise comic timing are simply excellent. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as my favourite character, the charming Tommy, is just as equally talented. The notion of having the oldest, wisest alien reduced to a teenager is hilarious. His intelligence, quirks, and constant snappy wisecracks are marvelous.
Kristen Johnston as Sally is an absolute scream. Though not as conceited as Dick, she is very advantageous of her outrageously attractive self, and boisterously so. Mini-skirts look terrible on a tall, leggy person, but Sally doesn't seem to think so! Finally there's oddball Harry (French Stewart), who contributes more than is necessary to his share of 'stupid humour' on the show, but his part is very cunningly scripted and acted, making him flat-out hilarious rather than just stupid and senseless. His nearly-closed eyes, those incompatible, goofy patterned clothes (furry jacket!), and that voice, oh, classic.
The amusing supporting characters are nothing to sneeze at either. Deadpan Jane Curtin as the neurotic Mary, Simbi Khali as Nina, with her humorous keen remarks, the deliciously funny Elmarie Wendel as the eccentric, lustful old lady Dubcek (`Italian gentleman. very nice.'), and Wayne Knight as Officer Don, he cracks me up with his chubby figure and inability to yield to Sally's charms! The assortment of dim-witted students in Dick's physics class are great too: idiots Pitman, Bug, and especially Leon, and the chatty Caryn, are always funny.
Interestingly enough, 3rd Rock has featured a collection of very impressive guest stars over the years - Kathy Bates, William Shatner, Michael Hasselhoff, John Cleese (don't miss his episodes!), and many colourful others.
The script is sincerely superb, each episode providing fresh new laughs, renewing old ones and an intriguing scenario. In a way it is less a modernistic sitcom-type show than a comic book put to life. It's the subtle, clever jokes that make me believe this. Meanwhile, 3rd Rock is chock-full of various jokes and gags ranging from clever satire, dirty humour, sarcasm and wit, and other forms of amusement that don't need classification.
Kudos to everyone involved in this fabulous, hilarious production, and let's hope for many more glorious seasons!
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