Aliens in America (TV Series 2007–2008) Poster

(2007–2008)

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8/10
Quite a Surprising Show! It's good!!!!
Syl7 October 2007
Okay, Aliens in America is not the greatest show but it is the first show that features the average white American family who invites a foreign exchange student to come and stay with them in America. What they don't know is that he is a Pakistani Muslim. At first, there are some moments where the mother (played by the under-rated Amy Pietz from Caroline in the City) who is really good in this role blows the lid when she sees her nerdy son and the student praying to Mecca. She's terrified of him becoming Muslim so she arranges him to go back to Islamabad. When she finds out that he's an orphan, she changes her mind because instead of referring him as that boy. He became a human being to her. The boy's sister has a relationship with an African American student and football player. Despite the low key beginning, I hope people do turn in with an open mind to the show because we need to educate ourselves about others who are different.
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10/10
Excellent Comedy sadly canceled
Usman Ismail20 September 2008
As a Pakistani Muslim I saw a lot of stereotypes and anachronisms in Raja (Most Pakistani's watch a lot of American movies and TV shows so are not as clueless as Raja) however despite this the show exactly portrays the feelings of a lot of Muslims around the world. Right now to every westerner, Muslim equals terrorist (The episode when Raja is introduced to Justin's class). For the vast majority of us the only link to terrorism is watching news reports of it on BBC and CNN. As Justin finds out Pakistani Muslims may be very different from the average American but they also have a lot in common with each other.

--Usman
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10/10
Excellent, Timely!
Cordelia Carey2 October 2007
This show is really ahead of its time. It humanizes Muslims, exposing stereotypes of Muslims and also of racism in general. I think it's clear that the producers don't have a huge budget, but I think they have done an excellent job with what's available, and I really hope that this show survives and grows in popularity. It's interesting to watch and is very funny. All of the characters do a good job acting, and I think most people can relate to Justin, the main character, who is suffering from being teased in high school. He is very human. So when he begins to accept and befriend a Muslim, and they both grow to understand and care about one another, it gives a very powerful message.
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8/10
Enjoy!!
liamkincaid2523 October 2007
For Gods sake enjoy the COMEDY!!! This show is hilarious.No nudism ,No gross sex, No violence and teach you something about a culture that most people know nothing about.If you want a good laugh try this show.Compare it to others.Right now is violence.Sci-fiction.Vein slashing dramas.We need something light to relax.We need to remember our high school years.We need to remember our adventures as youngsters.This shows bring those memories back. The actors play their part nicely.Where does the mother from Justin comes from? ...man she is HOT! I hope they do not cancel this program. They are the most funny 30 min of my week which I can share with everyone at home.
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7/10
Finally something that's real in this world
secret000918 April 2008
Although I have to admit it's not the best show i've ever seen, it's quite good. It's basically about mixing cultures, Muslims from Pakistan and the 'all American family' from where else? THE USA.

I was a bit worried when i saw this show on cable, because i was sure it was provoking Muslims. Being a Muslim myself, I know about discrimination and racism, although I haven't experienced it myself. i quickly changed the station but then in my free time i began watching it online. IT doesn't make fun of the religion, but it shows you the views of the American family and his peers.

I was also intrigued by the main character. He's not A popular jock...or a high school cheerleader...but instead like many of us, an outcast. Maybe we aren't as geeky as him, but i can definitely relate to being a little weird or awkward at times. The family is pretty normal. The dad is a bit different from the mom; opposites attract! And the sister (we all know her from Ned's declassified)plays a normal teenage girl, unlike her brother fitting it.

I recommend it if you want a quick 20 minute laugh!
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10/10
Best new comedy in 2007/2008 season
pinkas-210 October 2008
2007/2008 will be remembered for very boring new shows; "Aliens In America" was probably the only glimpse of hope in a very dry year.

Comparing this wonderful show to the ongoing "Little Mosque In The Prairie" would be a mistake. "Little.." is a rather bland, predictable comedy, very much in the 80's style.

"Aliens.." however had it all: Topical issues, sharp humour, superb writing, dream cast and high production levels. and above all it was the funniest show on television. It is a must see.

It is regrettable and sad that CW has chosen to end the one show that really brought home a devoted and cheerful audience. Shame on them!
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10/10
two thumbs up!!
fariha hasan11 December 2007
well its one of the best shows i have seen so far on TV. the type of show i can see with all my family members, without being embarrassed.i particularly like the role of "Raja" from Pakistan, because he is funny, and doing his role very well. the show is beautifully portraying a typical American family with good moral values and bonds with each other as well as outsiders.comedy and acting is pretty good.it is really good to see that people here in US are coming up with unique and more liberal ideas about things & people different from them. so people, please watch this show if you want to see television with your kids and parents without worries about sex and violence in shows.no racial games just wholesome family entertainment.its definitely one of my favorite shows on TV. and i hope it continues to be so....
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10/10
Its not racist, but enjoyable
r_sattar200324 December 2007
I hear every one calling this show racist, its not. I am a Pakistani Muslim boy and know Raja is good example of one,peace loving and smart. Keep in mind Raja is Indian name. Raja describes a Pakistani boy that comes from a family that is quite poor whose dream is for Raja to go to America. The clothes he is wearing is usually worn by poor Pakistanis since it is very cheap, i wear the same clothes occasionally but Raja wears them all the time which is done by a certain amount Pakistanis. This show is good comedy, i find it even more funny since some of the things Raja says or does i can understand. I like the message this show is giving "whats so funny about peace,love and understanding". Also the real thing this show is telling us is about the ignorance of the Americans(no offense) since hardly any body knows that Pakistan exists.
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9/10
Brilliant and Overlooked
lglagro8 March 2008
This show is one of the best shows that I have come across in recent years. However, I am afraid Aliens in America, much like the other great shows (Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, etc.) will have an early death due to low ratings (while Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Girls Next Door continue to live). If you have any interest in checking this show out, please do, you will certainly not be disappointed with it's smart comedy and extremely original ideas. I will also add that although it may take place in high school about a nerd, it does not feel too much like a teen comedy and feels much more like a Judd Apatow film, but clean enough to be aired on television.
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The best new comedy of the fall 2007 TV season - far better than The CW is normally capable of
liquidcelluloid-17 September 2008
Network: The CW; Genre: Comedy; Content Rating: TV-PG (some adult content); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (1 season)

"Aliens in America" is not what the CW might make it look like. It is so, so much better. The basic network-pitch premise finds an average Caucasian middle-American family, The Tolcheks, taking in a foreign exchange student and devout Muslm, Raja (Adhir Kalyan), for some culture clash comedy and no doubt a Hollywood education about the peace-loving religion of Islam vs. the vile, materialistic west.

While Raja does more often than not suffer from the kind of straight-man syndrome that handicaps many characters in the name of political correctness, the titular aliens of the series are actually the outsiders in high school - cast by the series as a fascist place of cliques, living clichés, ignorance of all kinds and general unfairness that sees no difference between Raja and self-proclaimed dork Justin Tolchuck (Dan Byrd, "The Hills Have Eyes"). And there in lies the genius rub of "Aliens in America", which actually turns out to be an insightful, well-acted, smartly written and refreshingly honest satire of contemporary high school and family life. Surprise!

Created by David Guarascio and Moses Port, "Aliens" is dead on in so many ways. Like a distant, more mature cousin Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle", in that it successfully manages to chronicle what it's like to grow up a young male in high school. It reminded me of how much artificiality we put up with on TV and how rare it is too see a high school show that appears to have been written by someone who actually did go to high school. Some of the topics are a bit racy without calling attention to itself, yet clever enough to pass as family entertainment. Justin's adventures are frequently tangles with social and personal humiliation. Byrd's narration is one of the best on TV in recent memory. It recalls "Dead Like Me" in that instead of simply having a character summarize the action or catch us up, Justin's is an opportunity for some of the show's best one-liners, insights and story expanding detours. It is one of the show's greatest achievements.

The Tolchecks befriend a sex offender next door, Raja tries to put together an explicit pro-abstinence float in a school parade and Mom joins a radical group of mothers to wipes the smut out of the school's reading list. Mom, by the way, is played by Amy Pierez and in the show's funniest performance she sports the world's thickest Minnesotan "don't ya know" accent and spastically throws herself around in a full-body comic frenzy. Watch her eyes almost cross in a few scenes.

The show is imaginative. Dad bough a herd of Alpacas in a get rich quick scheme. Justin gets into a popularity contest when he is voted by Raja to die in the school's drunk driving skit. This last bit is actually a runner in the show's single season run: Raja wanting the best for Justin, but not knowing the high school social structure inadvertently putting him in an awkward social situation that breaks those social barriers of what you can and can't do. The results are hilarious and heart-warming.

Every single thing about it works. From the mechanics of the cast and the writing to the warmth and personality radiating off the screen. "Aliens in America" didn't last more than one season but that doesn't make it any less than the best new comedy of the 07/08 TV season. It is so much better than it's placement on The CW would suggest. And it's quick expulsion (a year after the classic "Veronica Mars") should pretty much prove. This is a great show, people. Do not miss it.

* * * * / 4
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10/10
Why are excellent new shows cancelled?
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews29 July 2009
This is one of the best series I've ever seen. It follows the Tolchucks, a typical American family, in an area of the US that is neither the most or the least open to non-Westerners. Justin, the son, is not terribly popular in high school, and the principal talks them into taking an exchange student, so that he can have at least one friend. It turns out that "from London" doesn't necessarily mean that he's Anglo-Saxon, and the program begets them the Muslim Raja, who is intelligent and speaks flawless English. This clash of cultures is part of the focus, but this actually explores an awful lot of relevant, important subjects, several of which are potentially provocative, and they are always handled respectfully, and without talking down to the viewer. The humor is almost invariably hilarious, and leaves the audience in stitches. There are numerous different types, including clever jokes and gags, social commentary, sharp satire and a little gross-out stuff. This is witty and memorable. There are some laughs based on humiliation and such, yes, however, it's far less than other recent teenage comedies, and it seldom dwells on it. While this can get twisted and, to an extent, "out there", it's usually still in good taste. The pacing is perfect, this never slows down any more than it ought to, so you get the emotional impact and the comedic timing without losing how jam-packed with material every of the 18 episodes of this is. It's brilliant from the very first moment. Although there are arguably a couple of repetitive plot ideas, every one of the stories are magnificent and memorable. The dialog is quotable, well-written and impeccably delivered. All of the acting performances are spot-on, including the guest stars. I'm not sure how many well-known TV names there are in the cast, apart from Pietz from Caroline in the City and Patterson of Gilmore Girls(that I haven't watched, I looked it up). The language is mild to nonexistent, sex is hinted at or referred to, and violence, even for the sake of being funny, is limited. I recommend this to anyone who can imagine they may enjoy this. 10/10
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8/10
Cool Show, Great Actors But Everything Is Wrong About Pakistan
entertainmentwhiz10 January 2014
I have been living in Pakistan, since my birth and after watching this show, I'm quite offended by what Americans think of Pakistanis, I don't really care whether it's a racist show or not, but the problem is, that everything about Pakistan in this show is wrong.Seriously, the creator should have visited Pakistan to look at it at least, or consult a Pakistani before making this show, asking about what their culture is like.

As for the sitcom, I love it.The acting is just so great, the way of showing that whether what class, race or religion you belong to, there's nothing funny about peace, love and understanding.Even Adhir Kalyan, the Indian actor who plays the Pakistani Raja does a good job too.And the mom (Amy Pietz) is amazing and the funnies character on the show.I guess The CW hates when we love them, that's why they canceled this show, damn you CW.

Now moving over, nothing is correct about Pakistan or Pakistanis.First of all, the skin color of Adhir Kalyab, it's dark brown, that's a very rare skin color that is of Pakistanis.Most Pakistanis are either light brown or fair skinned.The next is the accent, when Indians and Pakistanis speak English, they have quite different accents.Most Indian accents have a Hindi blend, whereas Pakistani accents have an American blend and those who can't speak English properly talk sluggishly and incorrectly.In one episode, I saw that Raja closes his eyes when a kissing scene occurs, Are you serious? A kissing scene?, That's way dumb no one in Pakistan would seem to care.Lastly, is the clothes that Raja wears, it's more Arabian than Pakistani.Even if he wore it here in Pakistan, he would be made fun of in schools, colleges e.t.c.

My point is that overall, it's a great show, that creators of this show should have done their homework on Pakistan before.And again, screw you CW for canceling it.
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10/10
One of A Kind
amusmeci16 August 2012
And that's along with the cancellation is very sad. If I begin to use words to describe this diamond among the rough it will be forever. One thing i didn't read around here is that I believe 50% of the series are those priceless facial expressions of Justin: unbearable to watch it without being torn apart out of laughing! Also if anyone has the chance to watch the french version they will be going nuts with the deep guttural voice they give to Paul, hilarious. And the episodes is full of epic moments: i.e. Paul chasing Raja chasing Justin chasing Claire all of them ignoring each other followers, and epic lines: "If that's true it was a lucky guess..." - and the appropriate face- priceless!
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8/10
Great show, only thing wrong was the network
zpeed-12 January 2010
A Pakistani foreign exchange comes to live with a family in Wisconsin. A comedy about teens in high school, friendship and general cultural clashes. There are some Christianity vs. Islam touches, however I do believe Dave Chappelle said it best that "America has to have an honest discourse with itself".

It has good actors and good writing, as you can tell by Dan Byrd moving on to another great show, "Cougar Town" not to Mention Lindsey Shaw to "Ten Things I Hate About You". I think that these are much better fits for these two actors however this show was a very good starting point for the two. Bringing in Amy Pietz was also a great move, I think of her as a combination of Fran Drescher (The Nanny) and Marisa Tomei. I've been a fan of hers ever since "Caroline in the City".

However, since it came out on the CW network, it would be tough to sell this to their audience. This is meant for an edgier network. This is typical of them, the same thing happened with Reaper, another great show that was cut short in it's prime. I do think it's still a good show, and should be a nice thing to kill a couple of days with. Eighteen (18) episodes at 30 minutes each is Nine (9) hours, so I also recommend this to marathon with friends, if you're up for it :)
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8/10
Sometime Not Funny and Not So Dramatic, But Fair Enough To wait the show and learning about "the different"
reza_pirates3 May 2008
Sometimes i feel its just a TV series with bad script and scenario, I'm taking about a view episodes after "pilot". The show like stuck nowhere, even the bad sitcom wouldn't be like this. But after the show break a couple month, i think this show grown up. Especially episode 14 and 15. Many scenes can make us realize, how the gap between the Muslim on raja side and the non Muslim on tolchuk family will shown any respect, family relation ship and forgetting or learn about "the terrorist are Muslim". Not people with Muslim description will or they are terrorists, so the issued on this show very clearly. I THINK THE SHOW MUST GO ON.
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7/10
Can Muslim = funny?
SnoopyStyle20 August 2013
Pakistani exchange student Raja (Adhir Kalyan) moves in with a Wisconsin family (Amy Pietz, Scott Patterson, Lindsey Shaw, Dan Byrd). This provides for some great comedic possibilities. However that well starts to run dry and they didn't make the transition to a traditional sitcom nicely. It's not surprising that it didn't make it pass its first season.

I like everybody. Maybe the problem was that they couldn't mix the seriousness of being Muslim in America with the cuteness of the traditional family sitcom. Maybe America was just not ready for a Muslim lead. Maybe the writing could be better.
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7/10
Sweet, smart and endearing
runamokprods1 August 2016
A sweet and endearingly quirky sitcom, made for the CW of all places.

It involved a small town American family reluctantly taking in a Muslim Pakistani exchange student, and how his presence affected their lives.

While that idea sounds trite, and the basis of a million obvious jokes, the writing and acting had a lot more heart, complexity and off-best intelligence than the premise would suggest. It reminded me of 'Freaks in Geeks' in the way it trafficked in clichés about the teen years, and yet also transcended them.

Not an earth-shaking or change your life show, but I rarely watch sit-coms, and found myself happily sticking through the 18 of these that were made in it's brief run.
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7/10
Amusing
sfloner6 November 2007
I agree that this show is amusing. I heard Terry Gross interview the writers on Fresh Air and it was a very amusing interview with clips of the show. I saw one episode and will be looking forward to seeing more. Hopefully it will not turn into "Saved By The Bell" or something similar when the writers and, more importantly, the advertisers get tired of portraying Americans as totally ignorant of any culture other than the mall culture for which they are familiar. I think it's important to convey how ignorance is part of all of our lives. On the other hand, if the characters don't grow and move ahead then this show will spin it's wheels in the sand and probably become as inane as "Saved By The Bell".....I know, I know "Saved" is wildly popular as I see countless people watching it while on the treadmill at the gym in the morning. These are ADULTS but I think they watch that show for the Baywatch Factor. But instead of big breasted babes in swimsuits it's nerdy, cute, and MORONIC high school kids that never get out of high school.
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1/10
Americas obsession with brown people
Mr. Maestro31 March 2014
Why does America have this obsession with chocolate brown people from India playing roles of middle eastern characters? Thinking also of Saeed in Lost and other characters in movies and series. We are not Brown !! And Raja is an Indian name ! Spoiled everything.

The plot is alright but these racial things spoils everything ! It's like a foreign aboriginal guy playing role of president George Washington.

Nothing much to say but beside these racial thing (in my opinion there are no race. Human is a race) this show could be good if there maybe where actual real Pakistanian guy playing role but the show is watchable.
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3/10
Entertaining and funny but still had a limited premise of which is why it got canceled quickly too.
Stebaer412 October 2015
It's no surprise that it got canceled because it had a limited premise both with the focus on Islam as well as how the Pakistani boy gets to see another country with a whole other meaning.

He and The Christian family that he stays with get to learn each others different ethnic back grounds and share them but this is still one very good example of how even this premise is very limited and of which is why it to no surprise had gotten canceled when it had and within a short span of time too.

Among the other examples of shows with limited premises because of there being 2 different ethnic backgrounds are as follows: Mr.T.and Tina;Bridget loves Bernie;Chicken Soup;and Brooklyn Bridge.

Truthfully,Stephen "Steve" G. Baer a.k.a. of Framingham,Ma.USA
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