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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ugly Americans enjoys a "Wet Hot Demonic Summer"

Ugly Americans 1     This week finds the return of Comedy Central's Ugly Americans with "Wet Hot Demonic Summer." Presumably, the title is a parody of the film Wet Hot American Summer, but without having seen the film, it's hard to know how much of the episode is, too. The demons want to wipe out the wizards, who are heaving a convention. Knowing Mark's (Matt Oberg) connection to Leonard (Randy Pearlstein), a wizard he shares an office with, Twayne (Michael-Leon Wooley) tricks Mark into thinking he is running a summer camp near the wizard meet. When Mark goes to get a signature from Leonard for a census form, Twayne and the demons invade the conference. But so does Grimes (Larry Murphy) with his new bear clan. Chaos ensues. Meanwhile, Mark's roommate, Randall (Kurt Metzger), leads the other camp counselors to dig below the grounds in an abandoned silver mine.


     This animated series about a social worker helping supernatural beings and ugly monsters integrate into New York City is hilarious, and taking the action into the country doesn't hurt it at all. The voice actors are talented, and the jokes are funny. For instance, when Mark's demon girlfriend, Callie (Natasha Leggero) takes off her bikini, another, smaller one, is revealed underneath. And when Randall and the others get trapped underground, they vow to eat weepy koala Doug, a plan they decide to continue even after Doug digs them out. Using a zombie as main character lets the writers go for such dark humor.

     At the wizard convention, Leonard is supposed to be handing over his reigns to an apprentice, who is a very clear knock off of Harry Potter. But true to character, Leonard is too lazy to spend fifty years actually training his replacement, so he picks him up at the Chinese restaurant when Leonard dumped him with only days before the transition. The joke is on Leonard, though, as failing to have a suitable apprentice means another five hundred years of work for him. If only Leonard had thought about the consequences.

     Mark is a great straight man to the bunch of misfits, though the fact that he is dating a demon gives him a little depth, and keeps him from being boring. His upbeat attitude is what drives the show, when everyone around him would rather be apathetic. Mark comes off as a bit annoying as he urges others to get into the spirit of camp, but it shows his loyalty that he would bring some of the beings he helps in his job and his roommate out to join the fun. He is a nice, naive guy, something needed in such a zany, offbeat comedy.
     Be sure to watch Ugly Americans Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.

     If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter!

     Buy Ugly Americans Volume One on DVD.

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