“There’s been a lot of big swings on this show,” declares Chris Sheridan about “Resident Alien” in our recent webchat. He continues, “There are just ridiculous things that you do in this job. Every one of them was like, ‘are we kicked off the air after this?’ It does remind me a lot of early days on ‘Family Guy’ when you’re carving this path and don’t know if it’s going to be accepted. But there’s so many shows on the air, anything that we can do to make our show feel exciting and different, gives you confidence to keep doing weird stuff.’” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Resident Alien” explores an alien, assuming the identity of a doctor called Harry (Alan Tudyk) in a small town. He has the mission to destroy all humans on earth, but through meeting the people in the town, he starts to develop attachment for the human race.
Sheridan who has spent 20 years working on “Family Guy” created the series and explains, “if you take the reality out of a show like this then the emotional moments don’t feel as important. The stakes of Harry killing everyone are suddenly not important if the whole thing feels like a cartoon. The key to it all is grounding all the moments. You would think that it wouldn’t work with this alien who is so larger than life. But Harry has created this world on earth, where he is this man-child and doesn’t understand things. There’s so much comedy that can come out of that yet still feel grounded. He can hump a vending machine to get a to get a bag of chips. As crazy as that sounds, and as funny as it is to look at, it’s real in his life because he learnt it from watching a dog.”
In the second season on SyFy, the alien befriends an octopus, called number 42 (after the menu item he was). A heartfelt and hilarious scene involves the death of 42 after a dog attack. Sheridan reveals, “We couldn’t own the fact it was ridiculous. We had to pretend it was totally real and totally straight. Alan played it so perfect, his ad-libbed improv on the day, giving CPR by blowing into its butt. That was all Alan. Then when he was eating it, where he is sort of horrified but it tastes good. The whole thing came together great.”
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