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‘Ugly Americans’ revolves around the world of Mark Lilly and his friends at the Department of Integration. Set in New York City, there are comedic-horror elements featured in the show that truly raises Goosebumps and is hilarious at the same time.
With a zombie roommate, demonic boss, magic wielding coworkers and a hot half human half-demon girlfriend, Mark Lilly has his work cut out for him. Each episode in Season One features a particular creature within the world of Ugly Americans, a show where even the creepiest creatures have the same problems as your average Joe.
Sometimes over the top, sometimes more subtle but always entertaining, Ugly Americans is the kind of show where each episode can work as a standalone. The success of the series seems to stem from packing each episode with solid plots and characters enough for a mere half hour show. It’s smart, hilarious, and adult without showing X-rated body parts, which just goes to show how hard the entire team of writers, directors and producers behind Ugly Americans work.
The production of Ugly Americans have refined their formula throughout the series. As a result, the majority of the better episodes are later in the first season. Devin Clark directed the second half of the episodes in Season One with various writers including executive producer Daniel Powell. Aaron Augenblick of Augenblick Studios directed the first few episodes of the first season.
Here are the Top Five Best Episodes so far:
5: Episode 1 “Pilot”
The first episode of Ugly Americans really starts off the series with a bang. In this episode, the tone of the entire first season is established, giving viewers a crash course on the changes being made at the Department of Integration. Mark Lilly (Matt Oberg) and his demonic face-shifting girlfriend Callie Maggotbone (Natasha Leggero), are some of the first characters that viewers meet as Mark goes about his day checking on his case files as a social worker at the Department of Integration.
Mark’s job is to make sure that each of the creatures in the world of Ugly Americans acclimates with living in a human society. It becomes obvious early on that this is a smart show that not only covers classic issues within contemporary culture, but also advances the comedic-horror genre past the standard ‘scary’ conventions. What the audience is left with from the first episode is a show that has creatures living out their lives with issues that are entirely familiar and hilarious to viewers.
4: Episode 12 “Trolling for Terror”
In a ‘movie within a movie’ sort of set up, Randall (Kurt Metzger) is in a reality show within the reality of Ugly Americans. A fan-favorite character, Randall is Mark’s screwball roommate who became a zombie to try and attract a girl. Randall and Mark have always been close despite their differences, i.e., Mark is alive and has a job while Randall wants to eat him and spends all his time doing seemingly useless but enjoyable things.
The “Trolling for Terror” episode is a spoof on current reality TV, as well as a vehicle for further proof that while you may enjoy what you see on television, you shouldn’t necessarily believe it. Mark not only accidentally signs away any privacy he has while he tries to help Randall out of a delicate situation, but is also stalked by the show’s producer at every hilarious turn of the episode to increase the ratings on the Night Terrors tv show.
3- Episode 3 “Demon Baby”
The “Demon Baby” episode is most memorable because of Mark’s demon boss Twayne Boneraper (Michael Wooley) and the extra thorny horned appendage that he grows out of his chest. Yes, there is in fact a deadbeat dad and a demonic just-born baby being sold in a seedy alleyway out the back of a van. Yes, you will likely see Twayne’s thorny horned appendage again in later episodes, but this is its first appearance.
The results of this demon baby’s mere existence however, is what sets off a chain of riotous events that culminates in Mark Lilly’s demon girlfriend Callie lactating fire and nearly becoming lost to Twayne Boneraper. The removal of Twayne’s thorny horned appendage with the help of Wizard co-worker Leonard Powers (Randy Pearlstein) is a scene that no man ever wants to see in real life.
2. Episode 14 “Man Birds”
This is perhaps the most memorable episode of Ugly Americans thus far. The Man Birds episode deals with creatures that repeat lewd phrases in bird language, have men’s torsos, with bird heads and wings.
This entire episode rings of familiarity with both human boxing and animal cage fights as human co-worker Francis Grimes (Larry Murphy) becomes embroiled in the Man Bird fights himself. The episode warps the concept of cock fighting and makes viewers wonder how the writers and producers got away with airing this episode.
Just skimming the edge of complete and total indecency, the Man Birds episode gets the second spot on this list because, while it is expertly written and direct, it doesn’t quite improve on the formula and defy the standard that Ugly Americans has established for itself. One nugget of information fans may not know is that Director Devin Clark himself is the voice of the Croatian Man character throughout all of Season One.
1. Episode 13- “Soul Sucker”
Two parts endearing and two parts oddly satisfying in a ‘surviving-near-death-experience’ kind of way, “Soul Sucker” utilizes the most hilarious of comedic elements, the romantic relationship. The endearing part of the episode is done with classically romantic notions that are twisted due to Mark giving Callie a puzzle box. This is a demonic puzzle box that makes his weirdest dreams come true; Callie kill her ex-boyfriends as a gift to Mark and sucks out his soul.
The ending is an oddly satisfying affair where the audience cheers for Callie as she defies conventions and doesn’t sacrifice her boyfriend in a demonic coming of age ritual as is the tradition for young female demons in the world of Ugly Americans. “Soul Sucker” earns its top spot because beneath all the sexual overtones, this is an episode about empowering people to defy family traditions and gives viewers a rare special feeling not unlike eating tons and tons of ice cream after a rough day at work.
Hitting the mark and leaving people feeling good, this is comedy at its best; relatable, yet entertaining. A comedic episode unlike any other “Soul Sucker” and its Pandora’s Box style of crazy, ranks as one of the best episodes in Season One of Ugly Americans.
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