When Lucille Bluth on “Arrested Development” adopted a Korean boy, the writers of “Aliens in America” must have thought, “Hey, we could focus a whole show on this. But let’s be even more contemporary and make the kid a Muslim. Good idea, right?” Wrong.
Franny (Amy Pietz, “Rodney”) and Gary Tolchuk (Scott Patterson, “Gilmore Girls”) adopt what they expect to be a handsome Brit to befriend their dorky son Justin (Dan Byrd, “The Hills Have Eyes”). Instead, they get a Pakistani Muslim, Raja (Adhir Kalyan), which is oh-so-shocking because, you know, he’s a Middle Eastern Muslim.
It’s supposedly a victory that Franny and Gary eventually learn to accept Raja, if only because they find out he has no parents to go home to. They still seem to have a problem with daughter Claire’s black boyfriend, though.
Who is supposed to enjoy this?
Focusing a whole show around ne’er-do-well types and the reasons they shouldn’t adopt children is exhausting, and Franny and Gary’s actions go from whimsical to contemptuous rather quickly.
As “Arrested Development” taught us, it’s an art to make a series populated with unlikable characters, and “Aliens” is no “Mona Lisa.”
Rating: 1/5 stars
“Aliens in America”
Mondays at 8:30 p.m.