We Are Not Alone, a new Roku Original, debuts on January 27 on The Roku Channel and it is a promising sitcom: not one moment is wasted; solid casting; creative production value for a low budget sitcom; engaging story; solid humor; characters jump right in. In my previous post, I discussed what content like this can mean for Roku’s future. In this follow-up post, I share a few observations from viewing an advanced release. From what I can tell, this is a feature-length pilot for a sitcom.
This is funny, very funny. And then you add that X-factor of British humor (Terry Pratchett to Monty Python to Douglas Adams) and it works. Through that lens, the view is looking at one strange world from another strange world’s perspective. On the other hand, that lens can emphasize the universal. Here’s a story of Stewart (Declan Baxter), who doesn’t want to grow up and go into middle management. Anyone can relate to that, right? Life’s too short because – zap! – you never know when a creature from another world will off you.
The aliens from space are indeed pretty scary at first. The opener delivers a taste of some intergalactic carnage. And then things settle down, with intermittent threats. What this comedy special most reminds me of is The Office with its endless bits of wry jokes. But, at the end of the day, it’s probably even more comparable to Third Rock From the Sun with its ensemble cast batting about insults and bon mots.
Stewart pines after Elodie (Georgia May Foote), the owner of the local pub, and just wants to be left alone by the rest of the world. But that’s not gonna happen. There’s a whole new thing going on. Earth is “under new management.” Aliens from outer space have taken over and, while they might seem to be bumblers, they can also be cutthroat killers. Stewart gets on board, as a special consultant to the aliens. He really has no choice. This comedy follows Stewart as he runs back and forth looking for a way out. It’s all very weird and adds up to decent science fiction, with a generous helping of droll British humor. You can view the results starting on Friday, January 27, free on The Roku Channel.