The comercials during Everybody Hates Chris last night showed a preview of the show that was on right after. From the ads, i was not sure how i was going to feel about it. But i REALLY liked it. It was funny and i also think it's an important show to be on a major TV network at that time slot. I have often felt that it would have been great to have had a show like Everybody Hates Chris on in the 80's. True, it is just as important now, but Aliens in America is EXTREMELY groundbreaking and important i think. Maybe not here in Boston as much as in middle America, but i know plenty of people here who need a reality check just as badly.
The show begins with a family living in Wisconsin i think. They are white, upper middle class, a mom, a dad and 2 kids. The older one is a boy and a senior in high school, the younger is a girl, and a sophmore i think. It is their first day of school. The boy has always been an outcast, but his day starts out really good because 1. he got his braces off and 2. his sister grew boobs over the summer and now the guys were being nice to him. However, at the end of the day, the school's famous "Top 10 Most Bangable Chicks List" is passed around school. His sister is voted #2, but that is not the problem. HE is voted in at #9. Embarrassed, he runs home from school, never wanting to go back. Every year 1 boy is included on the list and they are humiliated daily. i could relate to this kid alrady in so many ways. I was teased and humiliated every day of my public school life. I also had 2 younger sisters who were more popular than me.
When the kid got home from school and his mom found out about the list, she went in to see his guidence counceler. He suggested that what the kid might benifit from, is a foreign exchange student coming to live with them. An automatic friend. However, the guidence counceler showed the parents a picture of a blonde haired, blue eyed kid from England, and said he was already on his way here from London, but the original host family had to back out at the last minute. What he failed to mention, was that the family backed out when they found out the kid was from Pakastan. So, when the family went to the airport, they were surprized to find their exchange student was not wat they expected. Not blonde haired blue eyed, but Pakastani.
This was where the sho got really awkward. They arrived home and the mother insisted the exchange student go straight to bed even though it was only 6:30. When he went to his room, the rest of the family freaked out together. The mom was convinced by listening to Bill O'Riley that their student was a terrorist. The son said he had enough problems already that he didnt need to go to school with a boy wearing a robe... the father took an uncomfortable liking to the kid the next morning at breakfast cuz he offered to clean, and it semed like he wanted to keep the kid as a slave. The family discussed "returning" him. The mom said if she ordered dishes (or something) internationally she could return THEM, why not this Pakastani kid?
That day the exchange student went off to school with the sister while the other kid stayed home sick (more like he was too humilaiated to go to school). The exchage student was humiliated that day instead. No one would talk to him, everyone laughed at him and his "weird" clothes, and one of his teachers launched a discussion about how the class felt about the new student. All the kids said they felt angry at him because his people blew up the World Trade Center. The kid says "that was not my people" and the teacher said "Don't talk out of turn, and in AMERICA, we raise our hands to speak" friggin bitch. i hate teachers like that.
Anyway, the kid comes home that day to find the son on the couch, depressed. He says to the kid "what is wrong with your school? what is the matter with everyone there? they are mean and horrible!" Then he stops, closes his eyes and chats in his language for a minute. The son looks at him weird, asking what he just was doing. He explained that praying relieved his stress, and asked "what chant do you say when you are stressed?" The kid says, "Oh, i dont chant, i usually have a brownie or play a video game". The kid looks down and there is an empty pan of brownies in front of the son. He says "you ate ALL the brownies?" And the son says "i was very stressed" and then the kid from Pakastan asked him if he wanted to talk about it, and next thing you know, they were best friends. However, when the mother came home, she found her son doing a prayer with the exchange student, so the mother actually says to the kid "Grammy died, we have to go" to get him in the car with her. He is crying over his grandmother and she says "don't worry, Grammy's not dead, i just needed to get you away. We are sending that kid back. You are not going to join Alqida, okay?"
The kid tries to beg for him to stay, but the mother has made up her mind. They go home and tell the exchange student that it was a false alarm with Grammy but that there was a funding issue with the exchange program and he had to go back. The boys are sad and the mother says "it's for the best anyway, you probably are homesick. Your mother probably misses you very much". The boy is quiet for a second and then says "My parents have been dead for a year now". Instantly, the mother's view of him changes to what she should have seen all along. This was a kid in their house, who had only been kind and grateful and they treated him like a terrorist whehen in fact his parent's were killed by American soldiers. She appologzes and they decide to keep him for the rest of his stay, f he wants to stay, which he does. That night they really get to know him, and they have a nice dinner and it ends on that.
I think it was an extremely brave show that was at times hard to sit through. i mean, it was awkward... however i feel like, god, i bet that exact thing could have happened in my own home growing up. My parents could have acted just like that. I would think they'd be different now though, after what i put them through they are a lot more open minded.
anyway, i applaud the show for taking on an important issue. American's hatred of Muslims.
It is not okay to hate the Muslim world for what happened on 9/11.
ps. i suck at summeries