In the News: Pamela Hill Nettleton on How Netflix’s ‘Resident Alien’ Explores What It Means to Be Human

Pamela Hill Nettleton, communication studies and emerging media faculty in the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences, recently published an article in U.S. Catholic about the Netflix show “Resident Alien” and how a nonhuman reveals the humanity in all of us.

From the story:

The streaming series “Resident Alien” (in its third season on the SyFy channel and available on Netflix) is modern, witty, and warm – while also being scary, dramatic, and profound – and is wise about what it means to be an earthling.

While trying to locate his lost-in-the-crash device that will wipe out humans, Harry is distracted by and drawn into the messy lives of the townfolk. Despite himself, he becomes fond of humans (and of pie), contemplates the foibles and strengths of earthlings, and begins to doubt his mission of annihilation. ...

Harry’s journey is physical and emotional, and by not being human through any of it, he reveals the humanity in all of it – being baffled by love, making wrong choices for the right reasons, learning wisdom from the mouths of babes, and eating excessive amounts of pizza. As he searches the mountains for his snow-covered spaceship, he is perplexed by his fading sense of urgency about completing his mission and his deepening engagement with the lives of his new friends, the humans.