As one half of your Vulture editors were born and raised in the great state of Wisconsin, we take great pride in that cheese-loving land’s occasional appearances in the world of popular culture. We cheered on the Brewers during their late-season surge; we root for actress Kristen Johnson and nouveau-Puritan author Wendy Shalit, because they went to our high school; we laugh hysterically when reading the new book by the (Wisconsin-bred) editors of The Onion, a faux atlas that relegates Minnesota to a page called “The Bullshit States” alongside Alaska and Hawaii.
So of course we’ve been watching the CW’s new sitcom Aliens in America, set in the fictional Wisconsin town of Medora. Happily, the show’s really good, though very little about it is mid-America-specific so far; Scott Patterson, playing the main character’s father, does wear a fantastic collection of Packers gear, and there’s a charming moment when the family’s well-meaning mom, Franny, tells her son, with great regional pride, that “Kanye West is from the Midwest!”
We did think it’s a shame, though, that none of the characters featured the Wisconsin accents we know and love (and into which we still lapse when drunk or on the phone with our dad). Until this week, that is. As you can see from the above video, actress Amy Pietz has suddenly turned Franny from a character with a slight midwestern lilt to a character who, if she had shown up in the movie Fargo, would have caused audiences to be, like, “Now that’s a little much.”
What could have caused such a transformation? It’s hard for us to imagine network executives approaching the show’s creators and asking if they could “just make everything a little more Wisconsin-y,” but maybe that’s what happened! If so, may we suggest that actual Wisconsinites might be a little tiny bit less moronic about the Muslim background of exchange student Raja than they are portrayed on the show. Or, at least, they’d be way more polite about their ignorance.