Overlord and the Underwoods – People like those “fish-out-of-water” stories where two of the most unusual pairings you can think of – usually a creature or alien – ends up living with a typical suburban nuclear family. The end results are always unpredictable with the collision of these two worlds under one roof, but somehow there’s always something reaffirming – and entertaining –that happens which changes the lives of both parties.
And under that theme, the first things that comes to mind are Alf, Harry and the Hendersons and E.T.
Now there is a new TV comedy series to add to the “fish-out-of-water” category: “Overlord and the Underwoods”, created by marblemedia and Cloudco Entertainment, in which its first 10 episodes can now be seen on the CBC Gem streamlining service; the remaining episodes will air in the winter of 2022.
Co-created by Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office) and Ryan Wiesbrock (Buddy Thunderstruck), Overlord and the Underwoods follows the weekly misadventures of the Underwoods, a typical suburban North American family, who receive a totally unexpected house guest who is literally out of this world: a distant cousin named Overlord, an intergalactic villain who decides to seek refuge with the Underwood family after he snitches on his boss, the very evil Colossatrotus.
“This is like Darth Vader under the witness protection program, but is balanced with the premise of a family comedy. It’s like a fun spinoff on the classic battle of good versus evil, but we decided to make the Underwoods just as interesting as the Overlord,” said Farrell during a recent phone interview.
Farrell stated that the idea for the series evolved from an impromptu competition he had with Wiesbrock over who can create a different kind of family series. “We wanted to hearken back to the series we watched when we were younger, and we decided that a super villain living with a normal family would be a cool element. So we noodled around with the idea and we got a promise of show for the series in early 2017,” he said.
One thing Farrell noticed about the character of the Overlord is the way he reacts to different situations, as a sort of “king of over reaction”. “The Overlord is a character who is insecure and reacts with outbursts to a number of ridiculous situations,” he said. “He likes to over react to the smaller things in life, which lends to his overall pomposity, and makes it funnier that he can’t handle those little things.”
Another outstanding feature of the Overlord is his stand-out blue costume, which was designed by Oscar-winning FX specialist Roger Christian, who is best known for creating the costumes of such legendary Star Wars characters as C-3P0 and R2-D2, as well as the omnipresent light sabre.
“When I was told that Roger was interested in working on the show, my first reaction was ‘are you serious?’,” he said. “I was always a Star Wars nerd. And I was amazed at the work Roger put into the Overlord’s costume. He was always production-minded, not to mention a very kind and generous person to boot. Overall, Roger was a dream to work with.”
Overlord and the Underwoods also boast an impressive cast, including Jan Arden as the voice of RO-FL (the Overlord’s droid companion), and veteran comedian/actor Jayne Eastwood, as the Underwoods’ quirky neighbor. “Jayne does add a quirky element to the show, but her character gets more meatier during the second half of the season, especially one episode where she hosts a dinner party,” said Farrell. “As we progressed further with the filming of the episodes, I got to know much more about Jayne and why she is such a legend in the world of Canadian film and television. We had a great time working with her.”
Before Overlord and the Underwoods debuted on CBC Gem, it premiered on the Nickelodeon UK channel this past September, where it was met with a great deal of success. And Farrell admits that the show is getting just as much positive feedback since it first aired on CBC Gem. He adds that it’s due to the antics and hilarity that greet Overlord and the Underwood family on each episode, which are enjoyed by both children and adult viewers alike.
“This is a show that families can watch and laugh together. Everyone gets something out of it,” he said. “It’s fun, silly and gives us a lot of reasons to laugh, which can help us forget our problems for 30 minutes per episode.”