TV Club: The alien bugs and the satire are all over the place on BrainDead

So just what do these space-bugs want, anyway?

Having taken over Red Wheatus in the pilot, they’ve transformed Tony Shalhoub’s drunken burnout of a Republican senator into a cynically manipulative, teetotaling power player, whose glee in crushing the dreams of a little girl with cancer sees him crowing to aide Gareth, “You gave me the knife, buddy, and I gutted them!” Except that Wheatus is merely countering Democratic Senator Luke Healy’s equally cynical use of the girl’s desire to complete her bucket list visit to the shutdown-shuttered Lincoln Memorial. After sister Laurel appeals to his better nature to grant the dying girl’s request, Luke first advises her, “You’ll be hearing a million stories of heartbreak every day,” before relenting—only so he can parade the girl in front of hungry news cameras as an example of how the Republicans are hurting adorable, cancer-stricken children …

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