Posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2021 by
Take the tense mystery and suspense of David Fincher and mix it with a stop-motion animation style that feels reminiscent of the puppetry of Team America: World Police, and you have some idea of what to expect from AMC’s new series Ultra City Smiths.
Created by Steve Conrad (Patriot) and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken, Crossing Swords), Ultra City Smiths follows the investigation into the disappearance of one of Ultra City’s most famous residents. Though that might sound like your average crime thriller, the series features repurposed baby dolls made to look like adult characters in this seedy mystery that involves corrupt government officials, a former women’s heavyweight champion of the world, a nun, and a male prostitute. You know what, just watch the Ultra City Smiths trailer below to see what this is all about.
Ultra City Smiths Trailer
Jimmi Simpson (Westworld) voices David Mills, which is the exact same character name Brad Pitt has in Se7en, just in case the David Fincher influence wasn’t clear. He’s a rookie detective transplanted from a small town, and he’s hot on the case of the missing Carpenter K. Smith (voiced by Kurtwood Smith). Described as Ultra City’s Last Bright Hope, Smith just wants to make the city a safe place, but his wealth and bid for mayor has made him a target.
Ultra City Smiths is clearly trying to play this as straight as possible, but the use of baby dolls immediately adds the perfect opposition to that, creating an inherently funny vibe. It leans into the genre much in the same way Team America: World Police perfectly recreated the style of Michael Bay movies.
An Amazing Ensemble Cast
If this seems a little too weird for your tastes, maybe the impressive ensemble cast will entice you to give it a shot. Ultra City Smiths features the likes of John C. Reilly as Donovan Smith, the spoiled and flamboyant son of the show’s missing person. Described as the Disco King of the Night, the younger Smith also uses his father’s money to fuel the search for Bigfoot, just so they can be friends.
Meanwhile, Da’Vine Joy Randolph plays Gail Simpson, the veteran partner of David Mills. She’s a decorated, no-nonsense detective, but her dedication to the job may be hurting her home life. Kristen Bell voices Donella Pecker, a competent and compassionate government official who also wants to make Ultra City a safer place, but she has to contend with her buffoon of a husband, Conrgressman Chris Pecker (voiced by Bell’s real life husband Dax Shepard).
The rest of the Ultra City Smiths cast includes Alia Shawkat, Tim Meadows, Terry O’Quinn, Debra Winger, Luis Guzmán, Tom Waits, Bebe Neuwirth, Melissa Villaseñor, Tim Heidecker, and more.
The series is executive produced by Steve Conrad, who also serves as showrunner. Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich, Eric Towner and Chris Waters all serve as executive producers for Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and Jennifer Scher, Jeff Dieter and Thomas J. Glynn are executive producing too.
In case the trailer didn’t make it clear for you, here’s the official synopsis for Ultra City Smiths from AMC:
Ultra City Smiths unfolds via the stop-motion animation of baby dolls repurposed as a grown-up cast of characters. The six-episode series hinges on an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of fictional metropolis Ultra City’s most famous magnate (Smith). Two intrepid detectives (Simpson and Randolph) follow the case, rallying to fight against their city’s dangerous corruption, at a high cost to themselves and their families, all in pursuit of a gentler place to call home.
The first two episodes of Ultra City Smiths will premiere on AMC+ on July 22, 2021 and new episodes will arrive weekly, every Thursday. After that, all six episodes will air on AMC sometime this fall.
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