Bingeworthy Animated Satire in Time for the Holidays
Through an incredibly arduous period compounded by the worst global health crisis most people have ever encountered in their lifetime, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy hitting the reset button with a little laughter. Ominous political trends that seemed designed to divide humanity gave rise to surreal consequences, including the nation’s capital being stormed in an attempted coup. The Black Lives Matter movement marked historic civic protests after George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. A ripple of global solidarity sent a message to get its knee off the necks of African-American people who are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement officials.
Uncertain times impacted Kuye Youngblood, one of the executive producers of “The United Space of America,” BRIC TV’s first animated political satire. Joined by executive producer Aziz Isham and five-time New York Emmy nominated producer Kecia Élan Cole, this crew doubled down on using art as a force for good. The new web-series, created by William D. Caballero (HBO, PBS, Univision) and produced by Elaine Del Valle (ABC, CBS)—on the upcoming ABC series Queens—puts Brooklyn on the map as an animation hub. The bingeworthy web-series focuses on division and further establishes BRIC as an artistic home for creatives of color.
Youngblood, who met Caballero and Del Valle at IFP week in 2018, recalls, “They’d already worked together on an HBO Latino series called Gran’pa Knows Best, so we know that they were a good creator/producer team generating great content. That interest naturally extended to the United Space of America pitch and the unique POV it included with POC characters who happen to be elderly astronauts from Brooklyn. The world building and hyperbole helped to elevate the series to include sci fi fantasy which was an enticing new space for us to explore. We are fans of satire and appreciate works that find smart and unique ways to comment on our times without being typical or heavy-handed.”
With a hand in BRIC programming for 17 years, this is not Youngblood’s first rodeo. She has had a hand in BRIC productions as a senior producer, a supervising producer, and a head of production and management before becoming BRIC’s General Manager in 2020. Clapping back at the uptick in divisive political trends that fueled race-related hatred was par for the course for Youngblood, “This was at the height of partisan politics and the chaotic impact it was having on the country and the world. The themes explored mirrored some of the same real-world issues we’re still living through right up to the pandemic. This appealed to us as it felt timely, on the nose, and a humorous way to highlight the crazy. It was like a huge ‘you can’t make this sh%$ up’ moment.”
The delightfully weird web-series follows Paco De Pluto and Cornelius Cosmosis, astronauts from Brooklyn, in search of a more enlightened alien civilization after being lost in space for 30 years and returning to planet Earth immersed in destructive politics. Even with the help of their galactic voice of reason, Galexandria, adult themes of political dysfunction, homophobia, authoritarianism, classism, and homophobia inspire uncanny reminders that laughter is good medicine and the importance of being better stewards of our Earth.
Watch new episodes of “The United Space of America,” on BRIC TV, Brooklyn’s only non-profit cable channel and digital network. The show also streams on multiple platforms, including YouTube.