3rd Rock from the Sun is on Netflix, and if you missed it’s original run in the 90s, it has held up pretty well and is worth going back and watching.
I (and my giant crush on Joseph Gordon Levitt <3<3<3) did watch it regularly when it was on, but due to being a fairly young child at the time, much of it went over my head.
Then it came on Netflix, and I was watching it while folding laundry, and realized that aliens coming to Earth is the perfect foil for talking about etiquette. And the second episode is especially full of it.
In this episode, Mary’s date for a wedding cancels, so Dick agrees to fill in. He is excited because it is the first wedding any of the aliens have attended and he is eager to observe an important human ritual. It sounds ridiculous as he describes it:
Dick: It’s really a very fascinating ritual. The ceremony begins with the bride being given away.
Sally objects to the idea of a woman being given away like an object, because she is the best.
Unfortunately, all the aliens come down with a cold. Dick decides to attend the wedding anyway, after taking quite a lot of cold medicine, and hijinks ensue.
- He asks questions all throughout the ceremony and engages in a shushing war with other guests
- He battles the maid of honor to catch the bouquet
- He steals a present from the “prize table” and gives it to Mary
- He stands up and proposes a toast, not to the bride, but to Mary
- He then tangos Mary around the room, pushing other people out of the way
However, Dick is so endearing that Mary forgives him for embarrassing her and has a great time at the wedding anyway.
While this kind of behavior wouldn’t fly normally, the aliens in this show are show charming and innocent about human culture that we are really rooting for them to succeed in their mission to study us, pointing out how weird the human experience is along the way.
*Martha Stewart guest stars on this episode, in a dream Harry has, so it’s basically perfection.