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Our favorite moments from Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

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  • Narrated by:
"Oh my god. I love your accent."
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"It was truly beautiful that day."
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Learning about flotsam and jetsam.
  • "Oh my god. I love your accent."
  • "It was truly beautiful that day."
  • Learning about flotsam and jetsam.

About the Creator and Performer

Maeve Higgins is a contributing writer for The New York Times and the host of the hit podcast Maeve in America: Immigration IRL. She is a comedian who has performed all over the world, and co-hosts Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, and has appeared on 2 Dope Queens and Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. Her critically acclaimed essay collection Maeve in America has been featured in People, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, and more. Maeve co-hosts the climate justice podcast Mothers of Invention with Mary Robinson.

About the Creator

Shaina Feinberg is a filmmaker from New York City. Her six-part series, Dinette, was produced by BRIC Arts Media and premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. It has played queer festivals around the world and was shouted out by Pulitzer Prize-winning TV writer Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker. Shaina’s second feature—the award-winning film, Senior Escort Service, blends nonfiction and fiction and is a comedic meditation on grief. In June 2019, Shaina was named 1 of 25 filmmakers on the rise by Indiewire.

About the Performer

Cristela Alonzo made history in 2014 when she became the first Latina to create, produce, and star in her own network sitcom, Cristela, for ABC. During that same year, she split her time between LA and NYC to serve as one of ABC’s favorite guest hosts on their hit daytime talk show, The View. In 2017, Cristela made history again when she became the first Latina lead in a Disney Pixar film when she voiced the part of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3. Her first stand-up special, Lower Classy, is available on Netflix. Cristela’s memoir, Music to My Years, will be released by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

About the Performer

Award-winning actress and producer Alysia Reiner is best known as Natalie "Fig" Figueroa on Netflix’s series Orange Is The New Black, for which she won an ensemble Screen Actor Guilds award. Reiner joined the cast of HBO’s The Deuce in season 2 and has a reoccurring. You can see her in all 3 seasons of FX’s critically acclaimed Peabody Award-winning Better Things. Her motherhood dark-comedic feature, Egg, which she produced and stars in with Christina Hendricks and Anna Camp premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

About the Performer

Cole Escola, a comedian, actor, and writer, was named one of the 2014 OUT100 and Time Out New York's Top Ten Downtown Cabaret Performers. Cole played Matthew on Hulu’s Difficult People, where he also served as a writer. He played Chris on Man Seeking Woman on FXX, and recurred on the Netflix series Girl Boss, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle and the truTV series At Home With Amy Sedaris, for which he is also a staff writer. Cole wrote on the Broadway Video series The Other Two for Comedy Central. He was also the co-creator, writer, and star of the lo-fi cult-hit television show, Jeffrey and Cole Casserole. Other TV appearances include Nurse Jackie, Law & Order, and Smash. He originated the role of Bridget Everett's fetus in Rock Bottom for The Public Theater in a performance Variety referred to as "heroic." His sketch comedy show, The First Gay President sold out every performance and generated buzz and praise from the likes of Paper Magazine and Lena Dunham. Cole most recently ran his wildly popular solo show, Quick! Pretend I’m Asleep!, across the country.

About the Performer

Karim Nematt is an Arab-American actor based in New York. He graduated from Pace University School of Performing Arts in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. He has appeared in such films as Mossad, Gap Year, and The Jar.

About the Performer

Carlos Ibarra is an actor, writer, director, and producer. He has appeared in various film, television, national commercials, and theater productions. Selected television credits include The Good Cop, Adam Ruins Everything, and Dora the Explorer. Carlos holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of Arts. He is an avid runner and successfully ran across America in 2015, making him the first Latino to complete this feat.

About the Performer

A scion of Haitian musical royalty, Paul has spent his life living to the beat. Son of the Grammy-nominated band Boukman Eksperyans, his earliest memories are of rhythm and sound. Moving to New York as a youth, he was inspired by his heritage to begin crafting a sound all his own. Constantly aware of his roots, the struggle of an immigrant and the drive of New York life, Paul began to create a path where music, activism, and history meet. Paul has played alongside some of the world's best artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, Arcade Fire, Jackson Browne, and Bob Weir.

Summary

"A funny and moving story of immigrants, beautifully written, at a time when it's needed the most." - Jon Ronson

Funny, sad and brilliantly human, this timely original series follows five friends – lovable but sometimes infuriating - as they make a life for themselves in New York City. The tie that binds them? They are all immigrants, struggling to find their place in an increasingly hostile America.  

Sadie, fresh from her small hometown in Ireland tries out for the elusive O1 visa – meaning she has three months to prove she is an ‘alien of extraordinary ability.’ She joins a collective called ‘Nature Fans’, whose members are also on a clock, all trying to figure out how to stay in the country. Together they alternately fight and work the system, growing close in the process.  

Brother and sister Rodrigo and Erika are from a mixed status family and have wonderful and busy lives in NYC. Rodrigo, desperate not to go back to Mexico but sick of living in the shadows, gets politically active. Tam is smart, handsome and Haitian, when he finds out he’s about to lose his legal status, he uses his charm to find a marriage to save him. Mazen, the loveliest Lyft driver you’re likely to meet, awaits his asylum interview and tries to forget about his life back in Syria, only to discover that he needs to stay connected or his heart will break.  

The stakes couldn’t be higher – an adventure story, a love story, a story of borders and the people who cross them - can they stay in this country they call home?

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 10 episodes to your Library now.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

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What listeners say about Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Immigrant propaganda novel

It's just as complex and interesting as a book written by a religious person about the virtues of his faith. A one sided argument where immigrants are good, smart and virtuous and the local population/ guverment are ignorant, evil and aggressive. The only reason i don't give it one star is that the conversations are somewhat decently played out.

5 people found this helpful

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timely, funny and heart-wrenching

this immigration-themed ensemble piece is entertaining and moves so swiftly. I particularly enjoyed the performance of the actress playing Sadie, who is also one of the writers I believe. charming and witty, but sometimes insensitive and very flawed, she's one of those female central character you wish there were more of...

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Series Exploring Immigration

Wow! I am so proud of Audible releasing this series. it is a much needed exploration into the state of immigration in the U.S.. The characterisation is on point. The voice actors were so good that I was transferred into the world of their joys and struggles. Highly recommended!

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story, overkill on the music

The musical intro and outro irritated me. The story and narration was great but I became really irritated with the length of time the musical accompaniment went on for. Like it was being used to pad out the series. It may seem petty to pick up on this but it impacted my enjoyment of the series. just finish it earlier if there isn't enough content, I don't need to hear of minutes and minutes of instrumentals.

3 people found this helpful

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Stunning performance

Absolutely stunning performance by the whole crew of actor, writers, sound engineers, producers and all other that participated in creation of this programme. Very genuine characters and dialogues (i guess i can judge after having been an expat in many parts of the world, travelling extensively and working with international teams), immersive audio experience even via the phone speaker. Best voice performance I’ve ever heard. Not a notch of overacting or underperforming! Thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Counterproductive!

I thought this would be a documentary and was quite keen on the subject. What you get is a very questionable drama. I did listen all the way through to ensure I could give a full opinion.... and here it goes! Firstly will start with what could be subjective; what an America they paint! All authority figures/agents are boo hiss villains and all citizens are ignorant a-holes! The only hero’s are the hard done by illegal immigrants. I may not fully know the difficult plight they all face but understand there is one and every story is different, but here it’s all one sided. Our gang are a very different bunch but all united in one trait, being portrayed as above reproach! This completely plays into the hands of racists who will cry ‘why stay here if you hate it so much’ which is eluded to and stated throughout. Very strange choices. Even our protagonist (extremely annoying at that) is vilified due to her white privilege. The series glosses over the fact, like it or not is another argument, that their status is illegal. The whole environment they create reminds me more of works regarding Jews during early stages of nazi occupation, hiding and sneaking around the authorities with their group meetings and such, which doesn’t sit right. These points for me, mean rather than try tackle a tough subject matter they more compounding it, by coming across a bit racist itself. Also, man it’s easy to be ‘insta famous’ in this world. Couple of days and videos of folk juggling and licking their elbow and your sorted. It’s as if the internet just started! Finally on a more objective matter, the performances aren’t all bad, only a handful (unfortunately the lead) derail it. The script really thinks it’s more than it is (key rousing speeches fall flat) and the end credit song lasts nearly 2 minutes each time. Given the episodes are so short it’s really strange! I waited each time convinced must be something else when it rolls and the timer shows 2 mins but no.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

I tried

I tried but couldn't get into this at all too cringey and sound all over the place hurt my ears when driving and not engaging enough

1 person found this helpful

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More

loved it and i want more, i need to know how their stories unfold. life stories for all of us that are aliens in different countries

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Funny and incisive at the same time

I loved this, very well performed and a funny script. Great characters and just enough drama to maintain the momentum.

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Extraordinary listening!!!

Loved it!!!! The Irish have their own extraordinary use of the English language. Great listening and narration.