Bordertown: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1
Bordertown

Critics Consensus

Bordertown's controversy-rich premise is an idea disappointingly ill-served by its execution, which repeatedly mistakes crass, desperate gags for topical humor.

39%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 18

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 66

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 3, 2016

An animated comedy about two culturally and ethnically different families who live next door to each other near the U.S.-Mexican border begins with border guard Bud furious about learning his daughter is engaged to J.C., a young Latino man who is a recent college graduate. To Bud's delight, however, is news that a new anti-immigration law may get J.C. deported.

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Air date: Jan 10, 2016

Bud helps get a border wall erected using confiscated drug money, but the wall puts a dent in the economy, and he loses his job. To make ends meet, he begins smuggling immigrants under the structure.

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Air date: Jan 17, 2016

Bud's reverend wants him to lure Ernesto, the Mexican Catholic Church's biggest donor, over to their denomination, and Ernesto is taken by the glitzy place of worship. This leads the reverend to recruit other Mexican parishioners into his flock and sends Bud into a holy uproar.

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Air date: Feb 14, 2016

When redneck fans force the high-school football coach to quit, Bud takes over, and in his desperation to win considers recruiting an athletic illegal immigrant who, it turns out, is the premier Mexican drug mule.

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Air date: Feb 21, 2016

When Maria's sister gives birth, it tips the local population scale from a white majority to a Latino one, so Bud decides he and Janice need to have a baby to even things out.

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Air date: Mar 13, 2016

Ernesto attempts to get J.C. into the "real world" by forcing him to work on his crew. -- (C) FOX

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Air date: Apr 3, 2016

Bud's attempt to become wealthier and more successful than Ernesto results in him unwittingly becoming the inside man for a notorious drug kingpin.

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Air date: Apr 10, 2016

Sanford travels to Mexico seeking a new energy drink, but instead becomes hooked on a more powerful liquid; Bud sneaks a Mexican "Bud" look-alike over the border in order to take a break from his own life; and Ernesto does battle with a demon leaf which even his powerful leaf-blower can't dispatch.

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Air date: Apr 17, 2016

When Gert suffers a heart attack and Bud can't afford the surgery, he takes her to Mexico for an operation. Meanwhile, Ernesto and Maria are unhappy with the side effects of Pepito's behavioral medication.

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Air date: Apr 24, 2016

Residents are ordered to leave Mexifornia when it is threatened by wildfire, but Bud stays put and his house catches fire, requiring Ernesto to rescue him. Meanwhile J.C. and Becky take a relationship break and agree to see other people.

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Critic Reviews for Bordertown Season 1

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (10)

Satire administered with a Wiffle ball bat. A dull thud, where there should be a sting.

Jan 4, 2016 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The show is satirizing smug, middle-class white folks who resent any threat to their status quo, but the only viewpoints presented... are those of smug, middle-class white folks and smug, middle-class liberals who resent the white folks' resentment.

Jan 4, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The timing couldn't be much better for Bordertown's belated debut, even if it's pretty much Family Guy all over again in terms of the corpulent protagonist, out-of-body pop culture references and some really abhorrent jokes.

Jan 4, 2016 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Let's get right to it: "Bordertown" is funny.

Jan 11, 2016 | Full Review…

Bud and Ernesto are each so one-dimensional that they seem caricatures not of the immigration issues but of a liberal, and very limited view, of the immigration issue.

Jan 4, 2016 | Full Review…

Don't worry: The terrific, boundary-busting comedy is an equal-opportunity barb tosser, taking aim at anyone who reduces serious issues to sound bites.

Jan 4, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

At a tight 11 episodes, it's well worth taking a trip to scenic Lappeenranta and getting to know Kari Sorjonen.

Sep 7, 2017 | Full Review…

An equal-opportunity offender that energetically rips into multiples side of the immigration debate, with enough of an absurdist streak to balance out its snark.

Jan 14, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Immigration satire is irreverent but relies on stereotypes.

Jan 6, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Bordertown is a good example of how insipid and smug certain kinds of television can be when it tries to address contemporary issues.

Jan 4, 2016 | Full Review…

To be expected, it's a show full of jokes that would make you uncomfortable to laugh at in front of certain people, but at least the jokes are worth laughing at. For the most part.

Jan 4, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Bordertown is looney enough, but its tunes hit a sour note of derivative desperation.

Jan 4, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bordertown: Season 1

  • Mar 26, 2020
    Anybody notice the critics don't like it but the auidience comment that they do. Doh! I'm a huge fam of adult comedy from Duckman to Futurama, American Dad etc and I have been from the beginning. Bordertown was freaking fantastic!!!!One of my favorite cartoons of all time. Perhaps people weren't ready for it back then, nowadays with shows like Paradise PD it may be time to have another go. Be careful not to offend the poor little sensitive viewers or say anything offensive or not politically correct! BOO HOO Get a fecking sense of humor!
  • Feb 27, 2019
    Minus 1/2 a star for the cheesy Godzilla dubbing, this is a really absorbing crime drama. Finland setting packs a dramatic bonus. Stylish, taut, mesmerizing thriller. Characters build and grow into people you care to find out what happens to them. Just subtitle already! Keep it coming, please! Thank God there is no PC downgrade. Girls like guns and power and know how to use them. Guys are macho and tough and cool. Love it!
  • Feb 19, 2019
    Mature television at its best. Season two has greatly improved the quality of the show and is totally engrossing.
  • Feb 10, 2019
    Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen is one of the most respected officers at the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland. When his wife barely survives brain cancer, Sorjonen decides to take his family to an idyllic small town near the border of Russia, to live a quiet peaceful life. But how peaceful is life on the border between two worlds?
  • Jan 22, 2019
    Enjoyable but deeply flawed at times, and for a whodunnit, it's often predictable. The final two-episode arc from Season 1 was especially problematic to me. Now granted as a U.S. citizen I can't purport to know the ins and outs of Finnish criminal law, but much of that story surrounding Janina was ludicrous. And the idiot suspect speaking for 3 days without a lawyer present (something not granted to Janinia, I might add) makes me shake my head. You'd do well to throw out the procedural elements of the show, or at best, take them with a grain of salt, and focus on the characters and the gorgeous Finnish scenery. One thing I really did like is the characters are grown-ups, not sassy millennials or prettyboy/girl Gen-Xers. The characters wear their roles well and nobody feels out of place, which is more than I can say for 90% of U.S. productions. But overall the story is just missing something for me, and each two-hour crime case just meanders aimlessly for too long. That doesn't mean I disliked it--FAR from it. I loved it. But it could just be so much *more*.
  • Nov 05, 2018
    It is better than your own imagination. The actors and actresses play their roles excellent with a brilliant story line. A foreign language but worth to watch.
  • Jul 28, 2018
    Well made. Didn't trigger my "this is just unbelievable" sensor.
  • Jun 09, 2018
    Very good series and without the usual violence you expect with US TV detective dramas, good stories, exceptionally good acting, production values quite good but not up to BBC standards, but very good....
  • May 19, 2018
    One of the less successful Scandinavian crime dramas, if the three part Doll's House in anything to go by. Ironically, for a premise that hinges on the memory and observation skills of it's chief protagonist, it's surprisingly cack-handed on occasion. Some examples: the bit where the police woman asks a colleague what she's going to do with a single black hair located at a crime scene. Forensics, anyone? The same police officer is also tasked by a superior about what strikes me as an issue of gross misconduct, but the issue just gets glossed over. The FBS lady is woeful. Clumsy and out of shape (not because she's a woman but because she's supposed to be a high level operative), the scenes where she has to get a bit handy with folk - the hotel employee and clubbing Sorjonen - look slowed down and badly choreographed bordering on parody. At the heart of it all is our quirky misanthrope with almost supernatural powers of deduction. But his skills are at the expense of any discernible personality and we are left, like his co-stars floundering in his interminable wake, by turns bored and puzzled. Asocial and grossly introspective might make for a good investigator, but it doesn't make for very good viewing. His presence in many of the scenes almost drags them down. The family drama is also something of a sideshow as it fails to develop any of the characters in relation to one another. Example: what 17 year old daughter wanders into the family kitchen to find mum tending an open wound on dad's head without expressing surprise or concern? Indeed, none of the characters at the end of the three episodes really mesh as a whole or individually, and it all seems a bit random. It lacks tension and sufficient drama to be fully engaging. It has promise, though. So I'll trawl through the next few with my fingers crossed. Whatever it's faults, it's still way better than most US crime drama on Netflix.
  • Jul 28, 2017
    There are so many flaws to this series I can't watch it. Every single character has a predictable trajectory of what will happen to them, and all of them are entirely entwined with each other, far beyond what is reasonable. There's an especially misogynistic lens where women (I'm male) are constantly objectified. The villains are over-the-top "nut jobs". The main actor is very good, though there's never any explanation of his mysterious methods. Most everything is entirely laid out for the viewer so there are no surprises, twists, or turns. Yawn!

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