Why You Should Watch Braindead, The Summer’s Weirdest New Show: It’s funny, it’s gross, and yet it has a razor-sharp question at its core: can American politics be saved?


Braindead Recap: 1×01 “The Insanity Principle : How Extremism in Politics is Threatening Democracy in the 21st Century” Just as Laurel Healy takes on a new job working for her senator brother on the eve of a government shutdown, a meteor filled with malevolent ants lands in DC.

Braindead 1×02: “Playing Politics: Living Life in the Shadow of the Budget Showdown – A Critique” The shutdown continues while Laurel tries to get information out of her across-the-aisle prom date as senators swap parties. Meanwhile, two people join Laurel’s investigation of the spacebugs: a young chess genius named Gustav, and a doctor named Rochelle.

Braindead 1×03: “Goring Oxes: How You Can Survive the War On Government Through Five Easy Steps” Scarlett tries to turn Luke, Luke struggles to stay on top of his party. Meanwhile, Laurel and Gareth play emotional chicken, and Gustav tries to trap some spacebugs.

Braindead 1×04: “Wake Up Grassroots: The Nine Virtues of Participatory Democracy, and How We Can Keep America Great by Encouraging an Informed Electorate” Laurel goes on a date, and Gareth highly objects. Rochelle performs a CAT scan. And the bugs start turning people into actual terrorists.

Braindead 1×05: Back to Work: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Congress and How It Gets Things Done (and Often Doesn’t) Agent Onofrio gets his just desserts, followed by a major cliffhanger.

Braindead 1×06: “Notes Toward a Post-Reagan Theory of Party Alliance, Tribalist, and Loyalty: Past as Prologue” Gustav and Rochelle help Laurel get the bugs out. And Gareth REALLY helps.

Braindead 1×07: “The Power of Euphemism: How Torture Became a Matter of Debate in American Politics” Laurel is taken in to the FBI for some “forward-leaning interrogation.” AKA, torture.

Braindead 1×08: “The Path to War Part One: The Gathering Political Storm” Laurel and her father discover themselves on opposite sides of the storm.

Braindead 1×09: “Taking on Water: How Leaks in D.C. Are Discovered and Patched “: Wheatus does oppo research on Laurel, and Laurel and Gareth have a slight disagreement on how much slut-shaming is appropriate in a modern relationship.

Braindead 1×10: “The Path to War Part Two: The Impact of Propaganda on Congressional War Votes” Laurel takes over a propaganda film for her brother’s efforts to prevent war, with powerful results; Luke tries to stop being a shitheel, with middling to poor results.

Braindead 1×11: “Six Points on the New Congressional Budget: The False Dichotomy of Austerity vs. Expansionary Policies” Luke’s past comes back to bite (or spank?) him when he’s vetted for a new position; Laurel, Gareth and Rochelle do ultimate battle with Wheatus and his earbug.

Braindead 1×12: “Talking Points Toward a Wholistic View of Activism in Government: Can the Top Rebel?” In the first half of the season finale, Laurel considers leaving politics, until she realizes what the bug people are planning.

Braindead 1×13: “The End of All We Hold Dear: What Happens When Democracies Fail: A Brief Synopsis” Laurel, Gustav, and Rochelle reunite to take down the spacebugs.