A documentary crew follows a small anti-government militia of misfit amateurs with varying ideologies in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the hapless feds trying to take them down.


The United States is home to 20,000 active militia members spread across 300 groups. From hardcore anti-government veterans to doomsday preppers to Black separatists, these groups are as diverse as the United States itself. But not all of them are Tier One operators creeping around the woods in night vision goggles — some are prep cooks who hate paying taxes or substitute teachers with a penchant for collecting antique hand grenades. These big, ridiculous personalities at the fringes of society are an untapped comedy gold mine.

In Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, we send a camera crew inside an amateur small town militia. While its members share a broad anti-government sentiment, their individual ideologies run the gamut — we've got classic Three Percenter camo jocks, QAnon conspiracy nuts, David Koresh-style cult figures, Black Hammer anti-colonial militants, bikers, and general gun nuts all in one room. And true to real life, a couple members are undercover feds who feel they're wasting time on small fries. This range of beliefs gives way to near-constant bickering, infighting, and drama.

Much of the subject matter is drawn from real personalities, organizations, and events. The January 6th capitol attack and the attempted kidnapping of Michigan's governor are referenced, as are real-world figures like Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, Jordan Peterson, and — of course — Donald Trump. We keep the stakes low by focusing the show on amateurs in a small town, but we get occasional glimpses into other militias across the country, some with real potential for violence. Serious issues like racism, xenophobia, and misogyny are seen through a satirical lens, applying criticism by letting the idiocy and incongruity of the characters' words and actions play out to their natural, ludicrous conclusions.


Uncle Sam's Misguided Children is set in 2021, when the end of the Trump presidency and the decline of QAnon have left a gaping hole in the far right. While the militia in question is insulated by their remote enclave, they feel the splintering of leaderless, rudderless militias around the country. They focus their animosity on Biden, Fauci, and of course the Deep State, but the luster and promise of the previous era is waning.

The show takes place in Majesteque, a fictional town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. With a population of only 3,000, Majesteque is quaint and friendly with a blend of conservative farmers, liberal retirees, and tourists who flock to the town for sailing and cross-country skiing. The picturesque Main Street is home to a VFW, an art gallery, a dive bar, a church, a gift shop, and a general store. On one side of the town is Lake Superior and on the other is a seemingly endless forest.

The militia's headquarters are a few miles outside of town on a plot of land owned by the Bilbrough mining family. Set away from the highway down a long dirt road, the main feature is a run-down mansion that functions as the clubhouse, decorated with paraphernalia representing the diverse ideologies of the militia's members. In the basement is a stockroom filled with weapons in various states of disrepair. Out back is a carriage house where secret meetings are held. Behind the carriage house is a large yard containing a shooting range, an obstacle course, and the hidden entrance to an underground bunker filled with doomsday supplies. Sixty acres of forest stretch behind the yard, where militia members practice wilderness survival.

Tone & Style

The tone of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children is playful, satirical, and snappy, with a high rate of jokes-per-minute, no shortage of elaborate visual gags, and a dash of slapstick. The dialogue should never come across as preachy, focusing on people rather than politics — their quirks, fascinations, shortcomings, hypocrisies, and redeeming moments. Care should be taken to neither dunk on the characters nor sympathize with their fascist leanings.

Uncle Sam's Misguided Children follows in the mockumentary tradition of Christopher Guest, using handheld cameras that zoom and focus to mimic a documentary. The show is intercut with confessional interviews and flashbacks that provide both context and punchlines. Other video formats like CCTV footage and clips from the militia's training and promotional videos are used occasionally for visual diversity. While the documentarians are not the focus of the show, we get occasional glimpses of the Vice-style crew behind the camera — especially in moments of crisis or paranoia.

The cast should be stacked with comedy powerhouses who can dig into the characters and bring out their quirks. On-set improvisation will create an organic documentary texture and there will be plenty of opportunities for improv in the script. Wardrobe and production design are crucial, with clothing and props that sell the militia lifestyle. Of course there will be camouflage, tactical gear, and guns, but also the occasional Minions tee, can of Cotton Candy Bang, or pet armadillo.



A militia prospect with a chip on his shoulder, Griff is an orphan with no coherent ideology who joined the militia for a sense of belonging and brotherhood. He'll do anything to prove his worth, especially for his mentor, Wade. Griff is sort and muscular with a scraggly goatee. He always has a vape in one hand and an energy drink in the other.


Wade is a founding member and a Delta Force veteran. An easy-going redneck who can't help but crack an off-color joke, he can be a diplomat or a provocateur depending. Wade is also an undercover FBI officer who reports to Agent Covington. Wade has bad teeth, a worse mullet, and always wears a trucker hat. He's got Grizzly in his lip at all times.


A mid-tier member who runs the armory, Melissa is a gun nut soft butch lesbian who rides a motorcycle and is always packing. She's no bullshit and has a matter-of-fact demeanor. She tries (and sometimes fails) to rise above the drama. Melissa has side-parted hair and wears a leather jacket with combat boots. She has two full traditional tattoo sleeves.


A founding member and beneficiary of the militia, Bilbrough is from a blue-blooded mining family and inherited the clubhouse. He's a conspiracy theorist who believes he was abducted by aliens and writes all the militia’s manifestos. Bilbrough has wild hair and piercing eyes. He's tall and thin, wearing lace and velvet.


Garfield is a Black nationalist who returned to Michigan to care for his elderly mother. He's kind of a hothead but has a heart of gold and lets his goofy side out when he's comfortable. Garfield often butts heads with Melissa. Garfield has a big, bushy beard and an eighties sensibility, wearing cutoff crew necks, jean shorts, and aviators.


O’Connor is an FBI agent assigned the Upper Midwest Field Office after a failed cult bust in Texas. A perpetually exasperated by-the-book asshole, he has a highbrow pedigree and hates being surrounded by hicks (especially Wade). O’Connor's beard is always groomed, his suit is always pressed, and his gun is always clean.