Thursday, November 28, 2013

Most Neighborly

Last year I watched The Neighbors, mostly because it was between The Middle and Modern Family.  The critics hated it but it sort of grew on me--as it did on some of them.  The concept was a group of beings from another planet live in a gated community in New Jersey.  They've been there for years when an actual human family moves in, a family who soon discovers who their neighbors actually are.  From that point on, the plots revolved around the aliens, particularly the leading family, reacting and adapting to the ways of earthlings, particularly New Jersey earthlings.

We've seen this concept before, but the eccentric performances from the two alien leads--Simon Templeman as Larry Bird and Toks Olagundoye as Jackie Joyner-Kersee--make it work.  This season, however, ABC consigned the series to the Friday night graveyard and I lost track of it.

But through On Demand I checked out their Thanksgiving episode to see how it was doing.  Thanksgiving episodes are a sitcom mainstay, and The Neighbors knows it.  In fact, that was the concept of the half hour. In addition to the regular plot--a Thanksgiving dinner disrupted by the fact the parents of the human father have split up--there's a metaplot. The aliens have been watching Nick At Nite reruns and now know all about Thanksgiving episodes, and treat the holiday as if it will be like one. They even have the other aliens watch from outside the window to supply a laugh track.

The Neighbors was much as I remembered it.  Mostly a generic, conventional sitcom except for the aliens occasionally erupting through.  Not bad, but not enough, I'm afraid, to make me seek it out on Fridays.  But I still like it better than most of the new sitcoms the networks have to offer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So that's where it went. Thanks I'll check it out

7:14 AM, November 28, 2013  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

This season they have been giving knowing winks to their audience. In the season opener, I believe, their was a comment in a discussion about TV that no one watches TV shows on Friday night. Thanks to DVR, we are still following the show.

5:36 AM, November 29, 2013  

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