One thing about TV is that it can sometimes surprise you. Sometimes you are so excited about a show and when it gets started, it’s disappointing. Other times, you go into a pilot thinking it’s going to be terrible, and walk away pleasantly surprised. This happens to me all the time, and one recent, rather extreme, case came to mind today as I was watching one of my shows.
Have you ever seen an ad for a TV show or movie that just looks so absurd that you have to watch it? Even though you are thoroughly convinced that you are going to find it ridiculous, your curiosity gets the better of you?
That’s what happened to me with ABC’s The Neighbors.
When I first saw it being promoted I wasn’t sure what it was about, but I knew that Jami Gertz was in it and, don’t ask me why, but I am a fan of hers. I think it goes back to when I used to watch her on Square Pegs, anyone remember that show?
Anyway, the story of The Neighbors is (from Wikipedia):
The series, set in New Jersey, revolves around a family that has relocated to a gated townhouse community called “Hidden Hills”. Upon their arrival, they discover that the entire community is populated by residents from another planet. These aliens have adopted as their own the names of sport celebrities, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cry out green goo from their ears. Since the aliens have assumed human form, they can also revert to their original appearances by clapping their hands above their heads. They have been stuck on Earth for 10 years, still awaiting instructions to return home.
Here’s a promo video:
It looks silly, right? Well, that’s the thing… it IS silly. It’s a wonderful kind of silly that makes it a joy to watch. At least for me.
Admittedly, I went into the pilot with such low expectations that it wouldn’t be hard to beat them, but I found myself falling for these clueless and endearing aliens. I love the way they take everything so literally and the hijinks that follow. How every time the human family tries to help them, it all goes terribly wrong, but in a really cute way. It’s a show that I can just watch, laugh and enjoy. There’s no huge drama, no dark and dreary plots, no malice, none of the downer stuff that comes with a lot of the other shows I watch and enjoy for other reasons. This is good for one thing, and one thing alone… a half hour of fun, that is not to be taken too seriously.
When I’ve had enough of the drama of Revenge, the gore of The Walking Dead, or the tears that inevitably flow while watching Parenthood… I know that if I want some lighthearted humor, it’s time to turn to The Neighbors!
The only thing I would possibly change about this show, if anything, would be to get to know some of the other alien folk a little more. Not too many, as that may feel a bit crowded after a while, but I’d like to hear what goes on with the other alien beings during this time. Other than just baking pies or ‘celebrating’ when needed. I also find the youngest daughter of the human family a bit pointless so far, but maybe they will build her character with time.
I don’t hear a lot about this show but I did read that it’s likely to be renewed, so that is promising. It’s certainly not the new show everyone is talking about, although… I wish they would, because then I’d be sure to get more of these silly buggers.
So, if you haven’t checked this show out yet, and you think this kind of comedy may be something you could like, check it out! If you are someone who takes TV seriously, analyses everything and needs TV to be realistic, avoid it like the plague.
P.S. What a pain it has been to keep having to go back and take my ‘u’ out of ‘Neighbor’ every time. Silly Americans and their neglect of the letter u.