The Neighbors


We never thought we'd say this, but we miss Work It.

Where do we even begin with ABC's new comedy, The Neighbors? From the network that brings you the multi-Emmy award winning Modern Family and our personal favorite quirky gang in Happy Endings, their latest offering is a fish-out-of-water comedy for the whole family.

But in this twist, the humans have moved into a neighborhood of aliens. Hilarity ensues or at least that was presumably the goal. 

The Neighbors (ABC)
Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26, 9:30 p.m. (will move to normal time slot of 8:30 p.m.)
Time-Slot Competition: The X Factor (Fox), Survivor (CBS), Arrow (CW), Guys with Kids (NBC)
Cast: Lenny Venito, Simon Templeman, Jami Gertz, Toks Olagundoye, Tim Jo, Isabella Camp, Clara Mamet, Ian Patrick, Max Charles
Status: We've seen the pilot episode

So the gist of the story is the nice normal Weavers move to a New Jersey suburb and find out that every one of their neighbors are aliens. Said aliens have silly professional athlete names (Larry Bird, Dick Butkis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, etc.). And there are some other clues: They don't do dishes, Men bear the young and they drive around on golf carts. And they don't eat a single cat.

We don't want to be too mean—even though it totally deserves it—the show is essentially harmless, unless you are like us and love good television. Then it's completely offensive to all of our values. 

ABC has put this show in a safe and cushy slot, so it would be just our luck for this to last eight seasons. While we'd never wish for a show to die a quick death, or people to lose their jobs on network television, we can't help but think of the greater good. Think of the children! We like to assume that ABC prez Paul Lee's quirky British humor makes him throw in these wild card pilots every year. Or maybe he's pulling the greatest practical joke of all time? 

We grew up on shows like Dinosaurs, Small Wonder and Alf. We can hang with the out-there themes: dinosaurs, aliens, robot children, etc. We can even understand the appeal of a nice family comedy. As long as it's funny. But this show and these aliens aren't even slightly funny. It's the stale jokes that are decades old. And weren't even funny then. 

The biggest problem is—although they do try very hard to find the heart of these characters and essentially the same-but-different families—a comedy like this needs to make you laugh. But really it just makes us want to cry.

The show's creator Dan Fogelman is behind animated hits like Cars and Tangled. And the hit comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. So what's different here? Maybe this show needs Ryan Gosling taking his shirt off. Actually, that's exactly what this show needs.

Our Review in GIF Form:

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Verdict: Pass. It's not even good for train wreck watching value. We don't deserve this. No one does. 

2012 Fall TV Preview: The Neighbors
The Neighbors?
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