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The Neighbors: New ABC Comedy; Is It Worth Watching?

ABC TV series The NeighborsThis new sitcom, The Neighbors, has a such a silly premise that you can’t help but shake your head. It seems destined to get slammed in the ratings and cancelled immediately. How did this show get a greenlight? It seems like such an obvious bomb. Is it possible that there’s more to it than meets the eye?

The Neighbors revolves around a family who move to a beautiful gated community in New Jersey. It seems like a dream come true — until they discover that all of their neighbors are actually aliens from outer space. The sitcom’s cast includes Lenny Venito, Jami Gertz, Clara Mamet, Max Charles, Isabella Cramp, Simon Templeman, Toks Olagundoye, Ian Patrick, and Tim Jo.

Here’s what some of the critics have to say:

LA Times: “Whatever conflict the scripts hopefully mine for hilarity — and this being a sitcom, there is a lot of argument (‘I live within 10 yards of the biggest schmucks on two different planets,’ a frustrated Gertz at one point declares) — The Neighbors is more about how we can all get along, even to the point of mawkishness at times. But those times are brief, and they pass.”

NY Daily News: “ABC’s bizarre new sitcom The Neighbors is amusing. Once. Unfortunately, ABC seems to have scheduled it to run every week… Droll and amusing though the jokes and characters in the first episode often are, The Neighbors has all its chips riding on what is essentially a one-line gag.”

USA Today: “There is a place for this kind of comedy, though watching Neighbors, you may begin to suspect that place is a Friday night in the late ’70s. But the shows that have made this concept work have either boosted a novel twist that caught on, like ALF, or terrific comic performers who commanded attention, like Robin Williams in Mork and the entire cast of Third Rock. Nothing in The Neighbors rises above mediocrity, and too much falls beneath it.”

NY Times: “In the first two episodes the writers take a stab at using extraterrestrial naïveté for something other than cheap gags. It’s not terribly effective, but maybe they’ll grow better at it in the unlikely event that viewers get past the initial shock of how out of phase this series feels and let it run for a while.”

TIME: “The Neighbors is not, that is, an inherently stupid show. It is in the respectable, nay the proud, tradition of the goofy, fantastical sitcom: the comedy about what happens when regular people end up living next door to witches, genies, monsters and, yes, aliens. Alf was a perfectly good sitcom! Third Rock from the Sun was, often, a better-than-good sitcom… The Neighbors’ problem, then, isn’t that it’s about aliens. It’s that it has nothing interesting to say about people.”

Boston Globe: “Well, ABC’s The Neighbors is this season’s awful sitcom, the one that defies all kind of sense. It makes you want to ask ABC, as Seth Meyers asks in his new SNL news segment, What are you doing? … For a five-minute sketch while nodding into Sunday morning? Maybe. For a weekly half-hour in prime time? Nope. The Zabvronians take in nourishment through their eyes, which means that if they watched this show for dinner too often, they’d waste away to nothing.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Some TV critics absolutely hate it; others sort of like it. Put me down for the latter. While I’m not yet convinced the show’s concept will hold up over multiple weeks… Although The Neighbors won’t be mistaken for the next great American sitcom, it’s entertaining enough to warrant a neighborly welcome to prime time.”

Boston Herald: “In its goofiest moments, the show has a gentle Tim Burton vibe. It’s sure to build a cult following, but it seems more suited to a cable network such as TBS or Syfy. I worry it will be unable to sustain a commercial network-sized audience. Get to know Neighbors before they’re deported right off the prime-time schedule.”

What do you think? Have you seen The Neighbors sitcom on ABC? If so, will you watch it again? Would you recommend it to a friend or co-worker?

 

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

anonymous January 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm

I agree with those who say what’s wrong with a goofy quirky old-fashioned sitcom? I LOVE ‘The Neighbors’ and look forward to the light-hearted silly entertainment it provides – the rest of my life is serious enough. The actors are all an excellent fit. Please don’t cancel it!

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Me December 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm

TV seems to get rid of the best shows and leave the worst ones on. Why bother paying for TV, there isn’t anything on worth watching anymore. I enjoy sitcoms, but not stupid ones like “The Middle” and “Ben and Kate.” Not those are down right dumb. You always take the “true” funny ones off and leave the dumb ones. “The Neighbor’s” is true comedy. We also like “Animal Practice.” Other shows are no longer on TV anymore. Networks sure do know how to get people interested and throw a curve ball.

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Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

If everyone including myself and family loves it ,why do these reviewers as ill call them get to yank it off the air?

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Anonymous November 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

The Neighbors is hilarious and funny for the whole family. I would recommend this show to anyone! I would be so disappointed if it was cancelled!!

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Kathy M Stuart November 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I love this show. I look forward to see the show every week. The show make me laugh alot. We need more show like this. This show is good to watch with your kids & Grand child too. I hope this show will come back next season.

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Anonymous November 17, 2012 at 3:24 am

I love this show!!!it’s my favorite show!make me laugh and feel so good.can’t wait to see next episode!please please keep the show. I think it’s a good show to make foreigners to know more about American culture!

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Katie November 15, 2012 at 3:14 am

I LOVE this show! The writing is brilliant. Very funny! Silly, good, fun!! Tv Shows of today are awful, not at all like the great sitcoms of the 80′s. The Neighbors is more in the group of sitcoms in the 80′s rather than today… and that’s a good thing!

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Michael November 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I really like the show and think it’s really funny, quirky and refreshing!!! It’s in the perfect time slot but I’d watch it anytime!!!! I hope it sees asecond season and develops!

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Anne K November 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

My husband and I love this show! It’s quirky characters and gentle humor is heartwarming. We hope it stays on! Love the silly names, especially Dick Butkus and Larry Bird. Makes us laugh all the time we also enjoy the group of neighbors with their innocent comments!

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Vic Monaco October 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

My wife and I LOVE this show too!
Unlike anything on TV.
Very good comedic acting and, actually, heartwarming.
But I’m sure the network, which learned nothing from Seinfeld, won’t let it find its audience.

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Rita Mortenson October 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm

My husband and I love this show. It makes us laugh out loud. At the same time, it points up human frailty. Please keep this show on. Tok is wonderful–I’d watch the show just for her!

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anonymous October 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

This is probably one of the worse shows I have ever endured. It is so dry. It makes absolutely no sense. Take it off !

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Anonymous October 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

My family and I enjoyed watching the show. Love that something can be watched on television where everyone can have a good time. I hope the network picks it up.

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Anonymous in fla October 18, 2012 at 6:48 am

I think the show is great! We watch it with our 10 and 6 year olds and laugh a lot. Very funny. Mi hope they keep it up!

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Anonymous October 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I loved the show. I thought it was quirky & funny so of course it’ll be cancelled. Jamie Gertz looks amazing. There’s nothing wrong with a show that’s just for laughs. Not everything has to have a meaning & depth. Can’t we just laugh anymore??

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