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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

43 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Ron Clifton says

    Its funny , period. Sit back and enjoy. In a way it reminds me of Green Acres. Some parts are so over the top, you just shake your head and laugh. Hope it hasn’t been cancelled.

  2. Karyn says

    Please don’t cancel this show. I enjoy the Neighbors and wonder why more people don’t agree with me. It really is a great show.

  3. Julia says

    I found The Neighbors by accident, and I’m so, so glad I did. This show is a hoot. I’ve read all the comparisons to Third Rock, Alf, and Mork & Mindy and I have to disagree. If The Neighbors is like any other show, it’s got to be Green Acres. Mr Douglas moved to Hooterville and set about trying to change the people to be more like him. Marty Weaver seems to be trying to do the same to Hidden Hills. Most of the other characters–even the delightfully surly Amber Weaver–have found something good about the community.

    I truly hope that ABC sees sense and keeps The Neighbors. If they don’t, all I have to say is could I please have the Bird-Kersees’ awesome living room furniture?

  4. Teri Olsen says

    I caught the musical episode quite by chance and fell in love. My tv is set to record, but I hear its getting canceled. Why are the GOOD, WHOLSOME, CLEAN shows always the first to get cut. Please don’t cut this one. There are too many shoot-um-up, sexy shows out there. leave us the wholesome, good ones.

  5. stacyb139 says

    I LOVE this show!! Was unsure at the beginning of the season, but it grew on me and now I simply love it. So funny, so quirky and so clever. Just watched the season finale and I am praying to the TV-ratings gods– PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL MY NEW FAVE SHOW!

  6. John Boland says

    It is hilarious .Reviews from the fall of 2012 were all poor.I didn,t watch it until 2013 and love it..give it a chance..

  7. Vicky Crowell says

    I watch The Neighbors like the real fan I am – live, DVR’d, and On Demand when I need a funny fix. It’s a stupid premise, I’ll grant you, but the dialogue is crisp and witty, the kids seem like OUR neighbors’ kids, and the cultural references (LOVED the Hughes homage in the school dance episode!) are appropriate to this Baby Boomer. I think it’s funny, but then, I liked 666 Park Avenue, Alcatraz, and Terra Nova, so what do I know?

  8. AL D NY says

    I think the show is really funny. i laugh outloud and have my whole family into it.
    the soccer one is the only one that was not as good as the rest. just my IMHO.

    but from what im reading it will not be for long, i guess im the minority in this one.

  9. Prof. V.R. Rubin says

    I look for one thing in a sitcom- heart laughs. The two I enjoy most these days are Big Bang and The Neighbors. In both, the scripts are wonderful and the acting utterly hilarious. I recommend them on to my friends and they all agree. Absolutely the best. I hope that The Neighbors remains on the air until they run out of ideas. VRR

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