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This Jami Gertz comedy isn't perfect, but it's always nice to see aliens return to sitcom-land....
Buena Vista / 506 Minutes / 2012-2013 / Unrated / Street Date: September 24, 2013
Spoiler alert: the Neighbors here are extra-terrestrial. I recognize that this is nothing new in the land of television (there’s little on this Complete First Season set that Alf didn’t deliver during its initial broadcast run) but it’s a big shtick, and this new series really hangs a lot of its narrative endeavor on this concept.
The good news is that it works… sometimes. Jamie Gertz and Lenny Venito make a fine, benign earthling couple who provide an excellently naïve straight-man team for the zany eccentricities of their neighbors, Larry Bird (Simon Templeton) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), who happen to not be of Earth origin, and are having a devil of a time fitting into the ‘normalcy’ of humanoid suburbia. Dating, trouble at school, petty neighborhood melodramas – all these TV paradigms are infused with a sight-gag sci-fi twist in The Neighbors: The Complete First Season.
And as was the case with Third Rock From the Sun or Mork and Mindy, The Neighbors is able to lasso this outlandish oddity every now and then with dumb-ass success. A little goes a long way here – an episode or two is probably more tolerable than marathoning through the entire season – but there’s a reason the show got renewed for a second go-round. And who are we kidding? Anything with Jami Gertz in it is worth at least a quick look.