Having gotten pretty attached to Outsourced, (a show that took my idea for a Northern Exposure like Indian outsourcing experience) only to see it canceled, I’ve been a little guarded in Matters of the televised heart this season. Animal Hospital, which I loved like a sister, I guess, went by the wayside, as did 666 Park Place, which was kind of like my old, crazy, cliched wife I kept in the attic while I romanced Jane Eyre. The one show that I’ve grown to have Outsourced-like feelings for, however, is The Neighbors. How do I love those neighbors? Let me count the ways:
10. Jackie Joyner Kersee’s voices.
Toks Olangadinajad is from Nigeria and has a high British accent. The last few episodes, she’s put on an American accent and it has been fabulous. I never ceased to be amazed by Hugh Laurie’s accent in House, but JJK’s adds depth to the idea that these aliens are totally malleable. Reminiscent of how John Lithgow always was.
9. Weekend at Bernie’s.
in the episode Juan of the Dead, when Larry Bird raised Juan from the dead, it was such a perfect homage to WaB. (Similar thing happened in the episode Dream Weavers, which featured a Judd Nelson cameo and was an homage to John Hughes.)
8. We’re all aliens here.
As often as not, the citified Weavers are as clueless about the ways of the suburbs as the Bird-Kersees. This makes for some really entertaining back and forth, as they try to figure things out together.
7. The concept and the title
I’ve been unable to think of a show specifically focused on a set of two neighbors. Lots of shows feature neighbors, but there’s almost always a dominant family. Her, there’s a partnership. Unique.
6.the voice talent has a face.
Larry Bird is new to us. His previous credits are almost all from video games. Look it up.
I’ve been a Lenny Venito fan since Gigli. Nuff said.
These characters all have great chemistry, don’t they?
3. Disney tie ins
I can’t wait to have a The Neighbors experience on the Studios backlot.
2. Clara Mamet.
I have this kind of thought that David Mamet, the father of the wonderfully droll Clara, who plays Amber Weaver, takes a swing adding a few lines to scripts ala Glengarry Glenross. The best part is that Clara stands on her own. Her dry humor and frieda kahlo unibrow would easily be the best part of the show if it weren’t for
1. The relationship between Amber.and Reggie.
It’s maybe cliched, but I feel like they have genuine chemistry. The whole alien-human dynamic definitely is an improvement over JGL’s one sided relationships in TRftS, which happened to be pretty cliched and one sided. Here, we see both sides of the relationship and its pretty cool.
(This kid is number 11)