I love an underrated television show. I love it maybe more than anything else on TV. Currently airing on Friday nights on ABC, ‘The Neighbors’, is the most underrated show on television. It’s a show that many aren’t watching, though they should be, and that’s not their fault but I will touch on that later. It is a strongly written show, even brilliantly written at times. The series provides as many laughs, sometimes more, than most of the big-name comedies on TV right now. It is the perfect mesh of two very different families bonding, building a relationship, and learning from one another in ways that are out of this world funny, pun intended.
Now, why is it so underrated and not given the acclaim and credit it is due? Well, first, viewers may be inclined to eye roll the basis of the show, which is about Marty (Lenny Venito) and Debbie (Jamie Gertz) Weaver who move their family to a wealthy gated community composed entirely of aliens in human form. They move next door to Larry Bird (Simon Templeman) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagandoye), the Bird-Kersee family who have all taken on the names famous sports players. The show revolves around the Weavers and the Bird-Kersee family, along each family’s children, as they face life in their newly formed relationship.
‘The Neighbors’ did an excellent job of detailing how the aliens learn to be more human and the Weavers learning to accept their new neighbors for whom they are during the shows first season. The entire first season was a fun time. It was the perfect combination of laugh-out-loud fun and moments that really tugged on the heart. Now into its second, the two families are still learning from one another, but now they are doing it as friends. The chemistry between the four main leads is impeccable. It has never faltered. It is really something special when it all clicks and this becomes a special show.
Another reason people are missing out on the show is because of ABC’s bad scheduling with its comedies. After a show finds its niche and groove in a timeslot, the network decides to move it, i.e. ‘Happy Endings,’ which I have yet to forgive them for. Last season, ratings for ‘The Neighbors’ did much better when airing after ‘Modern Family’. This season it airs on Fridays after Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing’. The two shows just do not feel right together and the combo is odd. Reba’s ‘Malibu Country’ was a much better fit, but they cancelled that. Whatever.
ABC has completely screwed up the two-hour comedy block on Wednesdays. The correct solution and perfect schedule would be to air ‘The Goldbergs’ and ‘Trophy Wife’ in the 7 o’clock hour followed by ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Neighbors’ in the 8 o’clock. Bring ‘Suburgatory’ back and put it and ‘The Middle’ on Tuesday nights. Now, they didn’t ask me for my opinion, but there it is and they should take note.
I love this show and I will watch to the end, whenever that shall be. I hope people get around to watching it Fridays or ABC finally realizes its mistake. This show is too well written, too well acted, and too damn funny to be cancelled. I can only hope viewers and the network will feel the same. ‘The Neighbors’ airs Friday nights at 8:30/7:30 central on ABC.