If you haven’t seen The Neighbors, it’s about a family who moves to a gated community in New Jersey and finds out their neighbors are from another world, named after famous athletes. It’s the only place where Larry Bird (Simon Templeton) can be married to Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), and have sons named after Reggie Jackson and Dick Butkis.
This week, Larry and Jackie want their Earthling neighbors Marty (Lenny Venito) and Debbie Weaver (Jami Gertz) to take them to New York to see a musical because they heard “rumours about singing and dancing and Mormons and Cats”. The Weavers don’t think Larry and Jackie can handle the outside world. They were even scared after watching ET. Debbie tries to ground them as she’s grounding her daughter Amber because Amber wants to see a Jay-Z concert on a school night
Still, Larry and Jackie decide to go… by walking to New York. The next day they’re inspired to make their own musical to show the Weavers they can be trusted. Their audition process does look a little familiar and it looks like “Dominique Wilkins” (played by Doug Jones from Buffy’s “Hush” episode) won’t get the chance. Once they’re in full musical form, everyone gets a chance to sing, even “Dominique”. The songs, by the way, are written by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken. The aliens sing about their dreams, such as wanting to use a chain saw, tap dancing at the DMV, trying 50 Shades of Gray, and smacking the cast of Glee. Actually, they also sound pretty good. If Sweet, that musical demon, came across this, he’d keep walking.
However, things go wrong when Dick, and then Larry, fall into a deep hole. They call the cops instead of the Weavers, which may suggest the aliens will be revealed. Even a TV reporter shows up. Despite Jackie’s odd reactions, and how the rest of the group is responding to the accident, Larry keeps faith through the power of music, leading to a finale that may remind people of Les Miserables.
There’s a B plot where the Weavers’ kids decide to ignore their parents’ authority. The aliens do decide relying on the Weavers is the best idea for now. However, it did inspire “Reggie Jackson” to write a love song about Amber, which may set up an interesting relationship later this season. It also teaches Debbie to ease off on Amber, as she is a good kid. The episode ended with a nice homage to ET, done in an unexpected way.
Here’s the episode, thanks to Hulu
For more episodes, visit the ABC site for the show.
The Neighbors airs on ABC at 8:30 PM Eastern and Pacific, 7:30 Central.