By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Broad comedy mostly family friendly, but some innuendo.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive themes include embracing others' differences and learning to accept alternative ideas. There's also a sense of community, however odd it might be. There's some stereotypical husband-wife relationships, played for laughs.
Positive Role Models
While they aren't entirely realistic role models, both human and alien neighbors show respect and concern for each other. The aliens' human forms are also remarkably diverse, with both genders and multiple ethnic groups well represented.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is light and played for comedy -- a man trips, etc. The aliens aren't particularly scary looking, although they're meant to scare the human characters onscreen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual innuendo that will mostly go over kids' heads, with phrases like "I feel so deeply for you, my dear, I'm going to pleasure you all night" and "I fear our little Dick may have exposed himself again."
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Kids use language like "this blows," "shut up," and "dork."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Neighbors makes for generally safe family viewing, although kid characters use iffy language like "this blows," "shut up," and "dork" when talking to their parents. There's some sexual innuendo aimed at adults, too, but the jokes will probably go over most kids' heads. Any violence is played for laughs, and the aliens you see aren't meant to be scary.
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Based on 2 parent reviews
Do not allow your children to watch this show!
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What's the Story?
When Marty Weaver (Lenny Venito) moves his wife, Debbie (Jami Gertz), and their three children (Clara Mamet, Isabella Cramp, and Max Charles) from the city to a gated community in suburban New Jersey, he prays that THE NEIGHBORS turn out to be normal. But the welcome wagon is more than a little weird -- it's packed with aliens from a faraway planet. Can they learn to live together in spite of their differences?
Is It Any Good?
While the tone, at times, borders on ridiculous and the premise is, well, downright stupid, there's something about The Neighbors that works, almost in spite of itself. (And it isn't just the fact that the resident aliens have adopted the names of well-known American athletes like Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Dick Butkus. Although that definitely helps.) The comedy's so broad it's practically a barn door, but both kids and parents will find something to laugh at.
Of course, the concept of aliens living among humans is hardly unique to TV -- and for some reason, sitcom aliens seem to prefer suburbia (see also: Mork & Mindy, ALF, or 3rd Rock from the Sun). We doubt these Neighbors will make their mark beside Mork, but the writers certainly could take them to some interesting places.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about aliens and the possibility of life beyond planet Earth. Why do humans find outer space so fascinating? How has curiosity about the universe and its inhabitants influenced art, science, and other forms of popular culture?
How does The Neighbors compare to other TV series and movies about aliens? Are alien characters better suited for comedies or dramas?
Does the show have a message, or is it merely meant to be funny? What do the aliens' assumptions about the human world really say about us?
- Premiere date: September 26, 2012
- Cast: Jami Gertz, Lenny Venito, Simon Templeman
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Space and Aliens
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: March 25, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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