Top 10 Reasons to watch THE NEIGHBORS Season 2

There’s rarely a show I feel the need to champion like I do the “little-show-that-could” THE NEIGHBORS on ABC. When it premiered, critics were not impressed (I was).  Viewers didn’t flock to it (I did).  But somewhere in the middle of Season 1, things started clicking – critics checked the show out again, and felt “okay, maybe I was wrong” and by the time the show hit the end of Season 1, with a final that found Supreme Leader George Takei coming to town to take the Zabvronians home, the show had become a show people were saying positive things about, and ABC gave it the chance to get even better with Season 2, which premieres tonight on ABC at 8:30/7:30c.

To give you an idea of why you should be watching – here are 10 reasons to tune in:

SIMON TEMPLEMAN1. Larry Byrd (Simon Templeman) – as the leader of the Zabvronians on Earth, he’s under the impression that he is better and knows more than anyone, but his shortcomings are often the source of laughter, as he doesn’t really understand life on Earth like he thinks he does.   Simple shopping at the mall becomes an insane adventure, and learning about death blew his mind. Larry Byrd and Amber Weaver spend an episode as best friends, and it’s glorious. There’s also the musical episode, he one where he wants to win an award, and just about everything he does.

TOKS OLAGUNDOYE2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye) – Larry Bird’s loving wife, Jackie and Debbie Weaver become fast friends.  She’s still learning how to be an Earthling, and the moments where she strays from her unwavering loyalty to Larry Bird are some of the best.  Totally perky, basically all the time, she and Debbie have become the best of friends, and she is learning how to be fiercely protective mother from the human next door neighbor.  Jackie spends an episode watching REAL HOUSEWIVES to prepare for a girls’ night out with Debbie and it’s perfection.

LENNY VENITO3. Marty Weaver (Lenny Venito) – it was Marty’s decision to move the family out of the city and into the suburbs that got them into this ridiculous situation, and he approaches every new Alien thing with excitement. He’s your classic guy’s guy with a “nagging” wife, but his interactions with Larry as they somehow become best friends are some of my favorites onscreen.  Venito always feels like he’s seconds away from laughing at the absurdity of what he and the cast are going through, and it gives a perfectly fitting surprise and exasperation to the character. response to Debbie giving “Abby” a bath are perfection.

JAMI GERTZ4. Debbie Weaver (Jami Gertz) – Debbie Weaver is incredible – she is sarcastic and caring, doubts just about everything the Aliens do while also being completely intrigued and excited by it, and seriously, is Jami Gertz taking “stay young pills” because she looks AMAZING.  But moreover, her obsessive nature (about being a great mother, primarily) makes for some of the best moments of the series.  In tonight’s season premiere, she spends a lot of time hoping for a relationship with Amber that rivals the mother/daughter bond in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, and it’s just so funny.  Some of the greatest moments of the show are when Debbie somehow ends up spending time with neighbor son Dick Butkus (like on Halloween-ween when Dick was Debbie as his costume – genius).

TIM JO5. Reggie Jackson (Tim Jo) – the alien boy-next-door with a heart of gold, Tim Jo was somewhat of a standout for me in Season 1.  His love for Amber, and is relationship with old girlfriend Giselle made for some awesome growing pains.  He certainly doesn’t always fit in, and his inability to “conform” to some of the Earthly norms are why Amber is initially hesitant to admit she has feelings for him, but by the end of season 1, something’s a brewing between the two of them and it’s adorable.  Bonus?  Reggie Jackson has a lovely singing voice, and he’s the most romantic person on the planet.

IAN PATRICK6. Dick Butkus (Ian Patrick) – The absolutely standout for me in Season 1 was this gangly little guy with the long flowing red hair.  Ian Patrick’s portrayal of Dick Butkus is hilarious.  He’s a kid with little time for kid things, willing to sacrifice himself for his family to get back home.  His friendship with Debbie Weaver is one of the best on the show, and in tonight’s premiere, he plays an amazing secretarial role that it almost seems this kid was born for.  Every scene he has makes me laugh, sometimes without even saying words.

ISABELLA CRAMP7. Abby Weaver (Isabella Cramp) – this little girl is HILARIOUS.  She has great comedic timing, and her comments to her mother are genius.  Some of my favorite moments are her exasperation at what Debbie’s putting her through, including episode 2 of Season 2, airing next week, that involves a hair brush, and her obsession with the Weaver’s subscription to Starz.  Can’t wait to see where she goes over the years.

CLARA MAMET8. Amber Weaver (Clara Mamet) – Dry sarcastic Amber takes more after her mother than she might realize, and Clara Mamet is SO GOOD at the stoic way she plays just about everything.  She’s never happy, and when she is, you’re not sure, because she never looks it or acknowledges it.  She is fiercely loyal to her family whether she wants to admit or not, and her love for Reggie Jackson, and the jealously that comes from it, are fun to watch.  I do love her scenes with the popular gang the most, I have to say, because she tears them apart so sarcastically without them really noticing whatsoever.

MAX CHARLES9. Max Weaver (Max Charles) – The first to embrace the awesomeness of having alien neighbors, Max is a kid who can’t wait to grow up, but also isn’t afraid to be an adorably awesome older brother (the interaction between him and Isabella Cramp/Abby is some of the best stuff of the series). I love his interaction with Lenny Venito, and his one-liners are often highlights of scenes.  Already in Season 2, he’s had two of my favorite moments, and I’m only 2 episodes in!

KATHERINE TOKARZ, SHAUN ROBINSON10. The Community (various people like Doug Jones) – the Zabvronians are INSANE and will literally follow Larry through Hell and highwater – they dance around with him during musical moments.  They support him when he’s going up against his supreme leader father.  They are awesome, and they make the show that much more exciting to watch.  Whether it’s the insanity of their names, or the insanity of their actions, they are some of the funniest characters on TV.  Believe me.

So do yourself a favorite and check out the season 2 premiere of THE NEIGHBORS on ABC at 8:30/7:30c.  I promise you won’t regret it!!