In the US: Wednesdays, 8.30c/7.30c, ABC
In the UK: Not yet acquired by anyone in the world except Canada
What’s the funniest thing in the world? In the whole wide world? Go on. You know the answer. No?
It’s foreigners, of course. Foreign people who don’t know our ways and customs. Maybe they have an accent or don’t know how to use a hosepipe correctly.
That’s comedy gold, right there, that is.
Now, there’s a theory that when the economy is bad, people like escapist TV. And with networks currently trying to capture in a bottle the magic that made some of their – and other networks’ – previous hits so popular so they can pour it into a whole new set of shows, what better plan for ABC, home of Modern Family, Suburgatory and The Middle, than to create yet another show set in suburbia, except with some escapist foreigners to laugh at instead of Americans: in this case, aliens with English accents who own an entire street in the middle of suburbia, until two of them move out and a human couple from New Jersey move in.
Yes, aliens. The ultimate foreigners. Comedy platinum, right?
Ignore the fact that “aliens live next door to us in suburbia” was The Coneheads. Ignore the fact that “normal person moves into a strange neighbourhood and discovers it’s full of sci-fi weirdos” is both Eureka and ABC’s own The Gates. Ignore the fact that these aliens and everything about them are basically the same, bar the accents, as the ones from Galaxy Quest.
Ignore those facts and focus on this: The Neighbors is comedy gold that you bought from a pawn shop, only to discover it was really electroplated nickel.
That bottle of magic? Floating down a river towards Fox, right now.
Here’s a trailer.