** (out of ****)
From the moment I could dream, I dreamed of owning a monkey. I would only “own” it in the strictest of terms; in reality, it would be my best friend. We would do everything together, from reading comic books to baking cookies to spying at girls in the locker room to flying on jetpacks. I would teach him how to do math homework, and he would teach me how to shit in my hand and throw it at unsuspecting pedestrians, which would be all of them. We would become the hottest couple on the block, with people at parties asking “When are Ryan and Michael Jordan Raphael Bruce Willis Griffey, Jr. going to get here?” We would arrive fashionably late, receive over a thousand high fives, and then sit down at the piano, where he and I would shit in our hands and throw it at people. One day, he would grow up and think about ripping off my hands at the wrist, but we would sit down and I would simply explain that’s not a good idea. He would agree, and then furiously rub his penis. I would have no choice but to do the same to mine. Life would be fucking wonderful. But apparently Santa Claus doesn’t understand that when you put the same thing at the top of your Christmas list for ten years in a row, it means that thing is pretty fucking important and the rest of that fucking garbage doesn’t mean shit. It would take me a while to realize that Santa isn’t the most reliable person, and I would have to go out and get a job and buy my own monkey. Until I do, I will just have to keep dreaming, and hold on to this baby sized top hat and bowtie set.
The new show Animal Practice has a monkey in it. Other than that, it’s not very funny. – RH
* 1/2 (out of ****)
Hoo boy. I don’t even know where to begin.
A long time ago, a bunch of aliens landed and bought an entire neighborhood, where they lived and waited for their home planet to call them back. One of the aliens gets fed up and flies back home, leaving a vacant home. A hilariously dysfunctional family buys that house, and are now the only human beings in a neighborhood filled with aliens who don’t, at all, try to cover up what they are. This leads to the humans finding out that they are aliens within the first night of them being there.
The vast majority of the aliens stand in a group and move around in posse formation, so the only real alien characters (and I could not be using that term more loosely) is the boss, his wife, and his son. The point of the show, if I was forced to pick one, is that we will watch these two families relate to each other and learn from each other.
Throughout the course of the show, we see something of a take forming, as the alien family is dominated by the male, whereas the human family is dominated by a pushy female. Both families are baffled by how the other one works. OK, so we’re seeing a modern family (guess what the lead-in is) versus a traditional family, with the traditional family portrayed by aliens? Is this saying that conservative family values might as well be alien in this rapidly changing world? It doesn’t matter, by the time this show has a chance to say something, a couple of fart jokes have been told, some weak special effects have been displayed, and everything is reset back to normal.
When I was a kid, we had shit like this all the time. From ALF to Dinosaurs to Small Wonder, we had multiple examples of this weird mixture of sit-com and sci-fi that, even though it aired in prime time, was mostly aimed at kids. If The Neighbors is attempting to do that, it’s an odd choice, what with network television on the brink of being flushed down the toilet, not to mention it’s handed Modern Family’s cushy lead-in spot…at 9:30, when everyone who would want to watch this show has already been put to bed or sedated and tied down.
In the end, though, trying to figure out the purpose or the target audience of The Neighbors is totally pointless. The bottom line is that it’s bad. It’s Bad. It’s BAD. It’s BAD BAD. I hate word minimums for articles. – RH