The Neighbors – It’s So Wrong, But Jami Gertz Makes It Right

Let me start off this post with a proclamation of my absolute love for Jami Gertz. Ever since she first appeared on SQUARED PEGS and headlined the movie JERSEY GIRL (NOT the atrocious Kevin Smith film, but the cute David Burton Norris picture also starring Dylan McDermott – Netflix it), and starred in THE LOST BOYS I have been a big fan of the Gertz. Although I will admit I didn’t dig her last sitcom STILL STANDING – but that’s another post.

She is the main reason I tuned into the pilot of THE NEIGHBORS (Wednesday nights on ABC at 8:30 EST) and is the only reason I tuned in the next week. The plot is enormously contrived – aliens landing on our planet and for the past ten years have never interacted with humans. Unbelievable. No amount of suspension of disbelief can get me aboard that train. But the comic chops of Jami Gertz really make me pull for this show. Her timing has never been better and she has great chemistry with her alien co-star newcomer Toks Olagundoye and her totally human husband Lenny Venito.

The last episode shows promise of the show’s growth. It spoofed REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY (complete with gold lame dress) with a commentary on how silly it is to be watching television on a telephone. Think about it.

The silliness of this show might be its reason for death. Or it could be its savior. Hard to know. But until the decision is made, I’m going to keep watching and routing for Jami – and waiting until the holiday season to see her in UNDERCOVER CHRISTMAS (filmed in 2003 and usually shown on the Hallmark of Lifetime channels)  – it’s a crap movie, but she makes it shine.

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