Every new TV season has one.
It's that freshman series so supremely over the top, so unbelievable, so paint by numbers that attacking the series is like target practice. "The Neighbors" (8:30 p.m. Wednesday, WATE, Channel 6) fits the bill this time.
Adding to its woes is the fact ABC scheduled "The Neighbors," regarded by many critics as the season's worst new series, between the beloved comedy "The Middle" and "Modern Family," the Emmy magnet and universally adored by most critics and audiences.
Such an unfortunate scheduling amplifies the flaws of "The Neighbors."
Gimmicky and pandering, "The Neighbors" follows Marty and Debbie (Lenny Venito and Jami Gertz) who move their family to a peaceful gated community where the neighbors seem nice.
Well, maybe "nice" is the wrong word. Their neighbors are weird.
They walk in unison, dress alike and allow only one spokesman for the entire block of them.
Then Marty and Debbie discover why their neighbors act so odd: The people around Marty and Debbie are from outer space and have been stranded on Earth for 10 years.
"The Neighbors" is lacking in fundamental ways. The opener has no laugh out loud moments, and the plot is paper thin. There's no way you can't see where the story is going.
However, "The Neighbors" does manage a dash of charm accented by a feel-good underbelly, which makes it a refreshing change of pace from the sarcasm used in most comedies today.
In a quirky performance fit for this comedy, Simon Templeman has the most appeal as the alien leader Wilt.
But that's as close to funny as this show gets.
Score: 2 stars (out of five)
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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