The Neighbors Season 1 Review “Halloween-ween” – Larry Bird Faces Trick-or-Treaters

The Neighbors Episode 5 Halloween-ween (5)

This Halloween-themed episode of The Neighbors was actually an uptick in storytelling. Hopefully, it continues, as I think this episode illustrates how to make a show like this work.

Firstly, a quick recap of the storyline. Larry Bird and his clan generally regard October 31 as the annual night of invasion from little devils and zombies. Larry is honored to protect his people from this invasion every year, but once he learns the day is actually a human holiday, he falls into a depression. Once he finds out his children are engaging in the tradition (Dick as Debbie–Marty puppet included–and Reggie as a sexy nurse–more on that later), he becomes appalled and angry, and in a way, that probably puts him firmer in his resolution to be against the small children that invade his neighborhood each year. Jackie, however, is more than eager to take part in Halloween (or, according to Jackie and Larry, Halloween-ween), and even goes so far as to dress as Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games. Larry scares his people into thinking Halloween is terrible in order to keep his feeling of importance, but Jackie is able to talk him out of his easily-bruised male ego–she states he does such a good job protecting them every day of the year, it wouldn’t hurt to participate in his harmless holiday for just the one day. After giving one adorable ladybug girl a piece of candy, Larry conquers his Halloween-ween fears.

Meanwhile, Amber thinks the best way to impress the Hot Guy At School is to dress in a slutty costume. She ropes Reggie into her scheme, saying they’ll dress as a hot nurse and hot doctor. Unfortunately, Reggie assumed she’d be the doctor. If you’re transgender, you might have gotten a little miffed at some of the language going on. I don’t think any offense was meant, but still, if you’re extra sensitive, you might not have liked how they approached the subject. Oh, and since I’m talking about alien boys dressing in female costumes, Dick dresses as Debbie after taking Debbie’s advice to dress as someone he admires.

While the alien shenanigans are going on, the Weavers are intent on spending Halloween with their children. However, they are eventually disappointed–Amber, who used to trick-or-treat in kitchy, politically-minded costumes, has now grown up into a young woman; Max, who usually does themed costumes with his dad, wants to do a zombie walk with his new friends (and a girl named Emma) and Abby wants to walk up to doors by herself. Their parents come to realize that their kids are growing up, but still need them, but in different ways–Abby needs her parents to hold her candy so she can swindle the candy-givers; Max doesn’t want to be  in a relationship with Emma and decides to hang with his parents for the rest of the night, and Amber doesn’t find the party she was attending as great as it could have been, so she acts like a nice big sister and takes her younger siblings from house to house.

Okay, so what made this episode better than some of the others? Well, both families were given room to breathe. This is the first time we get to see what the Zabvronians are like without the Weavers, and vice versa for the Weavers. There was minimal forced interaction and unforced interaction is what will make this show succeed. The jokes worked, the emotions seemed more realistic (for a comedy) and it was just more palatable overall. Do I think the show will last the test of time? After seeing several episodes, my opinion has changed and I think it’s not going to last longer than two seasons, absolute max (in fact, that might be a little generous). But for the run it’s doing, The Neighbors is making an impressive showing.