The Neighbors Season 1 Review “Larry Bird and the Iron Throne” – Birthday Parties and Briefcases

The Neighbors Episode 6 Larry Bird and the Iron Throne (9)

Well, so much for what I know–The Neighbors has gotten picked up for a full season! I’m glad, but I’m still wondering how long ABC is going to hold out to see how long it takes for the show to fully stick. I will say one thing–perhaps they bought the season because the show, starting with this episode, “Larry Bird and the Iron Throne,” seems to start getting better organized in terms of both production values and storyline.

The first change is the disappearance of the “Previously on The Neighbors” opening recap. It’s been replaced with a recap with a voice over from Debbie. We also get a title card announcing the episode.

More evidence of the show beginning to gel–there seems to be a much more pronounced understanding of the characters and different interactions with characters who usually don’t talk to each other, like Max and Jackie. Even the alien brothers, who haven’t been in many scenes thus far, have had some interactions with each other. And there were some genuine laughs.

Anyway, this episode focuses on Debbie planning Abby’s birthday. Because they’re now in a house with space, Debbie wants to give her daughter the biggest birthday ever. Debbie’s also trying to make up for the fact that she didn’t have any big birthdays during her own childhood. One thing about Debbie–she becomes a terrifying monster when planning birthday parties, thanks to her childhood memories of sharing one solitary birthday cupcake with her siblings. After scaring Max, Dick, Jackie and even Abby away and having Jackie to finally confront her about her lunacy, Debbie opens up about why she goes crazy with birthdays. Jackie then decides to rally her Zabvronian comrades to help her put on the best birthday party ever.

During all of the hubbub, Reggie has been trying to gain favor with Amber, but getting nowhere. He gives her a birthday present (even though it’s not her birthday)–a tile chronicling all of the events of the universe since her birth.  All Amber wants, though, is to be able to go back to her old room in her old apartment. Her homesickness is part of the reason she’s so surly all of the time. Later on, when Amber walks back into her bedroom again, a mural of her old apartment complex and her old street have been painted on the wall. Another tile is on her bed, wishing her a “Happy Not Your Birthday.” Amber is touched.

Meanwhile, Larry has been shadowing Marty at work. This is really the only place where the “Iron Throne” part of the episode’s title comes in–Marty’s boss is in a motorized wheelchair, and Larry says that if they work together, they can dethrone her. Of course, they don’t, but the throne part never really comes back up in the episode.

Larry is working on some inventory reports and can’t seem to get the numbers to add up. That’s when Larry tells him he’s been using the numbers from last week, putting Marty in a panic. Those reports have to be done by today! This means he’ll have to miss the party!

Larry asks why he just doesn’t go and forget the work. Marty then gives a speech about what it’s like for him as the breadwinner of the family, working hard all to be able to bask in the 15 gloriously perfect minutes of family life, such as a child’s birthday party. Marty does get to go to the party after all–Larry stays behind and does his work for him.

Overall, this felt like an episode! Let’s see what happens next week.