Welcome to The Neighbors!
I adore Jackie Joyner-Kersey (Toks Olagundoye) for her boundless enthusiasm and confused expressions. Larry Bird (Simon Templeman), of course, has to be the funniest member of the alien clan. He always hits it out of the park with his comedic timing!
The humans, in the Weaver family, are not the best neighbors, but the writers have done a good job of making them an average American family, with one exception; it appears that Debbie (Jami Gertz) does not work.
If she does, we never seem to find out what her job is. If she has to be home all the time for the story to work, perhaps the writers could give her a telecommuter job. I just do not see her not bringing in an income.
Anyway, this episode is about the alien reaction to the common cold. Larry, of course, over reacts and Jackie is curious and helpful. I want them for my neighbors.
The twelfth episode of The Neighbors first season opens with Debbie and Amber Weaver (Clara Mamet) are having a rather heated discussion about two actors when suddenly sister Abby (Isabella Cramp) enters feeling sick.
Since it is obvious she has a fever, she is staying home from school today.
Dick Butkus enters the house so that he can walk to the bus stop with her. Marty (Lenny Venito) answers with, “I’m sorry Dick, Abby is not going to make it today. She has a cold…” Dick gives Marty a confused look, so Marty continues, “…and we lost him”.
So, Debbie explains. At Abby’s sneeze, Dick reacts; he is startled, as he replies, “…excuse me. I gotta go do…step aerobics”. He dashes out the door.
Moments later, Larry and Jackie arrive with a quarantine tent. Apparently, the aliens quarantine an ill member of their community in a small tent away from everyone else so no one else gets sick. Very practical, Larry. I bet that was your idea since you are championing the idea so strongly.
The Weavers do not agree. So, again, Debbie gets to explain what a cold is and that when Abby gets sick she craves red meat. Max likes to hear Kermit the Frog sing Rainbow Connection over and over, and Amber hides in her room.
They leave food outside the door and leave as quickly as possible. Charming family when they are sick. So, no tenting of Abby, says Marty. This means that the whole family will be quarantined with no visits from the aliens, especially Larry and Jackie. Somehow, Marty and Debbie seem okay with this thought. Go figure.
Larry calls a meeting of the Zavbronians. He does not know if they can catch a cold, but they are not going to take any chances, he tells them. Everyone gets a face mask. At this moment, Larry draws attention to Billie-Jean (Kiersten Lyons), who is texting…with Dominique Wilkins (Doug Jones). I suspect this was done to draw attention to Doug Jones as a special guest star. I am glad to see him back.
As Larry explains the procedure for keeping away from the Weavers, Jackie attempts to convince him that the precautions are not really necessary. Debbie said that the cold is not dangerous, it is merely a nuisance. Larry, of course, is not easily swayed.
Debbie also said that he would enjoy the boxed set of Will and Grace, which he does not, it seems. It is nice to see that Larry is learning something about humans, even if it is through television, which may not be a good teacher.
Then, she wants a kiss on her forehead. Debbie attempts to avoid, but, she ends up with an angel and devil on her shoulders in the form of Larry and Jackie – Larry: “Don’t do it Debbie Weaver. Do not kiss the girl” – Jackie: “Kiss her, Debbie Weaver. Let me live vicariously through your nurturing”. Debbie gives in and kisses her daughter. Then, Abby sneezes.
Men can be such big babies. When the whole family is sick, men always seem to be sicker than everyone else. Marty, of course, is no exception. Max is watching Kermit The Frog sing about The Rainbow Connection while Abby chows down on a bone and Debbie tosses a box of tissues at her husband. She is sick too, but she also gets to look after everyone else. Where is Amber, we wonder.
She walks into the house. Debbie attempts to be upbeat, “hey sweetie, last Weaver standing. How ya doing?” Amber coughs. “It got Amber. Oh, sweet Lord, it got Amber.” Yeah, the end of days have cometh. Debbie now has another family member to tend to.
Over at the Bird/Kerseys, Reggie Jackson is working on something. Dick Butkus enters all enthusiastic about what Reggie is up to. Reggie makes Dick promise to not tell anyone, especially, their father. He is going to develop a cure for the common cold for Amber.
Dick leaves Reggie’s bedroom to find his mother trying on a nurses cap. Jackie makes Dick promise not to tell his father that she is going to nurture the Weavers. More secrets for Dick.
While Debbie continues to do all the nurturing at the Weavers and is beginning to resent Marty, who feels like he is worse off than everybody, Larry prepares to do a walk around of the community with an oxygen tank. He has 30 minutes of oxygen, so Jackie will have to work fast.
As Jackie leaves through the upstairs window, Reggie enters through the back garden with Janitor Raymond (Richard Riehle ), also known as “Subject A”. He says, as he sneezes, that a lot of people would think he is crazy, “but there’s one thing I have learned from 30 years of cleaning the high school crapper, is you never underestimate a nerdy Asian kid”.
At the Weavers, and to the music from Mary Poppins, A Spoon Full Of Sugar, Jackie gets the opportunity to nurture the Weavers. She really seems to be enjoying the experience. Exactly four minutes before Larry is to return, Jackie prepares to leave. Not going to happen, Jackie. Debbie needs tea for her sore throat. Jackie manages that and gets back to the bedroom just in time.
Larry walks in, delayed somewhat by Dick. You go, Dick! Jackie is in bed with the covers pulled up to her chin. Dick has a great line as Larry tells her that Dick told him they were exercising. “You’re all going to send me to an early grave”.
As Dick leaves and Larry attempts to sooth the situation, we learn that they have a water bed. This is a new development. At the beginning of the series, they slept in pods and the bed was treated as a garden. They have obviously made changes to fit in with the humans around them.
Everything seems to be working out fine for Jackie. She seems to have fooled Larry. Then, Jackie sneezes. Larry picks up on everything, “You emitted one of their sickness gasps”. Despite Jackie’s efforts to convince Larry otherwise, Larry discovers the grappling hook, nurse’s hat and back pack that Jackie was hiding. The jig is up.
Now comes the argument. Jackie was nurturing and boiled water and she loved it. Larry tells her she will have to get into the quarantine tent, but Jackie refuses. “Fine. Go snivel and wheeze with the flemmy Weavers,” Larry commands.
Jackie is gone. She has joined the other side. Larry gathers the rest of the community together to inform them that they will be tenting the Weaver house. Dominique Wilkins acts as spokes-alien for the group. They do not want to tent the Weaver house. Besides, says Dominique, he loves that warm fluffy bathrobe that Debbie has. Larry does not take this news well. He tells them that he will take his two sons and isolate themselves.
In Reggie’s room, Reggie asks the janitor how he feels after the last trial. Unfortunately, he is still sick. He tells Reggie that he has a tradition with his wife that with every lottery ticket he buys for them, he includes a post card of an island, since that is their dream if they should one day win. “I put it on her nightstand, and when she wakes up and looks at it, we pretend that we’re there. You don’t actually have to cure the common cold to win the girl, just make sure she knows you would if you could”.
Touched by Janitor Raymond’s words, Reggie runs over and gives him a hug, just in time for Larry to walk in and catch them. The look on their faces is priceless. “This isn’t what it looks like,” says Reggie. “It looks like you are embracing a custodian with a cold”, replies Larry. “Okay, it is what it looks like”, finishes Reggie, as Larry leaves, disgusted.
It is showdown time at the Weavers. Debbie has had enough of Marty’s whining. “You’re like a whiney helpless baby. You’re Benjamin Button,” Debbie insists about Marty’s behaviour. Then there is another knock on the door. For a family that was expecting to be left alone by the aliens as a result of their colds, they sure are having a lot of company.
Enter the entire community of aliens, with the exception of Larry Bird. Everyone has arrived to help. Personally, I would see that many clueless aliens in one room as much a nuisance as the cold. But, since this show is about learning to get along with others and people who are different, it looks like it will be quite a party.
Larry is in his tent, just getting comfy and ready to continue watching Will and Grace when he hears Kermit singing. Reggie is bringing a care package for Amber, her favorite magazine, some mashed potatoes and a shirt that she says does not suck. She accepts the package and opens the magazine to find a postcard of Staten Island. She has a slightly confused, but pleased look as he leaves. Good for Reggie.
There is a knock at the Weavers door. Larry enters and asks if he can get anyone anything. Jackie is thrilled to see him, and gives him a big hug, as she continues to cough. I think Larry is next when it comes to learning about the effects of the common human cold.
Larry offers to make a pot of tea for the infected. Debbie will get up and show Larry where the tea leaves are kept. Finally, Marty has caught on. He tells her that he will get up. “I’m sorry I act like Benjamin Button every time I get sick. It’s just that you are so good at taking care of everyone, it’s hard not to take advantage”. Of course, Marty has no idea where the tea is.
At Janitor Raymond’s house, it is morning. He still has his cold. With a blanket wrapped around his head, he gets up then looks at himself in the mirror. He has a full head of hair, “I knew it babe! Asian kids!” He is so happy. What a pity that Reggie dumped the formula down the sink without writing it down.
We look forward to seeing more of you here at our review site dedicated to our wonderful aliens friends known as The Neighbors!
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