TV Previews

TVSource Fall Preview: ABC's 'Malibu Country' and 'The Neighbors'

Cast of Malibu Country

It takes a lot for me to enjoy a comedy – a lot. And neither of ABC’s new offerings ‘Malibu Country’ or ‘The Neighbors’ ever quite take off.

Malibu Country

The Cast

Malibu Country stars Reba (country music legend, y’all!) as Reba, Sara Rue (Rules of Engagement, Less Than Perfect) as Kim, Justin Prentice as Cash, Juliette Angelo as June, Jai Rodriguez (Bones, How I Met Your Mother) as Geoffrey, and Lily Tomlin (Damages, Desperate Housewives) as Lillie Mae.

The Premise

Reba Gallagher once dreamed of becoming a country music star. Instead she put her dreams on hold, devoting herself to her family and husband, Bobby, a country music legend. When Bobby cheats, Reba moves her children and everything she owns across country to California for a fresh start. She soon finds out being a southern belle trying to make it in Malibu can be quite the task. With her children’s’ unwavering support, she decides to pursue a music career. Will she survive on the West Coast? And will her dreams come true? 

Initial Reaction

Reba was better. Harsh? It’s honest. There’s a laugh track, which always seems like it’s leading the viewers to laugh at jokes that aren’t that funny. A lot of this shows are cheap, centering on Californian wives with plastic boobs and the state’s use of medicinal marijuana – the kind that have been done over and over. There was also a gay “joke” that left me cringing and embarrassed for Reba having to deliver the line.

Why You Should Watch

Obviously, if you liked her show Reba. It’s a similar concept. There’s the touchy-feely, overly friendly neighbor played by Sarah Rue. She’s oddly delightful in the role. Reba’s playing another woman scorned with two children, who will learn to find her way after her husband’s very public affair. Reba and Lily Tomlin, who plays her mother, have pretty great chemistry as well.

You want wholesome television. It’s reminiscent of the shows from the TGIF lineup; family-oriented, silly laughs, and nothing quite too serious – yet, at least. You can watch it with your kids and not be embarrassed about the content (minus the gay comment mentioned above), which is nice.

Or you’re really, really bored.

The Neighbors

The Cast

The Neighbors star Jami Gertz (Entourage, Modern Family) as Debbie Weaver, Lenny Venito (Bored to Death, Men in Black III) as Marty Weaver, Simon Templeman as Larry Bird, Toks Olagundoye as Jackie-Joyner-Kersee, Clara Mamet as Amber Weaver, Tim Jo (Glory Daze) as Reggie Jackson, Ian Patrick (Wanderlust) as Dick Butkis, Max Charles (The Three Stooges, The Amazing Spider-Man) as Max Weaver, and Isabella Cramp as Abby Weaver.

The Premise

The Weaver family has moved into Hidden Hills, an exclusive gated New Jersey community. From day one, the Weavers begin to notice how different the residents are. Case in point, three of them are named after pro-athletes. Over dinner, they realize the neighbors receive nourishment from their eyes by reading books, rather than eating. Later, they learn the entire community is comprised of alens from Zabvron, where men bear children and everyone cries green goo from their ears. The Weavers are the first humans they’ve had the opportunity to know. What happens when the two worlds collide and reveal that aliens and humans can relate to one another more than they thought?

Initial Reaction

This show is… awkward, weird, and not funny. That’s not entirely true. The little kids are amusing, but that’s because they’re cute and cute can make things happen. It leads to a funny Dick joke – as in Dick Butkis.

Why You Should Watch

…You like aliens? No, seriously. You like Jami Gertz? No, seriously. And if you want a wholesome comedy you can watch with your children. Really, that’s all I’ve got. Because kids may be the only people alive who truly enjoys this show.

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About the author

Amber Cunigan

Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.

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