Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Next up is ABC's big new fish out of water comedy The Neighbors. Except there are no fish, or water. But there are aliens!
New Series: The Neighbors
Premiere Date: Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 9:30 PM
Tag Line: After 10 years of living in isolation in a suburban condo development next to a golf course, a group of aliens is finally invaded by one human family. They both think the other is strange, and they learn very valuable lessons about accepting people and becoming better people (or aliens). Awwwww.
Meet the Weavers: Lenny Venito is Marty, a fat bumbler in the Ralph Kramden sitcom mold. Jami Gertz is Debbie, the take charge mom. Clara Mamet is Amber, the angry teenager and Max Charles and Isabella Cramp are Max and Abby, the interchangeable cute little kids.
The Aliens: They are all named after sports stars, including the leader Larry Bird (Simon Templeman), his wife Jackie Joyner-Kersey (Toks Olagundoye), and their sons Reggie Jackson (Tim Jo) and Dick Butkus (Ian Patrick). Dick Butt Kiss. Giggle. Snort. When they cry, green goo comes out their ears, and they have a communication device called a Pupar, but it is out of batteries so they can't call their home planet, Zabvron. When they change into their alien form, they sort of look like green fish that swallowed a basketball. They don't eat, they nourish themselves by reading. And they all dress alike, have English accents, and are emotionally distant. Basically, it's like liking in the U.K., but without "footie" stars.
People to Watch This With: Alf, Mork, Marvin, and French Stewart. What ever happened to that guy?
Puns Not Used in the Pilot: "Out of this world." "Take me to your leader." Anything about probes. X-Files jokes. Global domination. Ray guns.
Awesome Movies Jami Gertz Was In: Sixteen Candles, Solarbabies, Less Than Zero, The Lost Boys, Twister.
If You Like This, You'll Love: The Burbs, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Mars Needs Moms, Out of This World.
Required Showdown: There must be a race between the aliens' two favorite modes of transportation: a flying saucer and a golf cart.
Punny Athlete Names They Need to Use: Jumbo Cummings, Gregor Fucka, Saatanan Saatana, Kim Yoo Suk, Eddie Stanky, Dick Felt, Dick Shiner, Dick Mast, Dick Pole, Dick Trickle, Johnny Dickshot, Pete LaCock, Misty Hyman, Destinee Hooker, DeWanna Bonner, Ron Tugnutt, Rusty Kuntz, Capt. Jack Glasscock. (I found all of these names here.)
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
The peace-loving population of the serenely beautiful planet of Terra is targeted for destruction by the last survivors of the invading human race who are floating in an ancient spaceship and need a new home. War seems inevitable — even for the pacifists on this unusual planet — but a unique and unexpected friendship forged by a crafty young girl and the human pilot she captures could be the key to saving the day not only for planet Terra but for both warring races.
WHO’S IN IT?
Although Battle for Terra was independently made the producers of this stunning film managed to pull together a first-rate all-star cast led by Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler) as Mala the heroic young girl who initially is the only member of her planet to fight back. Luke Wilson has an appealing turn as Jim Stanton the American pilot Mala captures and is nicely balanced by Brian Cox’s (The Bourne Identity) evil General Hemmer who is out to annihilate Terra’s citizens and replace them with his own. Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) plays Jim’s loyal warrior brother Stewart with strong results; Danny Glover is effective as the human President; James Garner movingly voices the wise leader of the Terrians; and Dennis Quaid lends credibility to the role of Mala’s dad. There’s also an amusing turn from David Cross as Jim’s sidekick bot Giddy. Amanda Peet Justin Long and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) round out the impressive voice cast.
Battle for Terra’s 3-D animation is superb especially considering the budget restraints of an indie production. It stands with the very best of its genre creating an astounding visual experience that ought to have audiences of all ages riveted to the screen. More importantly the film’s strong environmental and anti-war messages are expertly weaved into its compelling storyline. This is a movie that has more on its mind than just entertainment (which it provides in spades).
A little more humor might have been injected but this is serious business. Battle For Terra stands apart from other recent 3-D animated experiences as a rip-roaringly fine piece of science fiction that looks impressive next to its live-action cousins.
For sheer pulse-pounding excitement and thrills the big climactic battle is simply breathtaking to watch.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
The movie is stunning to look at and the 3-D glasses just add to its impact. Definitely see this on the big screen.
Years after Earth is destroyed by a hostile alien race (when aren't they
hostile?) a strapping young buck named Cale (Matt Damon) is recruited
for a mission to locate a spaceship that holds the key to human
survival. With the alien baddies on their tail Cale and company are in
a race against time to secure a new home for the Earthlings who have
been left homeless by the Drej.
This brilliant animated sci-fi adventure has the added benefit of a
stellar cast. Other than John Leguizamo who renders a whimsical voice
for the nonhuman navigator Gune the cast refrains from altering their
normal voices instead injecting their regular speech with the type of
emotion sincerity and charm you'd expect from a live-action feature. In
addition to Damon Drew Barrymore is Akima the pilot who catches Cale's
eye; Bill Pullman is the authoritative captain; Nathan Lane is the
suspicious first mate; and Janeane Garofalo is a weapons specialist with
(surprise!) a bad attitude.
In addition to producing "Anastasia " veteran animators Don Bluth and
Gary Goldman are known for creating some of the most popular laser disc
interactive video games and it shows in "Titan A.E." The brilliant
graphics and sophisticated animation here will prompt more than one
double take as you wonder whether what you're seeing is real or
animated. The tapestry that surrounds the characters -- particularly in
the final moments of Earth -- is nothing short of the best animation
ever to hit the big screen. Just one question: What's up with Cale's
naked butt scene and Akima's shower sequence? We haven't seen this much
animated skin since Shelley Winters evacuated the Poseidon.