Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Simon Templeman & Toks Olagundoye can relate their The Neighbors characters!
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[ # ] Simon Templeman & Toks Olagundoye can relate their The Neighbors characters!
November 14th, 2012 under The Neighbors


Tonight at 8:30p on ABC’s The Neighbors the Aliens learn about our Earthling holiday of Thanksgiving. A few weeks ago they learned about Halloween-ween and now it is time for them to understand the holiday that comes between that one and Christmas. Oh and yes there is going to be a Christmas episode coming up for the recently picked up ABC comedy.
We all know that Thanksgiving started when the Pilgrims and the Native Americans shared a feast together, so in a way this is the perfect holiday for the characters to celebrate together. Aliens welcoming in the human family, like the Indians welcomed in the Pilgrims.
And just like the Pilgrims, the show’s lead Aliens Simon Templeman & Toks Olagundoye can understand what it is like coming to America and learning about American holidays and such. Templeman who plays Larry Bird the leader, came over for England almost 20 years ago and he told me it took him a long time to understand the subtleties of American popular culture. Since he has been here a while, he understands the holiday they are celebrating tonight. He said, “The potential horror of that holiday, everyone is determined to gives thanks and have a good time, and that puts such a pressure on things.” Then he added, “There is a corresponding treburdation whenever Thanksgiving comes up. Which to somebody who doesn’t understand all of this, outside of American culture, don’t fully get it.” While that person might not get it, by the end of tonight’s episode the Aliens will comprehend it a lot better when they meet The Weavers parents played by Stacy Keach and Debra Mooney who come for a visit.
They are not the only relatives making an appearance on the show, Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s sisters will also learn about Turkey Day. Toks Olagundoye, who plays Larry’s wife Jackie has experienced the holiday like her character will tonight. She explained what she has seen of this holiday in the short time that she has been here in The States, “There is always a grudge that someone held over. There’s always the weird uncle or grandfather. There’s always the one thing that everybody knows about and there is one thing that they are expecting to go wrong. That is definitely in this episode.” Since we have all been there and done that, it will make this episode even more relatable and fun to watch.
Toks relates to her character because she was born in Nigeria and has lived in England and Switzerland before moving to America, so she knows what it is like to be the stranger in a new land. Unlike her character who has a community doing it with her, she did it by herself. She explained what that is like, “That whole idea of things happening. And you really thinking you know what is going on but you absolutely have no idea of what it going on. In that moment you realize you have no idea what is going on. It is an interesting moment, because there is a little bit of oh gosh, am I doing this wrong? And then a little bit of I am going to learn something new. Maybe I will learn something great out of it? That is something that Jackie really has.” Each week Jackie learns something new and tries to adapt to our world, Larry on the other hand not so much.
Another part of Thanksgiving is giving thanks. At the end of my conversation, Templeman made sure to get a sentiment across about working on The Neighbors. He praised the writers and what a great job they are doing writing for the characters on the show. He then had this to say about the people playing those characters, “We are blessed to have a really wonderful actors on the show. Lenny is just brilliant. Jami Gertz steers the ship. It is a pleasure to watch them act.” Then he added, “I have to say how thrilling it is to watch our younger actors, Clara (Mamet who plays Amber Weaver), Ian (Patrick who plays his younger son Dick Butkus), Max (Charles who plays Max Weaver), Isabella (Cramp who plays Abby Weaver) and Tim (Jo who plays his older son Reggie Jackson). They are just so talented and busting out with great ideas and things. It is a joy to watch them at this stage in their career. They are all going to go on to be big old stars. It will be nice to say ‘I knew them when…'” And some day they will all be saying that about him. And I will be saying “I interviewed him when..”
And since Thanksgiving is a holiday that we gives thanks; I am thankful that ABC not only picked up The Neighbors for the Fall Season, but that they saw the potential of the show and gave it a full season. While The Neighbors is not a show you can describe and give it justice. What I will say to get you to watch, is that is a show that will make you laugh and teach you a little something that you probably forgot you knew. There is kindness in accepting and learning about others and better yet it is funny to watch them try to get the lesson down which they never do the first few times.

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