Given the remarkably hostile reviews flung at ABC's high-concept sitcom The Neighbors, an Emmy nomination would probably have been considered as likely as aliens taking over a gated suburb.
But there it is, a nomination for outstanding original music and lyrics for the nonsense song More Or Less The Kind Of Thing You May Or May Not Possibly See On Broadway - written by Beauty And The Beast composer Alan Menken, no less.
Given that there weren't many Emmy nominations for any show not on cable or Netflix, that's quite an accomplishment.
I remain unashamed of liking this guilty pleasure (which debuts its second season Friday). Or I plead guilty to liking this shameful pleasure, I'm not sure which.
The plot: a human family moves into a gated, golf-course community, that turns out to be peopled by Zabvronians, wide-eyed, naïve aliens who all dress alike (preppy), cry through their ears, and have taken the names of pro athletes. Scene-stealer Toks Olagundoye plays Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who's married to the commander, Larry Bird (Simon Templeman).
A sitcom about alien fish-out-of-water whose antics reflect our own eccentricities? Kind of a precedent there already, whether you're talking Third Rock From The Sun, Mork & Mindy or My Favorite Martian.
The Emmy-nominated episode, Sing Like A Larry Bird, was arguably the most bizarrely weird one of the season. It saw Larry and Jackie escape the suburbs and reach Broadway, where they saw Annie. They returned, sharing the insight with their fellow extraterrestrials that it was entirely appropriate for Earthlings to break into song and synchronized choreography for no apparent reason. And they did so, the better to fit in.
It surprised many, when The Neighbors was renewed despite mediocre ratings (although to be fair, it was opposite shows like Survivor and American Idol).
But I was happy to see more. I also like seeing Jami Gertz (as the human mom) working. One more of my crushes from the '80s accounted for. Throw in a guest appearance by Ione Skye and you've got me.
Now the question is how long the half-life can be for this sort of fun-house-mirror satire. We've seen the Zabvronians wrestle with driving, television, clothing and bathrooms. We've seen Jackie acquire a "brainworm" for the song Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind, listening to it 100 times or more. Like I said, weird.
Have to think the next step is to let the Zabvronians' secret out of the bag just a little bit more. And there are hints of just that in the promos for tomorrow's season two debut.
Hey, it's Friday night. What else have you got? PVR'ed episodes of The Newsroom?