CBS on Monday invited viewers to enter The Neighborhood, a new multi-camera sitcom about a white, Midwestern family that relocates to a predominantly black, Los Angeles suburb. Will you stick around for the potential seasons-long culture clash?
We’re first introduced to the Johnsons: Dave (recent Tube Talk guest Max Greenfield), a professional conflict mediator, his wife Gemma (2 Broke Girls‘ Beth Behrs), a grade-school principal, and their son, Grover (13 Reasons Why‘s Hank Greenspan). Their move-in date coincides with a barbecue hosted by new next-door neighbor Calvin Butler (The Soul Man‘s Cedric the Entertainer), who’s not exactly thrilled about having a white family next door. He’s worried it’s an early indicator that the neighborhood will soon be gentrified. What’s more, he mistakes Dave’s extreme niceness to mean he’s a closet racist.
Calvin’s wife, Tina (Everybody Hates Chris‘ Tichina Arnold), doesn’t see the Johnsons as some sort of threat. In fact, she welcomes them with open arms, inviting them over for the barbecue and quickly befriending Gemma. Likewise, Calvin and Tina’s oldest son Malcolm (Vice Principals‘ Sheaun McKinney) strikes up a friendship with Dave, while youngest son Marty (The Mayor‘s Marcel Spears) warns Dave and Gemma that his father isn’t likely to embrace them.
When both families are later seated in the Butlers’ living room, Calvin, who’s been nothing but rude to Dave, makes clear his confusion about Dave’s incessant kindness. Dave admits he’s been trying too hard, and assures Calvin that he just wants to be friends. He then apologizes to all of the Butlers if he came off as racist in any way, and awkward hugs are exchanged before the Johnsons return home.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of The Neighborhood‘s premiere? Log your choices in the polls below!