CBS’ religious-based comedy “Living Biblically” returned for its third episode on Monday to tackle the age-old issue of loving thy neighbor, even if they’re the absolute worst. It’s a concept that Chip, like many, finds easy to do in theory, but hard to do in practice.
The episode opens with Chip laying in bed with his wife, talking to her about the fact that she’s carrying their child. He’s on his second week of living his life by the strict letter of the Bible and she is continuing to support him. In fact, she’s so into what he’s saying that she puts her book down and they pull the covers up. Unfortunately, they’re abruptly pulled from any romance by their neighbor’s techno music.
The next day, Chip asks his “God Squad,” Father Gene and Rabbi Gil, what he should do. Rabbi Gil notes that this is one thing that most of the major religions can basically agree on – you have to love thy neighbor. Chip admits that he perhaps hasn’t been the most friendly person to share an apartment building with, prompting his priest to note that the expression is a metaphor. He’s really got to love everyone on earth as if they’re his neighbor. this is especially true for the people who blast techno music, film concerts on their phone, lean on the subway pole, spoil movies or just generally aren’t fun to be around.
Chip puts this into practice at work. After bonding with his deskmate Vince and asking him to be his new best friend, he gets cracking on his column about living by the Bible. However, for the second day in a row, Cheryl comes over and starts distracting him with details of her incredibly awkward date the night prior. He snaps and starts to yell at her. However, he catches himself and turns his anger into love, giving her a very uncomfortable hug which he thinks shoos her away.
Unfortunately, in an hilarious twist, she returns a moment later with their boss who dresses Chip down about sexual harassment and “being creepy.” Armed with a new confidence in his biblical lifestyle, Chip notes that more people should be open to loving each other. He mentioned that his boss can be difficult to work with, but that she constantly dares him to be better at his job. She gets the hint and leaves him be, but he knows he now needs to chat with Cheryl about making her uncomfortable.
She quickly softens and understands that he meant no harm, but she tells him that he’s not the nicest person to be around either. He rolls his eyes, he’s short-tempered and, apparently, has a bit of body odor in the summer. That’s when he realizes what we all know, but aren’t always able to practice – loving thy neighbor starts with being a good neighbor yourself.
Armed with that knowledge, and a bit of encouragement from his wife, Chip understands that he can’t simply pound on the walls, shout “shut up,” bribe or leave passive-aggressive notes to fix his issue with his neighbors. He needs to go next door to talk with them face-to-face.
The techno music lowers and he seizes the opportunity. He knocks and a sweet elderly couple answers.
“First, let me start by saying you two are an inspiration,” he says.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that the upstairs neighbors, not the next door neighbors, are the problem. After a ten minute conversation, he’s happy to go out to the bar and report to the God Squad that he’s become a better neighbor to those around him.
“You can’t control how much hate there is in the world. It’s the world, it sucks,” Rabbi Gil explains. “But, you can control how much love you put into it. That’s power baby.”