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Series / The War Next Door

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"And the eternal dance of death continues."

Secret agent Kennedy Smith spent years saving the world from super-villains. After supposedly defeating his arch-foe Kriegman for the last time, Kennedy honors a promise to his wife Lili to retire. With their kids Ellis and Lucas in tow, they move to the suburbs and Kennedy gets a job as a car salesman. Less exciting and incredibly normal, Kennedy's finds his new life a breath of fresh air... until a very much alive Kriegman moves in next door with his wife Barbara. Turns out that trying to take over the world just isn't any fun without Kennedy trying to stop him, so Kriegman tries to force him out of retirement and resume their eternal dance.

The USA Network series was brought to us by the creators of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Unfortunately, the series proved to be a massive Short-Runner - airing eight of the thirteen produced episodes.


This show provides examples of:

  • Becoming the Mask: Kriegman and Barbara have long since been partners-in-crime, but their relationship was always professional—not romantic. However, Kriegman actually does fall for her and gets jealous seeing her with someone else. Though Barbara is initially disgusted, they later become an official couple.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Let's see...guitar lessons, steal plutonium, buy apple juice—oh, here it is: kill Kennedy Smith."
  • Character Name Alias: Barbara Bush. Doubles as a Meaningful Name considering Barbara's role in Kriegman's schemes.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Kennedy decided to get a vasectomy, but before the operation, he opted to keep some savings at a sperm bank just in case he and Lili wanted to have another baby. That's not unusual. Keeping the sperm in your own freezer so no unsavory characters will get to it, however...
    • It's also hinted that this is not his only stash. Also, vasectomy is reversible.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kennedy does this to keep his secret agent days a secret.
  • Dark Action Girl: Barbara.
  • Determinator: "What? My arch-enemy has retired, leaving me free to takeover the world with ease? Well, that's no fun. I'm going to get him back in the game no matter what."
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  • Disney Villain Death: Kriegman in the first episode.
  • Femme Fatale: Barbara.
  • Forklift Fu: Kennedy does this in "Get a Death."
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: How one of the two main characters always dies.
    • A non-lethal, humorous example in "And Baby Makes Death." It turns out that all those times he handled nuclear material made Kriegman sterile.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Kennedy knows a hundred ways to kill a man with just a spoon.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Barbara in "And Baby Makes Death."
  • Mythology Gag: "Kill Kill Kill" (the title of the first episode) was the working title for the series.
  • Parental Substitute: In "Blood Is Thicker Than Death," Lucas loses faith in his father and Kriegman swoops in to be his arch-foe's son's father figure.
  • Pet the Dog: Kriegman and Barbara are actually pretty nice to Kennedy's kids. They may manipulate them to annoy Kennedy, but they don't actively try to physically harm them.
  • The Rival: In "Death of a Salesman," Kriegman gets a job at Kennedy's car dealership and threatens to claim the top sales record. This annoys Kennedy (just as Kriegman wanted), but when the ex-spy makes a comeback, Kriegman becomes obsessed with getting that record just as much.
  • Screwed by the Network: The final five episodes were never aired on USA.
  • Shared Universe: Possibly with The Adventures of Pete & Pete, seeing as both take place in a suburban town called Wellsville.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Each episode ends with one of the two (sometimes both, but usually Kriegman) getting killed in some violent fashion - only for him to be alive and unscathed the very next episode. Of course, that was sort of the point.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Kennedy desperately wants his father's approval.