TIMESLOTWednesdays @ 8:30pm on ABC.
SYNOPSISSingle father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the 'burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they've ever been.
Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa's mom pulled a "Kramer vs. Kramer" before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he's feeling a little out of his league. So it's goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the 'burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they're really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast.
Jeremy Sisto as George Altman
Jane Levy as Tessa Altman
Carly Chaikin as Dalia Royce
Allie Grant as Lisa
Alan Tudyk as Noah Lerner
Cheryl Hines as Dallas Royce
Executive Producer / Writer: Emily Kapnek
Executive Producer / Director: Michael Fresco
Production Company: Warner Bros. Television
REVIEWSPlease note that these reviews may contain spoilers.
|Gordon McDougall's Take|
|Some network executive must have looked at the premise for this sitcom and decided it belonged with The Middle on ABC’s powerhouse Wednesday night lineup. The Middle is about a family who has always lived in the American mid-west. Suburgatory is about a father (George) and teenage daughter (Tessa) who are transplanted from New York City to middle America. That’s where the similarities end.
Part of the charm of The Middle is that it embraces the people who populate the “fly over” states. Suburgatory seems to be less charitable. It mocks the suburbs, which could make it too unpleasant a transition for fans who want to watch something between The Middle and Modern Family (which also embraces its family dynamics). It feels more like a show that belongs on ABC Family or Much.
There are some funny moments in the show, starting with the “handicapped bathroom” at school which is large enough for her to hide out during lunch (and which she says could’ve gone for $950 a month in Manhattan). Presumably, there are no disabled people in this particular suburb, so it’s her hideaway from this unfamiliar world.
There are some cute moments, but I really don’t think the people who would like Suburgatory will find this show. Also, there’s also a running gag through the pilot that everyone thinks Tessa is a lesbian, and most treat it as a condition that needs to be fixed. It comes across as wrong on a couple of levels.
If ABC could find a better place to put this show, it could have a decent run. I don’t know where that would be, though. It’s stuck in the Wednesday night slot the way George and Tessa are stuck in the suburbs, and therefore, I have to say Suburgatory will likely be: cancelled early on.
|Rating: Watch it while you can! (Canceled early on)|
|About Gordon McDougall|
TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com