Friday, September 30, 2011

Pilot Thoughts: Suburgatory

I'm not even calling this a review because I'm a little too braindead for that at this point, but wow, I loved this pilot. Tessa, the teenaged narrator, was snarky and precocious without being obnoxious or two unrealistic, and I love the dynamic they're setting up between her and her single dad (Jeremy Sisto, who still always terrifies me a little because of Six Feet Under). He's the "cool dad" type but also fairly strict, and they clearly love each other a lot, whatever current problems they're having.

I expected to like those characters (and Alan Tudyk!) but I was delightfully surprised to discover that some of the supporting characters were fairly nuanced already. The client/love interest/suburban supermom Dallas Royce seemed initially set up to be superficial and awful, but she almost immediately gave George some really decent parenting advice. And sure, maybe her primary motivation is trying to sleep with George, but she also honestly seems to want to help Tessa, and there's an argument to be made that it is helpful for a girl to have someone in her life who makes it clear that she's open to discussing things like bras. (We don't know yet whether Tessa already has someone playing that role in her life.)

Of course, a lot of the suburb stuff is a caricature, but this episode suggested that it's not an unthinking one, and that - as on Community - there might be enough heart to back it up. I'm very hopeful.


  1. Me, too. I was a bit confused early in the pilot, because the ads I'd seen had led me to believe that the show was about a married couple who moved to the suburbs, not a dad and teen daughter.

    I was losing faith a bit in the middle, when it seemed we were being bombarded with a few too many suburban cliches.

    But the end completely redeemed the show, with Tessa and Dallas and the pretty bra, and the picked-on girl from school showing up at Tessa's house.

    I'm on board, and look forward to seeing where they go from here.

  2. I'm not sure if I'm totally onboard with the show. I could love it or leave it. But I feel tempted to climb onboard for a couple more eps. Some of the suburban caricatures did begin to grate on me. But I'm a massive fan of Community and could definitely see the similarities.