Suburgatory Review: The Barbacue

I found the substitute that will fill this empty hole in my heart while Awkward is off the air. It is called Suburgatory and it is utterly fantastic!

I was a little worn out last week and I didn’t get find the will power to write a review of the series premiere which I now regret because this week’s second episode proved that Suburgatory  is by far this year’s best new network comedy.

In the pilot episode our lead characters, father-daughter duo, George and Tessa Altman moved from New York City out to the suburbs, a.k.a. Tessa’s worst nightmare. The fictional community of Chatswin is the setting for Suburgatory and I gotta say it’s up hight on the list for some of the most cartoonish communities on television.

This week we get to learn more about George and Tessa’s new neighbors, the Shays. Ever since George and Tessa moved in Mama Shay has been asking them over for dinner and each time George finds a creative way to turn her down. However this week after Tessa over sleeps and George gets his shirt stuck in the door, they reluctantly agree to a neighborly dinner.

I’ll just come out and say it; the Shays are grade-A crazy! They are manipulative, intrusive, and even kinda rude. But it makes for a very entertaining dinner scene. While George’s personal life is being integrated, Tessa is forced to mingle with the Shay’s very attractive son, Ryan and his friends, which happens to include Dalia (who met last week.) During a game of truth or dare Ryan gets dared to kiss Tessa and he does causing Tessa to fall under the spell of this seriously intellect inept boy.

The second half of the episode focused on the barbecue that George and Tessa are required to have if they don’t want to be shunned from Chatswin. With help from his college friend Noah (Alan Tudyk) George is able to host one that weekend.  At the barbeque we run into the Shays again and meet to husbands who are clearly closeted. We also run into Dallas, one of George’s other neighbors and the mother Dalia, who also seems to have a gigantic crush on George (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t have a crush on George? Jeremy Sisto is HOT, its kinda hard to avoid!) Dallas may have a crush on George (even though she is married) but she means well, even if she is cuckoo as well.

This show knows its characters and that’s what really makes this show work for me. The relationship between George and Tessa is completely charming and believable. From the beginning you could tell that this was a duo who has stuck with each other through the best of times and the worst of times, even if they do have their disagreements from time to time. It helps that Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy have fantastic chemistry and can play of each other well. But what is also great is that the supporting cast is just as great as our two main leads. Yes, they all act extremely cartoonish but they make it work; especially Cheryl Hines who plays Dallas (whom I hope we get to see more of in the coming weeks.)

So I think I will be reviewing Suburgatory on a weekly basis from now on. It has completely won me over; much like Awkward did this summer. And yes, I am very aware of the similarities between these two shows and you know what? I love them! They are both excellent female led comedies that deserve to be watched!

Other Thoughts/ Quotes:

  • “I’m stuck! Save yourself!”- I loved that opening scene with George and Tessa as they tried to escape Mama Shay. Great comedy there people.
  • “Come on, Dad. I don’t have to study. I know everything already!”
  •  “Maybe I did something terrible in a previous life. Maybe I was Eva Braun.”
  • “You’re pouring milk that isn’t there.”
  • “Intellectual, neurotic, self-loathing Jew. Much more my type!”
  • “Scarlet Johansson…dead.” Best. Joke. Ever.
  • I loved the bag of chips metaphore. I am glad to see Allie Grant (Isabelle from Weeds) in another role where she plays the daughter to a neurotic suburban mother. “because they are bad for me. As much as I want to put that entire bag of chips inside my mouth I know that if I do I’ll get dehydrated, I’ll break out, and then get diarrhea!” 
  •  “I’ll Yahoo it and get back to you.”

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