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From someone who's favorite show is f.r.i.e.n.d.s and that 70's show, I didn't expect to get into this show but it was a great surprise!!!
Jane Levy started the show at 21 and that's probably the only minor complaint I have about this show. It's not unexpected for network shows about high school to have older actors play young teens. The cast of characters are a wacky bunch. Tessa has a superiority attitude and it's funny to see the culture clash. I love the hilarious Carly Chaikin and her stone faced delivery. It squeezed out 2 and a half seasons before being canceled.
But if you can, check it out, because "Suburgatory" is an excellent show featuring lots of talent.
The central theme--as you can tell from the title--is a critical view of suburbia. In the land where consumerism is the primary goal and people are themselves consumed by appearances there lives a high-schooler named Tessa (Jane Levy) who moved from New York to the land of weedless lawns and designer labels with her single father George (Jeremy Sisto). This is no "Who's The Boss". In "Suburgatory" Tessa and George are a complete family in themselves.
Although suburbia is a target of the humor, the show lovingly lampoons all aspects of society, including the central characters, who enter into some questionable relationships. They are far from perfect and the writers allow us to laugh at them and with them.
The rest of the cast is AMAZING. Three or four of them you will probably recognize, but they all rock. Comedy never had a larger cast of funny people.
As for the quirk factor, "The New Girl" wishes it could be "Suburgatory". It is quirky, but it may be too far out there, often substituting silly for insightful. "Glee" revels in the quirkiness of its characters and their actions, but it often feels like it is doing quirk just for its own sake. I only hope that "Suburgatory" keeps its edge. The best episodes have something to say and remind us of the things that are truly valuable, e.g. caring and self-realization.
I hope this show lasts for a while as they still have so many areas that can be explored. I feel like they have only scratched the surface of what is a wonderfully colourful and insanely hilarious world.
Heck some people over analyse things though. It's just a little TV show.
This is a simple basic comedy with some extreme characters some of which are funny and some not so, some endearing and others much less so. In fact a few of the characters (very few fortunately) are just ridiculous but this is Hollywood fiction so they create the extreme at times.
The writers set out to send up Americans and some aspects of its culture and they obviously had a lot of fun doing so. Why they went too far over the top at times I do not know because the show would work better without some of the occasional stupidity that has been allowed to creep in now and then. Obviously some episodes are better and funnier than others.
Overall this is a cute, second tier, light hearted comedy show which will really make you laugh. After all that is what a comedy is for.(It is not quite up in the same league as some of the very high rated Chuck Lorre comedies though). For the most part it is quite well acted and the 3 principal characters are quite endearing.
If you don't like a good laugh then you probably won't like it that much. Some of it is hilarious but I am sure some of the slick lines they have dropped in there will go right over the heads of some.
As far as ratings go, some of the episodes I have seen from Season 1 are so funny I would give them a 9 or 10 rating.
Give this show a go because when you get into it, for the most part, you will enjoy it. There is nothing like having a good laugh is there?
From these two episodes I received the feeling that something really was about to happen in Suburbia; a gay cuple was presented (but they both had wives), the guy across the street had only his sex appeal as an asset and the father George is a single parent to a teenager. However, as the series move forward as I watch one episode after another it seems like nothing is right.
I must say, there were things in the first two episodes that I reacted on, but held for myself as I thought that "Suburgatory" had a lot more to offer. First off, finding condoms in Tessa's dresser does not sound like a good enough excuse to move to the suburbs, especially not since they encounter even worse obstacles in that area as soon as they get to Suburbia. In fact, I can't even think of a single good reason for the family to stay; Tessa is obviously not guided into a morally better path, neither George nor Tessa actually like the clingy nature of their neighbours or their traditions, and there obviously aren't any jobs around for George (what kind of an architect builds windows??).
What also bugs me is the authority of George. Firstly, when he asks Dallas for sincere advice about the condoms he does not take her opinion into consideration, never does it cross his mind (really) that he might have been overreacting. Tessa obviously shows him the product of what she is exposed to in Suburbia, and he admits to having ruined her life, however the next time they talk and she makes it clear that she really does not comfortable in their new environment all she needs to hear is that 'he has a feeling that it's going to work out alright', and she gives him a smile of conformity. She seems like such a strong-willed and smart girl at first, I can't see why she would agree that easily (without a legitimate reason). To me, it seems like Tessa and George are a married couple, or at least that George has never taken care of his daughter until recently (and hence made some rather odd decisions). She seems so much more mature compared to George, still she gets no say in the house. There simply is no balance of power.
What I am also concerned about is that fact that the episodes do not seem to come together in a smooth way. For instance, one of the episodes ends with a great revelation, but it is not even mentioned in the next episode. We get to know people in the first two or thee episodes that we don't see anything of in other episodes, and the focus on the very static character Dalia is too great.
When it comes to morals, this series is telling me e.g. that no matter how valid my arguments are I should always conform to the opinions of a man (even if they make no sense). Another thing one may learn is that housewives are all stupid, and that a father doesn't have to be as much of a parent as a mother, in fact if the child is a daughter she needs to be her own parent.
There are so many things that one can react on when it comes to this series, and I believe that the reason why there are people who like Suburbatory is because they have not yet seen that many episodes. I have seen eight now, and I can't get any further (I'll seriuously explode in anger). Watch it at your own risk, but don't get surprised when it turns out the way I have described. Please, I'm begging for some unity in the scrips, and some new writers!
Here's what took me longer to notice: the girl herself isn't much better than they are. She's a little smarter, a little more insightful, but she has a lot of the same flaws they do. She acts like the smallest inconveniences are the weight of the world on her -- e.g., a girl pays her a hundred bucks to drive her around the block a few times and she she moans, "I hate my job". She's sort of disrespectful to her father, who she calls George,and lives a lifestyle only slightly less entitled than those around her. In short, we're supposed to side with her against the rich snobs and not notice that she's a lot like they are. Sure, that community thinks they're better than others, but she thinks she's better than they are, so how's that any better? Despite this, I like the show.
The actors are funny, sweet, quirky, and bring good-natured comedy to the screen. Tessa, Dalia, and Dallas are my favorites on the show. Tessa is witty and clever, a jaded foil to the naive and plastic Dalia and over-the-top yet lovable Dallas.
Also, the script is, for the most part, well written and the situations that Tessa finds herself in are hilarious.
As every sitcom, it's not perfect, and not all the jokes are funny, but for the most part, I am enjoying it and I'm looking forward to next season.
While it has that hip quirkiness and cool, detached irony that's prevalent in many sitcoms these days, there's also a darker and even slightly somber edge to it's point-of-view that makes it, at least most of the time, stand out from it's many peers. Instead of starting out in gilded suburban hell, it starts out in downtown Manhattan, where George Altman (an unusually gentle Jeremy Sisto) "accidently" comes across a box of condoms in his daughter Tessa(Jane Levy, with a wide-eyed deadpan style that recalls a more demure Emma Stone)'s room, for which he decides that the city isn't the proper enviorment for her and moves her to the considerably less stimulating suburb of Chatswin. Tessa is understandably not thrilled by the idea.
So this time around, Suburban life is viewed from the mind of an outsider, instead of a lifelong setting for a bored and impetuous teen, where it's not part of her identity and it's pointedly mundane lifestyle looks plenty weird and just a bit formidable to her instead.
In turn this show is not so much a slice-of-life but instead a bit larger-than-life, where an Alice figure is entering a certain Wonderland that isn't particularly thrilling but where everything seems more than a bit off-kilter compared to what she's been used to, especially the overly-conformist citizens and where every possible chink in the town's armor just seems to be non-existent to all the status-obsessed adults who influence Chatswin just a bit too much.
While the show has had some early growing pains, it has way more potential, even though it's not certain it will ever get the chance to grow and improve. It's got an unusually level-headed and warm view of a modern single-father/daughter relationship, even if Jeremy Sisto does sometimes seem more like a big brother to Jane Levy than her parent. And yes, often the dialog that is spoken doesn't seem like something any real person would utter in normal settings, but "Suburgatory" isn't going for naturalism. It's going for satire, a black comedy that attempts to make all the banal situations we've come to expect in suburban-set shows seem all the more funny and just plain weird when it's viewed by somebody who's not used to them. Is it Condescending? A bit, but it remains unsparing when showing it's outsider hero and heroine's personal shortcomings as well.
Time will tell if this is given another shot, but at this point is has perhaps the greatest potential of any network show on the air.
This "Suburgatory" that Tessa and George move to is torture to watch, yes I guess it is a "subtle" commentary on parts of American society but who wants to subject themselves to it? I'd rather watch a show about Tessa and George in New York living their everyday lives, as a comedy or drama.
It's only my love of the main characters that enabled me to watch up until Christmas, but I just can't give it any more of my time. If you like Paris Hilton, maybe you'll enjoy it.
As for comparisons to the show "Priviledged" - the rich girls on that show were likable and their exposure to their tutor meant that they started to develop beyond the spoilt and lazy lifestyle they had been living. While, Tessa makes no impact on the vapid characters of Suburgatory.
I love the heightened reality and the way the show pokes fun at the suburbs while also envying those who live there. The stories explore the differences between people raised in different ways but also shows, no matter where you grow up, there are certain universal truths that connect us.
The supporting cast is terrific. I've always loved Alan Tudyk and Carly Chaiken is scene- stealingly hilarious as Dalia. I laugh at these characters while also caring about them which to me is the sign of a really great show.
I can relate to this as I am a city gal myself who moved to the burbs with my single dad in high school. Just him and I. So I get this situation completely. I think its refreshing to do a comedy about it.
Jeremy Sisto is wonderful. (as always!) The young lady that plays his daughter is a great little actress as well. The "fake mom" becomes a lovable character and has more heart than you expect. The dentist friend is hilarious....
The only negative thing i can say about this show is that the daughter is so mature for her age that if you do not watch this regularly you might think they are husband and wife. I did not notice this as much as my husband did. When I reminisce about my own situation I do recall that in high school people who did not know me would assume that my dad, who was a handsome man as well, was my boyfriend. I know, yuck. He would drop me off at high school in the burbs in his nice car and some mean girls would tease, don't you think he's a bit old for you and my standard come back was, ya, he's old enough to be my dad. This would make their mouths drop and I had to have fun with that.
Eventually they would find out the truth and when they did it actually made me quite popular. The rumour mill in the burbs.
I love how the show puts all the mom's as dumb blondes and trying to act cool for their kids because I do suppose some mom's do that in reailty. The men are so stupid in this show, but their also hilarious. The men in the show don't get the women code so they just get them handbags, clothes, shoes, and lets not forget money. The women in this show are so crazy. They take control over their daughters and sons and try to make them do things they hate like wearing outfits to school that will make them get teased. The main reason I watch this show is because of the main character Tesa Altman played by Jane Levy. Teasa Altman hates her life because she to move her fabulous life in New York City and to move to the stinky life in the suburbs. Tesa had to move here because her father George Altman played by Jeremy Sisto found condoms in her drawers and decided to move to the best place to raise kids which is the suburbs.
The popular girls at Tesa's school are so dumb that you might think that blonde is the true dumb color. They play their parts well, that you might think they act like that in reality. This is so far the best new comdey of the fall besides New Girl. The script is also decent, it's not the best but it goes along with the plot. I love how this show makes fun of the suburbs by showing women always watering their lawn and planting their beautiful flowers, it makes me crack up every time they show it. So far this show is amazing, the Thanksgiving epiosde was laugh out loud and I hope they countine the amazing story lines because Suburgatory has done an awesome job making me laugh and hopefully it's making other people laugh. Watch this show!
I think this show has some decent ideas. Although none of them are really new. I think the show would be better if it were more clever in tackling some of these rehashed ideas. Which I think it does at times. But more often than not it resorts back to cliché plot points and characters. I tend to agree with one critic that if this show were on HBO or Showtime and given free reign to do what the writer may have originally wanted it could have been better. But sadly this show kind of goes to the same territory a lot of new entrants are doing this year. Stale, rehashed material and writing that gives us nothing new. I for one feel that almost this entire new line of shows is just one huge flop after another. So far I have only been impressed with American Horror Story. I hear some good things about mid season shows so we'll wait for those.
Lastly if you like kind of typical tripe that is Mean Girls/Easy A themed then you'll probably like this. Don't get me wrong I think both of those movies are great. But they also both took this genre to a higher level. This feels aimed at teens and their moms and extremely watered down. But I'm sure there are those who will like it.
Father/daughter casting is good. They have good chemistry and are very watchable.
The usual assortment of zany characters are also quite good. Dalia unable to blink, the counsellor etc are surprisingly funny.
The writing is predictable, the cheap shots obvious.
They need to tone it down.
Feels like it could get good.
Feels like it's worth waiting to see if it does.
Wish them well.
Getting better. Silliness is still there but muted.
Have now seen a sauna fight that put Eastern Promises in the shade.
Still laughing at just the thought of it. Well done Sisto, Tudyk and co.
As suspected, in reading just the two reviews currently posted, not many understand what it is to be this male / female in which, Jane Levy portrays and it is even harder as a girl (as a male, I can attest to that). I'm afraid that the majority of the viewers are therefore, not going to respond well to this show.
My wife is not your typical "Girl," and while beautiful, never fancied the latest fashion / trends, gossip, makeup, fake-baking, celebrity nonsense, or idolize and embody female figures...and as a consequence, has to go through the rude remarks about clothing, like, "oh! that's, uh, interesting..." whilst at work and has been picked on, bullied and called Lesbian by other girls because she'd rather mind her own, listen to punk, rock, etc. Read, draw, sew patches onto her green / grey jackets and wear them with her black tights, a jean skirt and a pair of converse.
This show is geared toward those few girls we knew, who were literally stuck at the epicenter of what seems to becoming a progressively, fake and unabashedly dim society. Mothers who want to be 20 again, clubbing, shopping, back-stabbing, not unlike their daughters and-oh! the vanity and completely unaware of entertainment and politics in other cultures / countries etc. Because of this, I fear the show will not last past season 1, or if we're lucky, a season 2. Pushing Daisies (another intuitive and brilliant show), did not go past Season 2, because it's not a reality show and it's not Gossip girl, Sex in The City, or Grey's Anatomy.
The only thing about this show that I have a hard time grasping, is just how much story-line can their be with this sort of topic? Will they sell Jane Levy's character out? What I think they should do, is at least bring others in like her (new students), so she at least has a small circle of friends and then portray what a lot of us had to go through and lose one of those friends from your circle, who decided they wanted to fit in with the "majority."
Second episode...not that funny. The first part of the episode was stale. You knew what was going to happen, you had seen it before. Therest of the episode had potential to be funny. The story was there, but the dialog was just not funny, at all.
Writers, when writing future episodes: be sharp in your dialog, be funny, be witty, and be smart.
So watch the first episode and skip the second.
all in all its a wonderful new show, worth watching, and the characters are fully formed and complex, this is rear for a Comedy, you can see that even amongst the characters she would not normally seek friendship with, that she would still have comradely. similarly as Daria and the cheerleaders, and much like Kevin the clueless Jock and friendly doofus to Daria, Tessa has the cross the street neighbor boy, who's sister may serve as her Jane Lane, the show is still new, and you can get allot from the Pilot but i guess this is what the viewing process is about, there is still much to be learned.
I had a problem with a few things. 1. He wants to discourage his daughter from being sexually active, and then tries to encourage a more provocative and feminine sense of style once in the suburbs.
2. The writers/directors have employed the tiresome tool of trying too hard to create comedy.
3. We're supposed to believe that in all of NYC the first time Tessa met a superficial person only interested in looks, was when she moved to the suburbs. Never had she seen such a fake person.
All in all, it was a funny show. It has the ability to be the show everyone wants to watch.