Manicured lawns. Cookie-cutter homes. Big lips. Little nose jobs. Synchronized sprinkler systems. A massive mall featuring the latest in animal print and food-court cuisine. Welcome to the suburbs, heaven for many. But for one teenage transplant from New York City, the suburbs represent her unique version of hell. Forget purgatory -- this is suburgatory.
With her motorcycle boots and oversized backpack, 16-year-old Tessa is perfectly at ease navigating the urban jungle she grew up in. So when her dad, George, a handsome architect in his late 30s, relocates her to greener pastures, Tessa goes into culture shock. What is this foreign land, where everyone is chauffeur-driven by their mothers in fully loaded SUVs? Tessa doesn't have either of those things -- she walks everywhere and she grew up with just her dad -- but now she is drawing lots of unwanted attention from overbearing suburban moms, like the blonde, bronze and buxom Dallas Royce. Dallas, mother of Dalia, Tessa's new nemesis, is intent on taking Tessa shopping, feeding her pot roast and snagging more face-time with Tessa's handsome father.
Will George be able to survive his own relocation plan? Will Tessa? Suburgatory
is a family comedy that asks us not to judge our neighbors until we've gardened in their clogs. It is also about one man's struggle to answer the question that has plagued parents for all time: Is the safe choice really the right choice
Like most successful comedies, there’s a straightforward and relatable premise at the core of Suburgatory
. It sees Jeremy Sisto played George Altman, a single father living in New York City, who fears for his daughter, Tessa, played by Jane Levy. In search of a better life for her, George uproots Jane from the big city to a more suburban environment, which, it’s fair to say, doesn’t go down a treat.
Inevitably, the quiet new surroundings for George and Tessa are only surface-deep, and the seemingly idyllic neighbourhood has problems of its own. This gives the scope, then, for Suburgatory to poke fun at society stereotypes, but also serve up no shortage of good laughs. Furthermore, the decision to cast the always-excellent Alan Tudyk as George’s best friend, Noah, is an inspired one.
Season one of the show runs to 22 episodes, and the concept of Suburgatory comfortably supports that. Particular credit should go to the two leads, Sisto and Levy, who work excellently together. The boxset also finds room for quite a lot of deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel too. It’s a good accompaniment for a light show, that’s nonetheless got just a bit more to it than it may first appear. --Jon Foster