Suburgatory 1.08 "Thanksgiving" Review

Although I really liked Suburgatory's pilot and consider it to be the best new network comedy by a country mile, the past few episodes had been underwhelming. Not bad, per se; it was just freshman series growing pains that come with trying to figure out how to tell your story and when exactly to pivot. The show has so many good pieces to it that learning how (and when) to properly utilize them seems to be the biggest obstacle it faces in becoming a truly great comedy.

"Thanksgiving" was the first episode in a while that I can say that I loved without any qualification, thanks in part to the fact that it shook up the show's typical episode structure. Usually, an episode of Suburgatory features Tessa and George with their own separate plots, with Tessa's A-plot relating to her exasperation at her living situation and George's B-plot going a little broader and more single dad sitcom-y. "Thanksgiving", however, shifts George to the background a little, gives Tessa another dueling partner in Dallas, and allows the first extended look at the Shay family in a very cute side plot, all of which noticeably freshened up the show. I understand focusing on George and Tessa at the beginning of the series, considering that it's their journey we're following, but like all formulas, that would get incredibly stale after a while. As I've mentioned before, Suburgatory has such a deep supporting bench that throwing around different combinations can only help the writers figure out where the show's strengths lie and it keeps with the almost frantic energy that has been displayed in the first eight episodes. Read More...


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