Suburgatory 1.12 "The Casino Trip" Review

When a show like Suburgatory uses its setting so prevalently in its identity, it can make getting out of town a bit of a difficult move to pull off. You want to keep the same rhythms and energy that you've honed in previous episodes, but a change in venue will inherently skew both in other directions. I mean, the entire concept of Suburgatory is a father moving his daughter to a ridiculous suburb that clashes with their urban sensibilities, so if you take one (or both) out of the funhouse that is Chatswin, you have to think it'd make a noticeable difference in the corresponding episode.

We got a taste of life outside of Chatswin in "The Casino Trip", where George wins an all-expense paid vacation to Atlantic City. The show had dipped its manicured big toe out into the real world before (most notably in "Charity Case"), but this was the first plot centered on a change in venue and honestly, it didn't disappoint. The episode didn't lose any of the distinct timing and feel that a typical episode of Suburgatory has, a major plus since most vacation episodes stick out in syndication, while managing to explore issues engrained in the pilot. George moved to Chatswin because he didn't trust Tessa in the city and that lack of trust was touched on for the first time in a while, thanks to him finding out that she had a boy over after he left for the trip. The relationship between George and Tessa has been one of the show's major building blocks and going back to test one of their Achilles Heels (without getting too sappy) felt like natural progression for the show; it was interesting, though, that Suburgatory was predicated on a misunderstanding (the condoms in Tessa's dresser supposedly weren't hers) and now, 12 episodes into the show, there's another misunderstanding of sorts (Lisa's "love box", which went unused). Read More...


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