By Curt Wagner
5:05 PM CDT, September 27, 2011
Any show that mocks suburbia warrants at least one viewing. "Suburgatory" (7:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC; 2.5 stars) wrings so many laughs from the oft-maligned wasteland you're likely to come back for more.
"It's like the Million Mom March," 16-year-old Tessa Altman says. "They're shuffling out of the tanning salons in their mani-pedi flip-flops, with their ever-present daughters and enormous frozen coffee drinks."
Tessa (Jane Levy) has no one to blame but herself. After finding condoms in her drawer, Tessa’s dad George (Jeremy Sisto) upends her life by uprooting her from Manhattan and moving to the mythical town of Chatswin. There she meets her worst nightmare, pretty high school mean girl Dalia Royce (Carly Chaikin), who likes to wear girly, skimpy clothes that her too-perky (in attitude and breast augmentation) mom, Dallas (Cheryl Hines from "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), helps her pick out.
She also loathes her dad's pal, Noah Werner (Alan Tudyk) and her nosy neighbor Sheila Shay (Ana Gasteyer), but has a soft spot for Sheila’s daughter, Lisa (Allie Grant from “Weeds”), an unpopular fellow student who is the main target of Dalia and her pals.
None of this, of course, is cutting edge new. But if you buy into the show’s out-there fantasy of the suburbs—and I do, because I fear them—then you’ll be amply entertained. Tonight’s premiere is worth a look simply for Tessa’s many eye rolls during a shopping excursion with Dallas and Dalia for “boyfriend shorts” and other “cute outfits!” she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.
Thanks to the breakout performance of 21-year-old Levy, who many viewers may recognize as Ian Gallagher’s fake girlfriend Mandy in Showtime’s “Shameless,” you’ll want to visit “Surburgatory” every week.
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