Suburgatory is brilliant and funny. Reviewing situation comedy DVD sets, one often cheats and skips through episodes to get an overall idea. This proved impossible with Suburgatory The Complete First Season. I simply had to see each and every one of the shows. It is that good. Season 1 features 22 episodes on 3 DVD.
Suburgatory is New York sarcasm meets suburban conformity. George, a single dad, believes the suburbs would be a better environment for his teen daughter Tessa. Neither is really ready for Chatswin, a town that wins awards for having the most look-alike homes, where a BBQ is de rigueur, and where croquet is an obsession.
Satire badly wielded becomes mean and petty. This is the Achilles' heel of many a situation comedy that tried using it. Suburgatory tones it just right so the show is never nasty or clever just to be clever. George, Tessa, and the viewer slowly realize these suburbanites are not necessarily the shallow busybodies they come across as. Then again, one woman hires a surrogate so she can have time to work on her new book “Making Time For What Matters.”
My favorite line is “I'm so glad we went with an endangered animals theme for the nursery. / I can't believe you found an ivory tusk crib!” That whole scene is brilliant.
The show cannot avoid a few sitcom cliches like blonde, mean, rich, daft, and most popular girl in school Dalia, mousy Lisa, or the bizarre guidance counsellor. You have to admit however that the show does allow these type characters to have their moment too. Lisa's revelation in the Thanks episode is particularly good and funny.
There are few weak shows in Suburgatory Season One and the seasonal shows are really strong, something that says a lot about this show's staying potential. I also like the fact shows are consecutive so the story and the characters move forward from episode to episode.
Alicia Silverstone joins the show as a recurring character named Eden near the end of the season.
Suburgatory The Complete First Season has deleted scenes, a feature about the show itself, and a decent length blooper reel. This one is a keeper.