We watch a lot of TV – some of it good and some of it…not so good. For the 2013 pilot season, we’re checking out a few series we won’t be writing on regularly, but may check back on throughout the season. Next on the docket: ABC’s Trophy Wife
Let’s bitch it out…
I’ve always liked Malin Akerman. As a performer, she just seems game for anything – physical comedy, ditzy characters, love-to-hate rom-com “wrong partner”, even ill-fated action heroine (oh Watchmen). So it’s nice to finally see her get some top-billing love in Trophy Wife, the most unfortunately titled ABC comedy since Cougar Town.
Much like that ill-fated spiritual predecessor, Trophy Wife is an ensemble comedy with potential that nonetheless gets off to a rocky start. For Jules & co. the early episodes features a misguided investigation of Courtney Cox’s underage romantic love life rather before eventually realizing the comedic potential of the cul-de-sac crew. On Trophy Wife, it’s a different (more complicated?) issue: mistakenly thinking that shrill is the same as funny.
Let me say this – Trophy Wife wants to be funny. It would slip on a banana peel (or fall out of a dance club window) to make you laugh. Not enough? It’ll throw in a wacky family angle ala Cheaper By The Dozen (one of whom is both adopted and Asian – hitting both the semi-racist humour and Modern Family angles). Still not enough? How about diametrically opposite ex-wives, dead gerbils, and a drunk gag? It’s the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to making a pilot and although you have a good sense of the premise by the end of the half hour, you’re also exhausted and ready for a nap.
Let’s be clear: Trophy Wife has potential…if it can even things out and let the pace slow down a touch. Until then: too much wacky, too much shrill, too much desperation to please…just too much.
- Although I picked on the character of Bert (Albert Tsai), I should clarify that he’s refreshingly not a token character. If anything, his social awkwardness/cleverness is arguably the funniest thing about the pilot
- Not sure which writer Bradley Whitford angered, but his character is way too much of a wet blanket. This guy can do comedy, but this pilot practically labels him the average guy amidst all of the crazy wives
- All of the scenes at the school remind me far too much of Bad Teacher. That’s likely due to the presence of The Office‘s Phyllis Smith, but also because Malin Akerman looks very similar to Cameron Diaz
- Can we puh-leese never have another scene of uncool moms trying to score points by doing something stupid to endear themselves to prickly teenage daughters (in this case, downing a water bottle of vodka). I declare a moratorium on this outdated comedic trope!
What are your thoughts on the premiere? Are you up for another round of crazy dysfunctional multi-wived comedy or is this the end of your interest in the show? Do you agree that the show needs to slow down and be less desperate in its comedy? Sound off below!
Trophy Wife airs Tuesdays at 9:30pm EST on ABC. Depending on whether the show succeeds (ie: does not get canceled), we may check back in at a later date