Sunday, January 22, 2012

Suburgatory: Tessa's Gaydar & Love Life

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

My biggest gripe with these two episodes? I didn't think that "Out in the Burbs" was a very fitting title for the first episode. ESPECIALLY since the second one has more than a few "but that's why you live in Chatswin" remarks that would be more fitting for that title. Yeah, I realize that it isn't a big gripe. But I have others... like why did we leave the water-emergency hanging? Why didn't Tessa think to hide Lisa's "love box" better? If George knew he wasn't going to be able to handle Tessa being alone for 24 hours, then why not have her stay at Sheila's or Dallas' to begin with? And how did the guidance counselor go from being completely closeted to having a boyfriend at community events in two consecutive episodes? On the bright side, George finding the box may bring us back to the premise of the show a little, which has been an ongoing nitpick of mine. And, the sexual tension between George and Dallas now being a bit diffused helps those characters, I think.

Suburgatory "Out in the Burbs" (S01E11): Tessa says that her favorite thing about the suburbs is the water pressure. [I can agree with that - I lived on the eighth floor for a year, and those were not my best showers ever...] And, with that, they immediately lose water, since someone ran over the fire hydrant in the front yard. [I love that they didn't know they had a hydrant in the front yard!] The water damaged the neighbors' driveway, and they want tons of money. [how can it cause damage THAT quickly??] So, although George has been avoiding Dallas since Christmas, he has to take a job working for her. She wants to build a store to sell crystal paperweights with 3D etchings inside. [I do think those things are neat, but it's SUCH a niche market!] George tells Dallas that she needs to knock it off with the double entendres, but apologizes a day or two later, realizing that he jumped to the wrong conclusion. Dallas explains that the kiss wasn't about him, it was about her marriage. [um, okay. not.]

At school, the guidance counselor assigns Tessa to be the buddy to a new kid, Josh, who is actually an undercover narcotics agent. [I guess this means that Tessa isn't "the new kid" anymore, right?] Lisa instantly falls for the guy, but when Tessa tries to put in a good word for Lisa, she begins to think that Josh is gay. When Tessa tries to help him find a guy, he misinterprets and thinks that she knows he's a narcotics agent. [well this should get funny...] She tells Lisa, who is then determined to get the guy to switch teams. [hahaha.] Tessa goes to the guidance counselor to get some advice about how to help "her friend" "come out." [I was angered at how big a disaster that scene was. just sayin'.] Lisa dresses like a man to try and get Josh, but it's incredibly awkward. Moments later, the narcotics agent comes out and has two assistants to make an arrest for the possession and sales of steroids. [and, in true 2012 fashion, all of the students take videos with their phones.] The episode ends with the guidance counselor telling the cafeteria not to take drugs, get into cars with strangers, etc. Oh, and he admits to being gay, which he tells Tessa he was able to do because of her encouragement. [nice.]

Suburgatory "The Casino Trip" (S01E12): There's a charity dance in the suburb, and the parents are hanging out with their kids, which Tessa considers weird. [...yeah...] It only gets stranger when the closeness of the families is demonstrated when sharing that a teenage girl began menstruating is no big deal. [ahhh! horribly awkward! I like Lisa's hair at the dance, tho.] Tessa talks to the guidance counselor about his openly gay relationship. [really? open? already?]

George wins a trip to Atlantic City, and asks Noah to come with him. [Dalia really didn't know how to pronounce "thirteen" ??] The all-guys weekend involves some of the men lying to their significant others, like Fred telling Sheila he has an ill aunt. George tells Tessa "no partying" and leaves, trusting her to behave for a little bit. Tessa tells Lisa that she plans to have a make-out session with Scott, but Lisa thinks that Scott is going to want to do kinky things, so she offers Tessa some syrup and other sexual items. [anyone else curious as to how Lisa decided what to put in this box?] Turns out, both girls are wrong, as Scott wants to take things very slow, as he had some eye-opening experiences in Africa.

Meanwhile, in Atlantic City (where they seem to only have a single night of debauchery, by the way), the guys have to deal with Fred's gambling problem, which he didn't share until they arrive. [leave it to Noah to know something like this and completely forget.] George ends up calling Dallas to have her check on Tessa, though it takes Dallas a few minutes to agree to spy. The guys spot Steve, Dallas' wife, in the casino, though he's supposed to be in Singapore. After a moment, they agree to keep his secret, and Steve even comes in handy later, when Fred tries to hang himself in the bathroom after winning $14,000 on a dog race. Yes, there are a couple "entertainers" in the suite, but most of the party is too busy dealing with Fred, plus George is anxious when Dallas tells him that Tessa had a boy over. [sad that the "entertainers" left after Steve's speech, though. I guess that's how they kept it family-friendly?]

After the trip, Fred comes home and Sheila thinks his aunt died... and the money came from the inheritance. [ha! guess that'll work!] George does go into Tessa's room and sees the "love box," which upsets him. [Tessa! you couldn't have hidden that?? Demanded Lisa take it with her? c'mon now!]
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