Friday, March 2, 2012

Suburgatory: Croquet, Poetry, & George Stephanopoulos

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Croquet has a season? Who knew? I've played the game a few times throughout my life, though the most memorable was certainly the child's set that my brother and I shared when I was seven or so... I hit him on the head with my mallet and was sent to bed without dinner. You live, you learn. Anyway, I doubt that the "season" will last long, as they're always moving on to something new in Chatswin. Similarly, I wonder how long this poetry teacher will last... it seems rare on television these days for teenagers to ever actually go to class... we normally tend to only see them in the hallways or the cafeteria. And not just on this show, either. The Secret Life of the American Teenager never has the kids in class. The Middle and Switched at Birth rarely show a classroom, and shows like Melissa & Joey and Last Man Standing hardly even show the schools. Before I go off on a giant rant about the good ol' 90s, let's just look at this episode...

Suburgatory "Poetic Injustice" (S01E16): Fred comes across Sheila's diary and reads a dreamy entry about "George." [who keeps a diary in the living room??] He, of course, assumes that Sheila is fantasizing about their neighbor. He's upset, but wants to make his wife happy, so he asks George to have an affair with Sheila, in an attempt to fill her needs. [SO AWKWARD.] It all turns out to be no big deal, however, when she reveals that the man in her mind is not George Altman but George Stephanopoulos.[really? I thought it was weird when Monica and Rachel liked him all those years ago...]

Dallas is making the rounds with various croquet partners... to the extent that Sheila and Fred tell George that Dallas is "acting trampy." George doesn't really care, but since his neighbors are so worried about it bringing down the property values, he agrees to be Dallas' croquet partner, to help her be more stable. She isn't thrilled, but after Sheila is a bit sexual in giving him a croquet lesson, Dallas' interest piques.

Tessa wants her new poetry teacher (aka role model) to think she's cool. [I don't think I ever wanted an instructor to think I was "cool" ... but maybe I'm too stuck on wanting the instructor to think I'm smart...] It's not working out so well, however, as the instructor tells Tessa that her poetry doesn't have feeling. While earning only 72% could easily upset our protagonist, the fact that Dalia is getting the highest grades in class frustrates Tessa to no end. [I was interested to hear whether Dalia was going to turn out to be a secret poet or not... but naming car makes just isn't impressive.] The teacher even offers Dalia extra credit to tutor Tessa... though the lesson is "stop trying so hard and don't "crush on" the teacher." [haha!] The story concludes with Tessa considering transferring to another school. [because that ever works. and her dad would never consider it anyway!]
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