Monday, April 14, 2014

Trophy Wife: Trying Too Hard

I've been a bit of a waffler over Trophy Wife, and I've been trying to pinpoint the actual problem... and I think I've found it. I think that the writers act a bit desperate, especially for a first-season show. Comedy is a tough market right now, and most rookies don't make it past the pilot season, but that's still no excuse to pull out as many stops as I think Trophy Wife might be. Guest stars are fun, wondering what xyz would be like is nice, changing the scenery up a bit is refreshing, and having a character take a brush with death is enticing... but all in a row?
ABC/Michael Ansell
I get that it shows versatility for the future and only just tugs at what the universe of the show could hold, but I look at it like it's trying too hard and that'll probably be part of the reason the show won't make it. 

Trophy Wife "The Wedding: Part 1" (S01E16): Kate decides to clean out the garage, and stumbles upon Pete's old wedding videos, bringing out the green monster in her who regrets eloping. [Pete kept the wedding videos in both divorces?] She tells Pete, and they decide to go for the full craziness of a wedding, with "You Make Me Happy" a la The Muppets as the inspiration for the event. [Pete and Diane got married while OJ Simpson was on the run.] Meg and Hillary both want to be Maid of Honor, but have to work together, a challenge for both. Meanwhile, Pete plans for the guys in the wedding to wear kilts, but it turns out that they're Flemish, not Scottish! [what a terrible time to dig up your family tree, LoL!] Things only get worse, however, when it turns out that Kate isn't technically a citizen and will have to go through an INS interview. [haha, the shirt at the beginning of the episode was just to remind the audience that Kate is Canadian.] It doesn't go well, until the family barges in and it becomes apparent that it is NOT a marriage of convenience. Kate's mom, Cricket (played by Megan Mullally), then arrives, which really only gets the crazy started. 

Also, Diane and Russ decide to make their relationship public, but they quickly learn that they have a lot of differing opinions, now that they can do things together. And, Jackie is seeing Steve but lies to Bert about who he is.

Trophy Wife "The Wedding: Part 2" (S01E17): Cricket kisses Pete's parents on the lips, and soon freaks out that Kate resents her eclectic upbringing. [but seriously, who hires strippers for a rehearsal dinner??] This is in stark contrast to Pete's parents, who constantly lie to one another. Pete's dad pretends to golf but really works, Pete's mother sold the house and bought a condo in Florida, and they refuse to talk about their issues. [yeah, a whole different kind of crazy!] Kate winds up locking them in a room together to talk about their issues, but they don't care about much of anything until Great Aunt Margaret dies at 108, and the funeral is the same day as the wedding. [which, by the way, Hillary is trying to run without Meg's help, so Diane and Jackie wind up pitching in.] So, everyone takes off for Portland, and Jackie winds up officiating a wedding on the plane! [how surprising!]

Trophy Wife "Couples Therapy" (S01E18): Pete tells Diane that he and Kate are in couples counseling so that she'll think he has grown as a person and take over some of his volunteer duties. [this frontier fair was a lot of work for a single episode!] It all starts when Kate makes chili for Pete but he throws it out and makes his own anyway. [haha.] Diane tells Jackie about the therapy, so Kate and Pete also milk her for more childcare to spend more time together. Unfortunately, Diane figures out that they're lying, and it's not long before the jig is up.

In a flat B-story, Hillary writes her extended adolescence psychology paper on Meg.

Trophy Wife "The Minutes" (S01E19): Kate is late to a PTA meeting because she was watching Scandal. Diane begins to choke on some granola, but Kate administers an abdominal thrust and saves her. However, the doctor is far from grateful, and Kate decides to take over the PTA as a result. [kinda strange revenge?] She has a great time gaining popularity, until she learns that the meetings are transcribed for the school community. When she's not willing to fund a squash team to get her insults struck from the record, Kate asks Diane for help. They dig up some dirt and wind up blackmailing the secretary to delete the records of the minutes. [I feel like this could have been so much more.]

The high school semiformal brings its own complications as well - Hillary wants to go with a boy whose parents are enemies of Pete and Jackie. They plan to forbid her, but the boy's parents forbid him first, and Hillary begs Pete to make peace. Being a good father, he is prepared to swallow his pride, but it turns out that the boy's parents knew nothing about it, and the lad made it up because he didn't want to hurt Hillary's feelings by turning her down. [ouch!] Warren, on the other hand, decides to get a celebrity to go with him to the dance, and Bert helps him made a video to ask Vanessa Hudgens. She agrees, but Hillary demands that he email the woman's manager and explain that he's not dying. [how did Warren not catch on to Bert's agenda there??] 
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