SUBURGATORY “The Barbeque” Review

SUBURGATORY “The Barbecue” Season 1 Episode 2 – Having grown up in the suburbs (of Tampa…what?), I’m already in love with Suburgatory and the second episode, “The Barbeque,” just made it official.

Tessa Altman (Jane Levy) and her very hot father George (Jeremy Sisto) have just moved from NYC to the hell that is the rest of America. To say that they’re out of their element is putting it mildly, although Tessa feels she’s gotten the worst of it.

And I can’t blame her; she goes to school with Dalia (Carly Chaikin), a walking, sometime-talking personification of everything that’s wrong with pop culture and puts up with Dalia’s mother, Dallas (Cheryl Hines), who despite being married, clearly has a thing for George. Meanwhile, she’s stuck in the land of Red Bull, venti lattes and neighborhood barbeques.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Tessa and George have the worst neighbors of all time, the Shay family. Mother Shay (Ana Gastyner) takes the cake in terms of awfulness, but Tessa finds a potential friend in her awkward, much-teased daughter, Lisa (Allie Grant) and a hate-crush in Lisa’s ridiculously hot and sadly stupid brother, Ryan (Parker Young).

When the Altmans run out of ways to avoid having dinner with the Shays, Tessa finds herself an unwilling participant in a basement game of Truth or Dare and winds up in a tongue-lock with Ryan. Much to her dismay, she likes it. After a dressing-down from Lisa who chastises her for not having the willpower to stay away from her idiot brother and his perfect abs, Tessa ends the secret hook-ups. At least she can still watch him hump his car from her bedroom window.

Meanwhile, George is bullied (by threat of alienation) into hosting a barbeque. His college friend Noah (the always awesome Alan Tudyk…Wash!! I still mourn you!!!), offers the use of his huge, state-of-the-art grill over George’s inner-city Hibachi. But when the propane tank runs empty, it’s the little grill that could which ends up saving the day.

A large part of the charm of Suburgatory rests on the winning relationship between Tessa and George. There’s real feeling there, but also an edge, like you’d expect in a single parent household, and some of the best moments of the show are when they’re together on screen. But there are also some fabulous character actors showing off their chops in the background, not to mention some very witty dialogue partially concealing a rather scathing expose of this, our modern world.

What did you think of the episode? Can you stop at one bag of chips? Propane or charcoal? Let me know below!!