Skip to main content

"Trophy Wife" is the Best New Show of the Season

"Trophy Wife" is the Best New Show of the Season



"Trophy Wife" is an example of an excellent series, with an unfortunate title. When the show premiered back in September, I was not planning on watching. But after reading some reviews, I decided to give it a try. And am I glad I did.


 I should have known this was a winner just given the cast. Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford, Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins, and Baliee Madison are just some of the all-star cast. And they formed a believable family unit incredibly fast. The concept for the series is that Kate (Akerman) marries an older man (Whitford), and gets his three kids and two ex-wives, too. But this isn't some "Modern Family" type thing, it's more of a post-modern family, where the fact that they aren't the most conventional family set-up, isn't the whole show. The comedy really comes from the realistic relationships portrayed on the show. The women don't hate each other, the kids don't resent their new stepmother, and they avoid all the pointless tensions that bog down so many sitcoms. That's a testament to not only the writing of the show, but the chemistry of the cast as well.

Another thing this show gets so right is the humor. The jokes are not there just to be there, they actually serve a purpose in the telling of a story. And the series never sacrifices story to get a laugh. The comedy ranges from the hilariously broad (Example: The adults get drunk and sing "I Saw the Sign" in one episode), to the more subtle one-liners that are simply sidesplitting. But, ultimately, the humor is uniquely "Trophy Wife", and it's unlike anything else on television today.

Akerman is brilliantly bubbly in the role of Kate. Whitford is just as sharp as his Josh Lyman days. Harden reminds us every episode why she has an Oscar at home. Watkins leaves me stunned that she was fired from "Saturday Night Live" after only one season, and the kids are wonderful. Madison and Ryan Lee play the older kids, and do a great job. But the real star here is the actor that plays little Bert. Newcomer Albert Tsai is one of the best finds in child acting in probably years.

The show's set-up calls for typical sitcom stock characters; The "evil ex-wife", the  New Age hippie, the clumsy blonde, the lovably dim-witted kid. But the show's strength lies in going past these stereotypes to find the real people underneath. Nobody's the villain, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Kind of like an 'un-sitcom'. It's refreshing to watch. And this is where the title comes in. Akerman plays the "trophy wife" stereotype, and the series is supposedly about breaking down that stereotype. At least that's my justification for the title, but really if someone didn't know the title and watched the first episode, the words "trophy wife" would never enter their mind.

Overall, "Trophy Wife" is the rare un-sitcom that can make you cry and cry with laughter all in the same episode. I sincerely hopes this one makes it. It's a must watch.

New episodes Tuesdays 9pm on ABC
TimScale: 75/100

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

So, what is a reboot, anyway?

The recent news that the upcoming installment of the Scream franchise will be titled simply Scream sparked yet another round of people on the Internet being confused by movie terminology. Most articles about this new Scream movie refer to it as a "relaunch" because if they call it a reboot, then certain people will get up in arms about how it's a sequel and therefore not a reboot due to the participation of Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox. But, it's not incorrect to call it a reboot, even with those returning stars. 11 years will have passed in between entries by the time this one is released. It has new directors (RIP Wes Craven), new writers, many new characters, and a different studio is behind it. There are too many new elements for it to not be considered a reboot. But continuing the stories of Sidney, Dewey, and Gale means its also a sequel. The terms are not mutually exclusive. Confused? let's define some stuff. “ Reboot ” is an inclusiv

"B Positive" Has Lots of Potential and a Star in Annaleigh Ashford: TV Review

There are few actors working today who I consider to be more talented than Annaleigh Ashford. If the name isn't familiar, let me enlighten you. Annaleigh Ashford has been in several Broadway musicals, including Kinky Boots . She won a Tony Award for playing a wannabe ballerina in You Can't Take It With You . She deserved another Tony for an entirely different but also very funny display of physicality as the titular canine in Sylvia . She proved her dramatic chops with a moving performance as Dot and Marie in a 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George . She broke up all of Helena's lines in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream in Central Park and refitted them into a brilliant comedic mosaic that had the audience in stitches. Apart from her extensive stage work, she appeared for four seasons of the Showtime series Masters of Sex . She had a terrific supporting part in the excellent recent movie Bad Education . And she was reported to be in talks for t

Netflix vs. HBO Max vs. Disney+ vs. Hulu: Streaming Services Ranked

The entertainment industry is at a moment of change. Resources that were once spent on TV networks and theatrical releases are being funneled into streaming services, as media conglomerates race to catch up with game-changing, industry-revolutionizing Netflix. The "streaming wars", the competition between the studios to sure up talent and content deals as they ask audiences to buy their monthly subscriptions, is in full swing.  One day, a book will be written about the streaming wars and it'll include a clear picture of which services crashed and burned and which ones emerged victorious. I look forward to reading that book and looking back on this moment in time with hindsight, but until that day, all I can do is offer my opinion on each service and say which ones I feel are worthy of your money and time. I'm only going to talk about the services that are directly vying to be the new Netflix, not niche ones like Shudder or the Criterion Channel. Also, a proper ranking