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This hilarious show embraces every cliché imaginable about life in the suburbs. George Altman, a single father, moves his daughter Tessa from their home in New York City to the heart of suburbia, an upscale town in Westchester County called Chatswin. After life in the big city, Tessa feels like she has entered a Twilight Zone populated by Stepford Wives and clueless upper-middle class socialites. Written in the amusingly broad strokes of lampoonery, the residents of Chatswin seem more like doodled simulacra than people. Rich dentists, country clubs, trophy wives and picture perfect families make up a rich tapestry of neuroses, peculiarities and the straight up absurd. Both Tessa and George slowly make friends with the natives and try to adjust to their new lives. The contrast between their basic common sense and the ridiculous soap bubble cheerfulness of Chatswin is tartly perceptive, making this sitcom truly funny while also being a bit of a social commentary. The beautiful thing about it is it’s not meant to be believable, so the writers allow their creativity free reign, much to the delight of the audience. It’s silly, bizarre and full of a vast array of human foibles, but also manages to be subtly thought provoking and more than a bit sly. If you’re a fan of tongue-in-cheek humor and think living in the suburbs is like living in purgatory, I highly recommend you give this fun light-hearted show a try. There have been three seasons thus far but even though it was cancelled by ABC there are rumors it may pop up again on another network. – BETHANY

There’s a lot of Saturday Night Live alumni in this show.  To put names to the faces, consult:

Meet Tessa (Jane Levy), the narrator and voice of reason.

   George tries unsuccessfully to convince Tessa that life in Chatswin will be great.

I don’t think we’re in New York anymore …

Dallas and Dahlia Royce, who never miss an opportunity to go all out in their fashion choices.

Smarmy Chatswin dentist, Noah Werner (Alan Tudyk)

                            The Shays, next door neighbors to Tessa and George and typical Chatswin residents.

             Dahlia does a makeover for very gay guidance counselor, Mr. Wolfe.  This is Dahlia’s default facial expression.

Thanksgiving in Chatswin – there are no words for this.

Photos courtesy of Piece of Pie Productions, Warner Bros. Television and ABC


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