'Trophy Wife' Review: 'The Social Network'
It is a shame that audiences haven’t been responding so well to “Trophy Wife” because the freshman comedy is definitely gaining its footing and turning out consistently amusing episodes. While still consisting of familiar sitcom tropes, there is enough amusing weirdness to make up for it. In this episode alone we are treated to such idiosyncratic gems like Bert’s penchant for the Yiddish language, Jackie’s terrific venture into jewelry making, and Courtney Winters, Diane’s online alter ego. In “The Social Network” Kate is faced with yet another parenting dilemma and counters Diane’s overbearing approach with a more lax style when dealing with Hillary’s questionable social life. Meanwhile Jackie involves Bert in her attempts to sell her “wearable art” line in a boutique.
This week’s B-story was much more effective than the previous episode, primarily because it allowed Michaela Watkins to be wacky in a limited scope (without becoming overbearing or grating) and also had some great comedy from Albert Tsai, who is quickly becoming my favorite part of the series. The storyline wasn’t anything groundbreaking or incredibly innovative, but the material written was really great and worked to showcase some good performances. Also, it had a very sweet but still funny resolution, which is always appreciated since it can be so easy for family sitcoms to become overly sentimental and forget that they are supposed to be funny. This portion of the episode effectively established the relationship and dynamic between Jackie and her son, which hadn’t been touched upon much, and its success definitely makes me want to see this character combination explored in future episodes.
The A-story concentrating on Hillary and her parents’ inadvertent drive to sabotage her social life was again, predictable and familiar, but held up by some really efficient jokes and performances. The Courtney Winters running gag was really well done, with all the kids mentioning her in passing conversation, and Diane’s almost freakishly skilled aptitude for social media was great, especially when juxtaposed to Pete’s pathetic attempt to snoop in his daughter’s computer. As ridiculous as it was, I could see that actually happening to an internet illiterate, and as his searches became more absurd the scene worked increasingly well. “Ace McBrady hot guy” is a pretty humorous status update and would be painfully embarrassing for many a teenage girl. Though, it is hard to believe that someone as savvy as Diane could not realize that Ace McBrady and his parties are super lame, it escapes all logic. I’ll let the show slide on that one because we got to see Warren extoll the many reasons why the party is in fact, the best party ever, “This party is off the chain, I mean, that girl is sitting on a coffee table, I’m eating pizza that’s not on a plate, I bet these kids don’t even recycle!” So good. Ryan Lee is definitely growing on me, maybe it helped that he was used sparingly but whenever he did say something it was very funny.
“The Social Network” was another good episode for the new comedy that is undoubtedly asserting itself and developing into a (hopefully) successful and entertaining series.
Quotes & Observations:
- Yay, Natalie Morales made an appearance! Totally welcome, I still want there to be more Kate/Meg storylines because I really enjoy her performance style.
- “He’s such a pain in the tuchus.” Not an amazingly fantastic line, but such a great line reading by Tsai, everything he did this episode was golden.
- I want to know more about Jackie’s pickle business, flashback please.