Let me preface this review with celebrating the fact that ABC has given ‘Trophy Wife’ a full season order. Huzzah! Though the series hasn’t broken out and gotten the ratings it deserves, it’s certainly a great to see the network supporting the show. Hopefully ABC will actually give invest in some advertising for the family sitcom. That said, on to the review, which will cover the last two episodes “The Date” and “Lice and Beary White”.
Last week’s “The Date” is another great showcase for Michaela Watkins. The writers obviously enjoy exploring Jackie’s levels of craziness and seem to be really honing in on the character’s particular personality. Everything she does is absolutely fantastic; from her enthusiastic party crashing to her hilariously awkward date ‘flirtation’, Watkins’ performance is amazingly hysterical. Despite all her insane and over the top quirks, which could easily become grating, Jackie comes off as endearingly wacky and surprisingly self-aware. She actually acknowledges her own boundary issues and overall weirdness, thus imparting the character with just enough realism. Though Jackie is most certainly the highlight of the episode, there is a lot to enjoy; Bert and Warren’s ridiculous gum-themed vlog, Diane’s unexpectedly skilled win at beer pong versus Meg, and Kate and Pete’s exasperation when dealing with Jackie and Sad Steve. That mini-plot with Diane and Meg at the bar shows once again how great this cast is and how many character combinations the writers can explore, and yay for Natalie Morales making the most out of her sporadic appearance on the show. The half-hour is full of really funny, subtle off-camera jokes: Jackie’s almost inaudible dialogue as she crashes the party, Pete’s reaction to Sad Steve’s bewildering hug greeting, and Bert’s response to Diane’s dig at Kate. Little moments like these are easy to overlook, and don’t add much to the episode’s story but definitely enhance the overall comedy and tone of the show.
“Lice and Beary White” is another episode that proficiently features the outstanding ensemble cast. With the Jackie love-fest that the writers have shown in the past few episodes, (Michaela Watkins was really hijacking most of the funny in the previous episodes) it is nice to have some focus pulled from her a bit and have the story open up and focus on other characters. This is definitely a more Kate-centric show, more attune to the series’ main premise. Malin Akerman, who has been acting more like a straight woman lately, got to show off her more wacky comic side for a change. That pharmacy scene is all kinds of awesome, “I’m just constipated, Gary!” And having Kate juggle the overbearing ex-wives as she eagerly attempts to fulfill her wifely/motherly duties will always be an abundant well of comedy. Also, with Jackie acting as a more secondary character, the writers are able to really go crazy with her weirdness, (because, of course, that is the ideal time for her to enjoy a delicious sandwich) though they did go a little crazy with the swerving as she escaped the house. Marcia Gay Harden continues to portray Diane with an intimidatingly superior air while still managing to be funny and semi-likable. Even when she is apologizing she holds on to her condescending ways. This exploration of the three women’s relationship is thoroughly enjoyable and exploits yet another great combination of performers.
Bert and Warren have become the go-to pairing for the often-hilarious B-story and I am not complaining. These two are definitely stand out performers and play off each other very well. The custody trial of one Beary White is quite amusing.
No doubt that these are two excellent episodes of ‘Trophy Wife which continues to grow and get better with each episode. The show will take a short break and coming back on December 3rd . Till then, stay lice free and good luck finding local blueberries in December.
Quotes & Observations:
- “My greenhouse is full of weed, weeds.”
- “Fresh mango margaritas, from my friend Rita’s fresh mangos…”
- How does Diane not understand Instagram or “the internet” when she has previously shown to be a social media savant in a previous episode? Courtney Winters, anyone?
- “Hey, could you keep it down? Cuz I’m trying to get laid and youre killing the mood with all your whispering. Cool? Cool.”
- “Oh come on, pineapple?” I agree, Pete, pineapple on pizza is the worst.
- “I had to cuddle a Transformer and when I woke up, it was a car.”