Suburgatory's Season 2 Premiere: A Glorious "Homecoming" Indeed
"They also have a variety of caucasian beverages."
I missed Chatswin. The occasionally subtle but generally over-the-top comedy, the premise that harkens back to my own suburban youth, the will-they-won't-they between George and Tessa. And Dalia. Most of all, Dalia.
Dalia was a character I never thought I'd like, especially in the beginning of the first season. I thought she wanted to be Regina George too hard, but without the chops Rachel McAdams brought to the role. Slowly but surely, however, I grew to love Dalia's delivery, a dryness between knowing sarcasm and ignorant fate. She could've easily come off as a failed archetype, but instead she blossomed into a scene-stealer in spite of constantly looking dead behind the eyes.
With so much chaos at the end of last season in Chatswin, my hope was that Dalia would never change, that she would remain in that limbo of materialism and emotion until the jokes ran dry. But with Tessa going off to learn more about the maternal side of her family—then violating George's rules about Manhattan and seeking it out—and Lisa discovering her brother is adopted, it looked like Dalia was going to be left in the dust of story, story that threatened to be a little too dramatic for a show like this.
Happily, we got a reset button instead.
But not a horrible one. "Homecoming" expertly navigated the emotional impact of Tessa going to find the history of her mother while managing not to get too sanctimonious. After all, the heart of this show is the relationship between Tessa and George and how they are able to stand together against everything. If Tessa felt like she needed a mother in the mix, it might compromise that relationship (which might have been why the writers decided to brush away any ill-will toward her father by introducing "New George").
Lisa's storyline also threatened to be a long-lasting burden, but, happily, they wrapped it all up here, minus the minor thread where Ryan's birth mother might one day, indeed, show up. But burning down the potting shed (after a cunning turnaround by Sheila) signified the end of Lisa's corruption, thus pocketing the secret until, I don't know, winter hiatus? The Season 2 finale? In any case, I'm glad to see that, starting next week, we'll move on to more important things. Like Malik.
Noah and Dallas were the designated comic relief, their story being the most outlandishly bonkers (a gold Corolla? Awesome. But wha?). Their argument over Carmen was fine but this—this is where Dalia shines. Everything from telling Carmen "goodbye for good" to having the "second mother" speech with her, except replacing "second mother" with "housekeeper," stole the show from everyone around her. Even when she sat down next to Tessa on the bench and unloaded about her nanny problems, she won.
So, despite all the craziness, it looks like we have the same old crazy suburb we always had. I'm curious to see where we go now after we tied up so many of the loose ends from last season, but I'm also happy that we're not being overly burdened by the weight of those storylines. So for things look hopeful and Suburgatory is headed by people I feel I can trust. Chatswin, bitches!
– Carmen also had a good night: "What gold thing have you given me? Not one gold thing."
– If Tessa left for Manhattan at the beginning of the summer and Eden is gone, did that make it the Summer of George?
– I've never known anyone like the Shays but they seem like my idea of what people were doing inside many of the houses in my suburban subdivision. I like to think of my neighbors popping in and out of trashcans to deliver punchlines.
– The Tessa and Dalia relationship is another part of the show that could've gone south quickly. I like how these two don't play into the archetype and have a unique bond together, despite that fact that they can't stand each other on the surface. They sit on the bench and, though Dalia seems oblivious, you can tell that they both care what the other person thinks.
– I hate when characters sing whole songs on shows that aren't musicals. It makes me cringe. One exception: Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, singing "I Will Always Love You" at karaoke as Luke walked in. But I'm only human.
– Malik and his Medium group. I HEART THIS SHOW.
1. Did New George seem natural to you or a little forced?
2. Would you've settled the Carmen dispute with a Roshambo? I think Dallas would've fared better in a contest featuring feats of strength.
3. Over/Under on how many episodes before Ryan's birth mom shows up: - 6.
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