DVD review: 'Suburgatory: The Complete First Season'

“Suburgatory: The Complete First Season” offers plenty of revelations, starting with a star-making lead performance by Jane Levy as Tessa, the city girl forced to relocate to a conformity-obsessed community of shopping malls and manicured lawns.
BY GEORGE LANG Published: September 14, 2012
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‘Suburgatory:

The Complete First Season'

Constantly clever and filled with biting observations on life in suburbia, ABC's freshman comedy “Suburgatory” became one of the network's breakout hits in the 2011-2012 season.

“Suburgatory: The Complete First Season” offers plenty of revelations, starting with a star-making lead performance by Jane Levy as Tessa, the city girl forced to relocate to a conformity-obsessed community of shopping malls and manicured lawns, and the light comic touch of Jeremy Sisto, an actor known mostly for intensity on series such as “Six Feet Under,” as her well-meaning father, George.

Fans of the 1988 cult comedy “Heathers” or “Easy A” (which starred Levy's doppelgänger, Emma Stone) will appreciate the acerbic tone and arch viewpoint of “Suburgatory,” which follows the teenage Tessa as she and single dad George are confronted with glassy-eyed Stepford neighbors and a high school populated by mean girls and dopey jocks.

Their neighborhood in the fictional town of Chatswin looks like a cross between Wisteria Lane on “Desperate Housewives” and Soundgarden's “Black Hole Sun” video, and the neighbors, including Fred and Sheila Shay (“Saturday Night Live” vets Chris Parnell and Ana Gasteyer) and pneumatic Dallas Royce (Cheryl Hines), are up in their business. Told through Levy's narration, the first season shows Tessa and George finding ways of surviving their new environment, with Tessa developing new alliances and a “frenemy” — Dallas' daughter Dalia (Carly Chaikin).

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