Trophy Wife and Back in the Game
I was most excited about Trophy Wife, so I’ll start there.
As a reminder, Trophy Wife is the story of a young woman, Kate (played by Malin Ackerman) who meets and weds Brad (Bradley Whitford), a man with two ex-wives and three kids. The pilot was a little busy, honestly. I usually complain about things taking too long to set up, but in this case I feel like there could’ve been a little more. Maybe it was a creative decision, though, to throw us into this hectic life with all these people just like Kate felt thrown in and overwhelmed. It’s not that it does a bad job establishing the characters- we get a good feel for all the characters. Meg, Kate’s best friend, still has a bit of growing up to do; Diane, the first ex, has a bit of a stick up her bum and has some obvious hostility towards both Brad and Kate; Hilary, Brad and Diane’s daughter, shares her mom’s hostility toward Kate; Warren, Brad and Diane’s son and Hilary’s twin brother, is just your basic 15-year-old horny boy; Jackie, the second ex, is more the hippie, scatter-brained type, and her son Bert is a precocious 8-year-old nerd.
Like I said, the pilot was a little busy. There were four basic plots going on, and that’s after the intro of Kate meting Brad: the son was in trouble at school for writing some sexually explicit stories, which Diane and Kate went to the school to talk to the teacher about, and of course Diane assumes they’re about Kate; Hilary plans on going to a concert with her friends, Kate tries to bond with a story about when she went to Lollapalooza, and of course Hilary emulates the wrong part of the story; Jackie and Brad deal with Bert’s dead hamster, and Meg attempts to take Bert to band practice. It’s busy, but good. I very much like the feel of the show, and the characters have good chemistry together. I’m excited to get to know them a little better, and hopefully future episodes feel a little less hectic.
On the opposite side of the coin is Back in the Game, which maybe moved a touch too slow.
As a reminder, Back in the Game is the story of Terry Gannon (Maggie Lawson), a single mom who has moved back in with her emotionally distant, alcoholic father. Both Terry and her father Terry (James Caan), henceforth known as The Cannon, played ball, but Terry the Mom has turned her back on the game. Her son has decided he wants to play, but is a bit spazzy and doesn’t make the team. Terry offers to coach a B-team, much to the A-team’s coach’s dismay. Meanwhile at home, The Cannon continues to be a dick to his daughter, but does have moments where he shows he loves his family.
The exposition was handled through some very clunky dialogue, but it was ultimately a fun 22 minutes. Predictable, sure, but there’s heart there, and if you know me, you know I love a show with heart. I think it’ll make an excellent bridge between The Middle and Modern Family. Now if Trophy Wife could be moved over to Wednesdays after Modern Family, ABC would have a perfect two hour block!