ABC, Tuesdays 9:30/8:30 Central
Sep 24, 2013
You marry a guy whose nose you broke when you fell on him in a karaoke bar and now you're the third in his string of wives and stepmother to his three kids. That's the premise of Trophy Wife, starring the Cameron Diaz-esque Malin Akerman as Kate in the title role—the personification of the four-letter acronym that starts with an "M" and end with an "F." Bradley Whitford is the serial husband, Pete. His three wives, starting with the Type A Diane (Marcia Gay Harden), then the hippie Jackie (Michaela Watkins), and now the party girl, could not be more different than each other. Same goes for the stepchildren: the perpetually annoyed teenage daughter Hillary (Bailee Madison), the horny prepubescent son Warren (Ryan Lee), and the overly articulate, adopted-from-China younger son Bert, who steals every scene (Albert Tsai).
In the pilot, Kate inadvertently teaches Hillary how to sneak vodka in a water bottle. She has a joint parent-teacher meeting dressed like she's ready to go clubbing and ends up hammered in the back of Diane's car. And has her best friend Meg (Natalie Morales) driving Tsai to his music lesson which results in his locking her out of her car and blackmailing her into buying him a pricey Lego set. Back home, Pete and Jackie are trying to replace the hamsters they killed. Just a day in the life of the anti-Brady Bunch.
The Trophy Wife characters are well developed and the actors very natural in their roles. The kids are brilliant—particularly Tsai. Watching him declaim: "You're not even a real grown-up. Your car is full of garbage and shoes," you can't help but snort and agree, then mentally inventory the contents of your own car. As extreme as the three-wife concept might be, the execution is believable and the scenarios genuinely funny. An original twist on the modern family. (www.abc.go.com/shows/trophy-wife)
Author rating: 6/10