Film and TV

Fall TV Pilot Review: Trophy Wife

Title: Trophy Wife

Network - Day - Time: ABC - Tuesday - 8:30 PM

Brief Plot Synopsis: Former party girl Kate (Malin Åkerman) marries Pete (Bradley Whitford) after literally falling into his lap at a karaoke bar. Oh, did I forget to mention Pete has four kids and two ex-wives (Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins)? Because who doesn't these days?

Were Any Hamsters Harmed During the Filming Of The Pilot? God, I hope so.

New Idea Or Retread? Couples finding each other post-divorce and post-kids isn't all that new, especially lately (Modern Family, Parenthood, etc.). One of the first thing I thought of when watching this was that Julia Roberts movie Stepmom, which is weird because I loathe Julia Roberts and have never actually seen Stepmom.

Who's The Audience? The few, the proud who would watch Bradley Whitford fold laundry, provided he could provide sarcastic commentary the entire time. One also mustn't underestimate the appeal of Ackerman's gams.

Will You Watch It Again? In spite of my appreciation for Whitford and quasi-dominatrix Marcia Gay Harden, probably not.

But the thing is, that's less a commentary on the quality of the pilot than it is my schedule. Ackerman is funnier than I've given her credit for, and creators Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern are pretty damn funny, happily avoiding the Chuck Lorre route of going with the dick/fart joke option at every opportunity. Rest assured, if there was a new fall show that could cause me to stop dressing up as an ocelot to fight crime on the mean streets of Houston every night, this might be it.

Odds Of Lasting the Season: 50 percent. I enjoyed it, but there is the Whitford Curse to consider, and the fact the title is a bit misleading (Pete isn't exactly wealthy ... isn't that the whole point of getting a trophy wife?).

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar