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Suburgatory Episode 14 "The Body"

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Written by : published Saturday 3rd March 2012

Suburgatory Episode 14 "The Body" main image

Reminder: Ryan tears his ACL and winds up unpopular.


Ryan is the most popular kid in school because he's the most sporty, and his parents favor him to the point where Lisa is pretty much ignored, at best, and downright discouraged from living at worst. But when he hurts his knee and can't wrestle anymore, Sheila basically gives up on him and starts favoring Lisa, which both makes her nervous and drives her to achieve. Ryan, feeling ignored, goes over and spends time with George, who tries to show him that there has to be more to his personality than just being top of the jocks, and he entirely misses the point, but gets back up and regains his position. George is disappointed that he failed to get through, but decides to take his own advice and get back to being an independent person. He starts playing guitar and writing songs again.

Tessa, in contrast, is failing gym and when the new student body president elections threaten to make sports even more vital to the school, she runs against the twins to stop that from happening. Lisa is her super-focused campaign manager, and she doesn't want Tessa to lose because she wants to get her only chance ever of getting a victory dinner from her parents. Tessa eventually gives up when she realizes that she's in it for the wrong reasons, but she gets Lisa to manage the twins so she technically didn't fail. And even though Ryan is back in his parents' graces, he picks Lisa's favorite dinner for his victory meal, because he knows it's her favorite and he has an idea how hard it must be to be her now.


First off, did anyone else see how Ryan was laying after his accident? He was positioned like the Hanged Man on a tarot deck, and that's all about sacrificing something you value for greater knowledge. See how smart the director was being? And it's a little more flare than we usually have on this show, so it was something special.

Ryan is an interesting character. He's really dumb, and he takes popularity and skill for granted, sure, but he seems to actually have a good heart under there, and he really does like his sister, even though there doesn't seem to be any of that sticking-up-for-her that a nicer brother might have. And it was genuinely sad seeing him all depressed and hurt, so that even when he entirely got the wrong message from George's help, seeing him overcome his injury was still sort of triumphant.

Poor George, though.

It's not surprising that Tessa is failing gym, though. She's entirely not the sort to be good at climbing ropes and things, and it's good that she just accepted the fact that she's not that good at it and decided to do her best, rather than continuing to fight it when there was no point. It's also nice that she's not just suddenly able to do these things. She's supposed to be the normal girl in this weird, illogical plastic world, and it would have compromised her place if she'd suddenly discovered volleyball skills or something.

There was no mention of Ryan wanting Tessa back, but I don't think they were even in a scene together all episode. And with the sitcom continuity issues this show still has, it's not surprising. But! Ryan did accomplish a little emotional growth, and if that's a storyline that the writers follow in the future, maybe he'll be a little more understanding and a better boyfriend. And even if they don't, it's good for him.

Watch Suburgatory right here on The TV King.com!

About the author SamanthaHolloway


Samantha Holloway is a writer, editor, book reviewer and TV reviewer. She's especially fond of the weird, wonderful, clever shows that tend to not last on network channels, and so forms a deep loyalty to them the few times they do. Follow her on twitter at twitter.com/pirategirljack.

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