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Suburgatory Episode 16 "Poetic Injustice"

Suburgatory poster

Written by : published Saturday 3rd March 2012

Suburgatory Episode 16 "Poetic Injustice" main image

Reminder:There's a new poetry teacher at the school.


Tessa wants to impress the new poetry teacher, who comes from San Francisco, has a shoulder tattoo of a quill turning into birds and rock-and-roll hair cut. She's confident of her ability to gain favor, but the teacher keeps missing the point, interpreting things wrong, and giving her middling grades. She is super-impressed, however, with everything Dahlia creates, even though Tessa knows it's all nonsense. Then, insult to injury, the teacher assigns Dahlia to help Tessa learn to write better poems. And Dahlia gets her to realize that it doesn't matter, that this is just Scott Straus all over again, only from the other side.

Meanwhile, Dallas has been dating too many people and it's causing problems with the croquet matches with Sheila and Fred, and Fred gets George to partner with her so that she can have some sort of stability, rather than bringing a new guy every week. While he's playing, however, Fred thinks Sheila is coming on to him, and based on a note in her diary that she'd been having sexy dreams about George, he thinks he can't fulfill his own wife's fantasies and tries to get George to fill in there, too. Except, it's not this George that she's lusting over--it's George Stephanopolous, and so it's a moot point.


It's hilarious that George thinks everyone is coming on to him, but is still surprised when someone does. It's also hilarious that Dallas doesn't see it and thinks he's full of himself, but then keeps making innuendo-comments about their partnership on the team. And it gives me hope that the attraction between them isn't gone, because they have good chemistry, and I miss those days.

Fred and Sheila come across less as crazy loons who would have a wake for their son because he hurt himself, and more like tightly-wound, but normal people this episode. The scene in bed was adorable, and felt like people who had been married for a long time, but who still cared for each other, despite the evidence to the contrary--and this show is full of that evidence for everyone in it, really.

It's also fun how they're dealing with Dallas's exuberance about being single without making it really a central part of the show. We get enough to know what's going on, but those relationships don't matter, so we don't even really know their names, and her real interactions happen with the characters we do know.

And the poetry teacher was a study in how not to be a good teacher. She doesn't get it, but she's so full of herself that she thinks she does, and there is not a single crack in her world view. That's how you crush a kid's talent, right there. And once again, Tessa is the smartest person around and gets over it--after some really great early scenes where we can see that she's barking up the wrong tree, and she can't. Those scenes remind us that Tessa really is a sixteen year old, and that once we were sixteen too, and that judgment is not all that reliable sometimes when you're a teen. And it's fun to watch, too, as Tessa looks at it more maturely and comes into alignment with our point of view.

More secret cleverness from this show. It's stuff like that that makes it more fun to watch than most other comedies on right now.

Watch Suburgatory right here on TV King!

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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