New ABC pilot: Suburgatory

Here is a short description of Suburgatory, a new comedy pilot for ABC:

Suburgatory has been dubbed a satirical look at life in the suburbs that centers on a New York City woman who moves to a cookie-cutter community only to realize that life there is much more frightening.

Hasn’t this “satirical look at life in the suburbs” been done a number of times before? From The Stepford Wives (review of the original and the remake) to Desperate Housewives, this seems like well-traveled territory. What will set this show apart and how frightening can the suburbs get? This could be just another piece in the suburban genre.

The premise of the show seems to go against what most Americans have sought in suburbia. For many, the city is the frightening place and the suburbs represent safety, good schools, and more space. This is not to say that the suburbs don’t have their problems; they certainly do. But to go so far as to say that life is “more frightening” in the suburbs seems strange.

And if the suburbs are a place like purgatory, where exactly would a show like this (and other stories like it) say heaven and hell are located?

4 thoughts on “New ABC pilot: Suburgatory

  1. And if the suburbs are a place like purgatory, where exactly would a show like this (and other stories like it) say heaven and hell are located?

    Phrasing the question that way, I was struck — rather unexpectedly — of the opening of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce:

    However far I went I found only dingy lodging houses, small tobacconists, hoardings from which posters hung in rags, windowless warehouses, goods stations without trains, and bookshops of the sort that sell The Works of Aristotle.

    And a bit later:

    As soon as anyone arrives he settles in some street. Before he’s been there twenty-four hours he quarrels with his neighbour. Before the week is over he’s quarrelled so badly that he decides to move….Finally he’ll move right out to the edge of the town and build a new house.

    To be clear: I don’t think Lewis was making some sort of sweeping commentary about real-world development patterns. However, it is interesting that this particular arrangement was — literally — his stand-in for purgatory and/or hell.

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  2. Pingback: Suburgatory nears first show; will it offer anything new? | Legally Sociable

  3. Pingback: The comfortable suburban afterlife | Legally Sociable

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