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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trophy Wife is a comedy about a blended family with a bit of edgy content but nothing too intense. The show centers on a newly married May/December couple; expect to see them in bed together. The household also includes teens who make references to sex and body parts; expect to see them flirting and dating. There is some very mild cursing, and characters may insult each other and argue. Some jokes revolve around alcohol; a teen girl brings alcohol to school smuggled in a water bottle after her stepmother tells her a story about doing the same thing at a concert. One character works in a bar, and another appears on-screen drunk, which is played for laughs. There is some slapstick violence, like a mistakenly broken nose that's reset with a sickening crunch.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Kate (Malin Akerman) is a twentysomething party girl who hung up her dancing shoes when she married Pete (Bradley Whitford), a lawyer with two ex-wives and three kids, including teenagers who are just a few years younger than Kate herself. Now Kate's throwing herself into her new role of wife and (step)mother, despite the varying reactions she's getting from her new family. Pete's first wife, Diane (Marcia Gay Harden), regards Kate frostily, as does her teen stepdaughter, Hillary. Most recent ex Jackie (Michaela Watkins) is thrilled to have another set of hands to help her juggle her responsibilities with son Bert. It's a lot to take on, but with a little effort and a lot of luck, Kate just might make it through.
Is it any good?
With its blended-family premise, TROPHY WIFE seems to be straining for Modern Family relevance, but neither the writing nor the characterizations are as good. The main problem is that the proceedings neither seem realistic nor rise to the absurdity required for satire. In one episode, a 15-year-old boy supposedly writes an erotic essay about Poseidon for a class on Greek myths; Poseidon hefts his "mighty trident" for a companion with breasts like "milky grapefruits."
Oh, come on. Perhaps, somewhere in the world, there is a particularly geeky 15-year-old who gets off on writing fan fiction about the god of the seas in between bouts of Settlers of Catan. But would he then turn such an essay in to his (motherly, older) teacher? Setting in motion a plot wherein his stepmother has to come to school (in red leather short-shorts, no less) and mistakenly be labeled as the subject of said erotic essay? Yeah, probably not. Big Modern Family fans may want to give this one a shot to see if it satisfies, but we're not promising much.
Talk to your kids about ...
Familes can talk about whether the members of the Trophy Wife family act like realistic people. Do real people talk like this? Act like this? Do the things they do? Why are real people amped up for TV shows?
Watch a similar comedy about a blended family, such as Modern Family. How is Trophy Wife like this other comedy? How is it different?
Would you like to live in the family presented on Trophy Wife? Why or why not?