Surviving Suburbia
Surviving Suburbia
Glenn Diaz
Glenn Diaz
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Fourteen full years after Full House, Bob Saget returns for yet another family comedy, this time without the now vanished cuteness of the Olsen twins.  Dubbed as the male counterpart of Roseanne, Surviving Suburbia premiered on ABC on April 6, and stars Saget as family guy Steve Patterson, Cynthia Stevenson as his wife Anne, G. Hannelius as their daughter Courtney, Jared Kusnitz as their son Henry, and Jere Burns as Steve’s only friend Dr. Jim.

Premiering to a decent 12.16 million viewers, Surviving Suburbia immediately followed Dancing with the Stars’ week 5 performance episode.  In fact, ABC opted to connect the two literally, by going straight from Dancing with the Stars to the Patterson’s living room, without any commercial break, where the family is watching the ABC reality show.  Saget confirmed in an interview with Associated Press that they had to reshoot the pilot to accommodate that particular transition.

However, what aired as the show’s pilot didn’t seem to be so, as it begins in media res, with no explanation as to who this family is, how they got to the neighborhood, when, among other background information.

"The whole neighborhood thinks you're a grumpy old man," offers Anne as a clue, "and the only defense I can give is that you're not that old."

"I'm a screw-up.  Everybody knows that," Steve concedes.  "It only bothered you when we moved into this damned neighborhood."

The promos promised, for its part, that Surviving Suburbia will offer a twist in the slightly cliché family comedy format, not the least of which is the cynicism with which it views suburban life.  A Los Angeles Times review called the purported twist “superficially novel,” while adding that its premise is “quite old-fashioned” if not downright copied: “lame dad, smart mom, cute child, knowing child, strange neighbor. Door here, door there, couch in the middle.”  On the pilot, for instance, the daughter is so cute it's crazy as she tells a joke about Zac Efron.

Catch Surviving Suburbia Monday nights on ABC.

- Glenn Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, ABC
(Image courtesy of ABC)