In ABC's new comedy Suburgatory, New York architect George Altman (Jeremy Sisto) relocates to the suburbs where he hopes to give his 16-year-old daughter Tessa (newcomer Jane Levy) a more wholesome upbringing. They encounter a range of overly buffed, tucked and spray-tanned neighbors whose colorful plumage disguises their shared humanity.
"One of the elements that is present in the pilot we look forward to exploring in the series is that sort of horror, Zombieland-type of effect, and it's all filtered through the eyes of Tessa," she said Sunday during ABC's fall TV preview. "Having actors like Jeremy, who don't necessarily come from a half-hour comedy world, or like Allie [Grant] who comes from the cable world, it gives the show a different kind of teeth and a different kind of edge and grounds it in a way that makes it feel fresh and otherworldly."
Despite the heightened reality on the show, the cast thinks that viewers will recognize themselves (or at least their neighbors) in the characters. "I'm from the suburbs and definitely relate to some of the things that are ridiculous like moms at Whole Foods racing you to get the last organic product," said Levy, who also serves as the narrator for the series and point of entry for viewers.
Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines, who plays a diet Red Bull-drinking suburban mom named Dallas, added, "I was talking to one mom and I was telling her about the show and telling her about my character — the hair extensions, it looks like I have a boob job, I have my eyebrows raised, the spray tan. She said, 'Oh my God, that sounds like me!' She was very flattered by it all. She said, 'When I pick up my daughter from school, I put the top of the car down, and if I don't get a few waves from the teenage guys, I'm in a bad mood.'"