Do not forget that Mates episode the place Chandler, Monica and Ross wish to go see Hootie and the Blowfish, however Rachel, Phoebe and Joey can’t afford to? It’s notable, not solely as a result of Monica finally ends up making out with a Blowfish, however as a result of it straight addresses a taboo topic on TV: cash.
Most sitcoms act like struggling younger artists can afford big residences in Manhattan and don’t hassle to clarify how; other than a number of exceptions like Roseanne, monetary points are the untouched third rail of TV comedy. ABC’s Residence Economics, although — debuting this Wednesday at 8:30/7:30c; I’ve seen the primary three — grabs that third rail with each palms, tackling cash issues head-on, and that refreshing honesty, together with a really stable trio of stars, make it a newcomer with actual promise.
The story facilities on three grownup siblings who span the total spectrum of monetary safety. On the low finish, Sarah (Caitlin McGee) is a therapist for at-risk children struggling to make ends meet in a tiny cramped condo together with her spouse and two children. (Her automobile nonetheless has guide roll-up home windows!) Tom (Topher Grace) is a middling novelist trying to find his subsequent e book concept, so he’s someplace within the center, financially talking. And Connor (Jimmy Tatro) is an obnoxiously wealthy investor who’s residing massive in Matt Damon’s outdated home… a truth he proudly proclaims to anybody inside earshot. This gaping financial disparity between them, which might usually go unmentioned, is entrance and heart right here: Within the pilot, Tom has to ask his little brother Connor for a mortgage, and that results in the sorts of uncomfortable conversations that we don’t usually hear on TV.
Plus, it helps that the three stars lock in a pure sibling chemistry instantly. Topher Grace hasn’t had a daily sitcom position since That ’70s Present, and as Tom, he will get to indicate off that flawless deadpan supply we’ve missed since then. McGee flashed actual potential on You’re the Worst, and he or she lends Sarah a plucky righteousness. The true spotlight, although, is Tatro. So good as a dopey teen on American Vandal, he’s hilarious right here as Connor, who flaunts his wealth like a frat boy who gained the lottery. Karla Souza (Learn how to Get Away With Homicide) and Sasheer Zamata (SNL) get off some good zingers, too, as Tom’s spouse Marina and Sarah’s spouse Denise, respectively. (Via three episodes, the youngsters play a surprisingly small position for an ABC sitcom… however I personally rely that as a plus.)
I ought to observe that Residence Economics‘ monetary perspective isn’t fully lifelike. All of them reside within the ultra-expensive Bay Space, in any case, and Tom and Marina nonetheless handle to reside in a type of stunning suburban TV houses, regardless of their cash woes. (She presents at one level to “return to work on the agency”… which, yeah, go do this! You’re broke!) It’s additionally a significant pet peeve of mine when a TV character turns the present’s story right into a e book, and sure, Tom decides to make his subsequent e book the story of him and his siblings — however at the least that does arrange future problems when his household finds out they’re getting used for literary fodder.
All in all, although, it’s a breezy watch with a casually zany hangout vitality, and it hits on some sensitive topics with out getting too deep with them. (This can be a comedy, in any case.) It’s robust to speak about cash typically, however the Residence Economics crew finds a technique to make it virtually enjoyable.
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: ABC’s promising sitcom Residence Economics tackles monetary points with refreshing honesty and boasts a powerful trio of TV siblings.