Trophy Wife (2013)

Who knows if it was the title of the show itself that prevented people from watching this ABC sitcom created by future Booksmart co-writers Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, but alas, the show did not retain enough viewers for it to be renewed for a second season. Yes, Trophy Wife is not a conventional name for a show, and might cause some preconceived notions on what the show may be about, but if you were one of the people who watched all twenty-two episodes, you know that it was an incredible, hilarious, and meaningful show that subverted the notion of what a “trophy wife” was.

Starring Malin Akerman as the titular character, Kate Harrison, the show followed her as Pete Harrison’s new (and third) wife, while assimilating to life with his three kids and two ex-wives. Bradley Whitford played Pete, while the absurdly funny Michaela Watkins played ex-wife #2 Jackie Fisher and the stoic Marcia Gay Harden played ex-wife #1 Diane Buckley. The kids even held their own, with Ryan Lee, Bailee Madison, and Albert Tsai playing Warren, Hillary, and Bert, respectively. Natalie Morales filled out the cast by playing Kate’s best friend, Meg.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much at a show than this one. From the get go, it was outrageously smart with its humor, and wasn’t afraid to be a bit raunchy or taboo. Knowing that the creators went on to co-write Booksmart, too, is unsurprising. It also helped that the ensemble cast were just THAT good. The chemistry between all of them was off the charts, no matter how much screen time they shared or didn’t share. Each and every one of them were perfectly cast for their role. We’ll forget about Hillary being played by a different actress in the pilot—but them recasting with Bailey Madison was the right choice. And normally, in today’s society, people would be weirded out at a relationship with a serious age gap. Malin Akerman and Bradley Whitford do have about twenty-some odd years between them, but the relationship they portrayed on screen felt natural with no sense of grossness, grooming, or any other troublesome situation that tends to come up when we see something like that.

It’s a real shame that we didn’t get to see more of Trophy Wife. I remember the year it aired, that it was one of the only new network shows I decided to watch, and it ended up becoming one of my favorite sitcoms ever on television, which is why I was so sad when it ended up being canceled after just one season. Since then, I always suggest it to friends, and those who have watched it have loved it and are shocked to find out that it wasn’t renewed. I guess that happens every now and again in the television world. Some shows can be absolute gems, and not enough people realize that until it’s too late. Nevertheless, I’m happy to have this one season of this show. It’s better than no Trophy Wife at all.

Isabel Maina

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