Season premiere review: ‘Suburgatory’ – ‘Homecoming’

“Suburgatory” is back for a second season, and I have a quick review coming up just as soon as I delete all your “Californication”s off the DVR…

A lot of recent comedies have really found themselves early in their second seasons (including “Happy Endings,” which occupied this timeslot last fall). I had hoped “Suburgatory” (which I did like quite a bit in its first season) would be another of those, but “Homecoming” feels very much of a piece with last year: the great central relationship between Tessa and George surrounded by a bunch of broad characters, some of whom work (Dallas, Lisa) because they’ve been invested with just enough humanity, some of whom are much less interesting (Noah, the adult Shays) because they’re pure cartoons, and a few cartoons who work (Dalia, Ryan) because they’re just that well-written. (The two funniest gags tonight involved Ryan getting too deep into character and Dalia telling Tessa about all the things a nanny can do for you.)

The departure of Eden is by itself an enormous improvement, but I had hoped the supporting characters might have become more well-rounded in the offseason, but Noah is unfortunately still Noah and the Shays are too creepy. We didn’t get much of a sense of the larger Chatswin here, so we’ll see as the season moves along if it’s as over-the-top as last year.

That said, I did laugh a bunch of times (Dallas’ reaction to the burning lemon bars was another nice gag), and Jane Levy was terrific in the final scenes as George finally said something nice about Tessa’s mom and gave her the courage to go on stage and sing the “Suburgatory” theme song.

If this is what the show is, there’s still more I enjoy than I don’t, and I’ll be around for the long haul. But I still think “Suburgatory” would be capable of so much more with only a few tweaks.

What did everybody else think? And does anyone have an explanation for baby Opus’s name other than Noah and Jill being big “Bloom County” fans?