Season 1, Episode 1


Michael Fresco
Date Aired: September 28, 2011
episode guide
The Barbecue

"Pilot" is the first episode in the Suburgatory series, it aired on September 28, 2011.

Plot Edit

The show starts out with Tessa Altman, a cynical New York teenager, explaining her hate for mothers - the idea is foreign to her, as her she never met her own mother. She explains that New York is crawling with mothers, they are in every corner, either at rock concerts, malls or emerging tanning salons in their sweats and mani/pedi flip-flops with their daughters and giant iced coffee beverages.

Her single father, George searches her bedroom and disaproves of what he finds in her drawer - an unopened box of condoms. So, both Tessa and George exprience a complete culture shock once they are transplanted from Manhattan to a suburban neighborhood known as Chatswin. Their new neighborhood is made up solely of rows of identical pastel cookie-cutting houses, obsessively-manicured Miracle-Grow lawns and white picket fences. The next morning, George and Tessa awake to unfamiliar sounds - instead of taxi cabs, car alarms and garbage trucks; there is complete silence except for birds chirping and garden hoses whirring. That morning, George later leads Tessa to the garage of their new home to show her a surprise. Tessa, thinking she was being gifted a car, is angry when she discovers her gift is an old-fashioned bicycle. Her father explains to her that teaching her to ride a bike would be the perfect suburban experience for both him and her, though Tessa insists that it is not her bike, it is "Betty White's bike".

Meanwhile, George is having breakfast at a country club with his old peer from college, Noah Werner, who is now a wealthy professional cosmetic dentist and living large in the suburbs. Noah currently is as "tan as a Nerf ball" and pays money to bleach his hair blonde with foils. Noah informs George he apparently is the new catch. George later witnesses a woman fall into the pool while texting and have her implants used as a floatation device, as she bobs back up- still texting. Next, as if George's visit to the country club wasn't bad enough, a waitress hits on him, saying she will serve herself on "a bed of his choosing".

Later, Tessa goes to a new school and is grouped with a "buddy"- a cheesy system formed by the school guidance consuelor, Mr. Wolfe, the purpose to assign all new students to a mentor. Tessa's "buddy" turns out to be her exact opposite, Dalia Royce- the blonde-haired, spoiled queen bee and modern-day Valley girl who thinks Tessa is a lesbian because of her combat boots.

Next we learn George is an architect and has a job for a fake-tanned and big-haired suburban woman in a tight dress. With a can of sugar-free Red Bull in hand, the woman introduces herself as Dallas Royce and we learn that Dalia is her daughter. Dallas gives George a tour of Dalia's bedroom, and he learns that Dallas completely exposes Dalia to vanity, as she devotes a wall of Dalia's bedroom to shelves stocked with beauty products. Dallas wants George to install skylights over Dalia's canopy bed. Him and Dallas sit on Dalia's bed and George seeks Dallas for parental advice about Tessa. Dallas advises that her and George should bring Dalia and Tessa to the mall after school. Dallas says Tessa will love Dalia. Dallas assures George- "Everybody loves Dalia!"

Tessa admitts she absolutely hates Dalia, describing her as having "a personality as flat as her hair" The "buddy" must give the new student a tour of the school, which Dalia completes to do poorly, as throughout the entire tour, Dalia is texting on her cell phone.

Later at school, Tessa admitts her favorite part of the entire tour was the handicap stall in the girl's restroom, as she ditched Dalia to eat her lunch in the stall while reading. While eating and reading, Dalia and a group of girls barge into the restroom with a group of other girls to torment Tessa's neighbor, Lisa Shay, saying that her elder brother Ryan must be jealous as "Lisa can grow a moustache and he can't". Once Dalia an her gang depart, Tessa leaves her stall to comfort Lisa, who screams "Get away from me, you lesbian!" and runs out.

Next, we see Tessa walking on the sidewalk on her way home from school and watches in horror as she passes a postal carrier on a Segway and a woman barbecuing her child's outgrown baby sneakers. Then, a viciously barking Doberman jumps from behind a picket fence to put a cap on Tessa's traumitization. Later, George and Dallas pass by and load Tessa into the backseat of the car with Dalia. They speed off in the car to the mall.

They all drive to Chatswin's massive shopping mall, the mecca for mass-consumerism and soggy food court cusine. They all emerge into a boutique with thumping music, bright lights and apparently less oxygen. While shopping for very skimpy clothing with her daughter, Dallas advises George to leave and sit on the "dad couch"- a bench occupied with middle-aged men talking on cell phones. George asks if they want him to retrieve them snacks, and Dallas and Dalia insist they cannot load their bodies up with salty snacks while trying on garments because of "bloating!" Later, Tessa and Dalia try on matching pink numbers in the dressing room, then stare in the mirror - Dalia happily pushing her bust together and Tessa wishing to be anywhere else in the world. Dalia insists she buys her outfit and exits while Dallas enters. She zips down Tessa's top to her sports bra, which she starts to critique, saying it looks like an Ace bandage or something from a burn victim's wardrobe.

Later that night, Tessa tries to get back her father while him and Noah are eating dinner by dressing in the provocative clothing Dallas purcharsed for her as "The Mall Skank". She threatens George by refusing to eat Sheila Shay's pot roast, instead wanting to drink a Red Bull for dinner, informing George that the Suburban girls don't eat so their body weight remains under eighty pounds. George snaps at her and she storms out after ripping a faux weave from her hair, telling George he ruined her life, to which he sadly agrees to.

The next morning, George and Tessa communicate by each communicating by having their nose in a reference book with an aggressive title (Tessa's volume four of How to Become an Empancipated Minor and George's Is Adoption For You?). They put their books down and explain how they both feel about the suburbs, Tessa feeling like her dead childhood goldfish and George feeling like Tessa just needs to give the suburbs a chance like she did with foreign films, which she developed a genuine interest of after she ended up loving them.

Then, Lisa comes to the door to retreive the castine pot Sheila Shay prepared her roast it. When Lisa asks for the pot, Tessa confuses it with marijuana and thinks that Lisa has been sent over to retreive a stash of weed. Later, Lisa sadly admits that her group of folks happen to include annoying Sheila and dim-witted Ryan.

Next, Dallas comes up to Tessa's bedroom without knocking. Dallas gifts Tessa with a formal bra to say sorry for her behavior at the mall, which Tessa at first explains is an inappropriate gesture, but then says that underneath every suburban woman's giant pair of synthetic breast, you can find a giant non-synthetic heart.

In the last scene, George is outside watering the lawn. Across the street, Sheila Shay is accompanied by Jocelyn, the waitress who had hit on George earlier that week, who claimed that her and George were in a relationship. Tessa says that two things that her and George would need to survive in the suburbs would be an automatic sprinkler system so George can avoid communication with neighbors and a restraining order.



  • Lily Allen, F**k You - 1st Use: Tessa moves from Manhattan. 2nd use: Tessa walks home.
  • Pitbull, I Know You Want Me - Lisa's brother drives up.
  • The Wellington Papers, Jackie - Unreleased - Introduced to Dallas
  • Pony Up, Kick You To The Curb - Tessa is in the dressing room.
  • Holmes, Daydream No. 57 - George waters the lawn.
  • The Ting Tings, That's Not My Name - Tessa goes shopping.

External LinksEdit

Episode Guide vte
Season 1 Pilot · The Barbecue · The Chatterer · Don't Call Me Shirley · Halloween · Charity Case · Sweet Sixteen · Thanksgiving · The Nutcracker · Driving Miss Dalia · Out in the Burbs · The Casino Trip · Sex and the Suburbs · The Body · Fire with Fire · Poetic Injustice · Independence Day · Down Time · Entering Eden · Hear No Evil · The Great Compromise · The Motherload
Season 2 Homecoming · The Witch of East Chatswin · Ryan's Song · Foam Finger · The Wishbone · Friendship Fish · Krampus · Black Thai · Junior Secretary's Day · Chinese Chicken · Yakult Leader · Body Talk · Blowtox and Burlap · T-Ball & Sympathy · Leaving Chatswin · How to Be a Baby · Eat, Pray, Eat · Brown Trembler · Decemberfold · Go, Gamblers! · Apocalypse Meow · Stray Dogs
Season 3 No Me Gusta, Mami · Victor Ha · Open Door Policy · The Birds and the Biederman · Blame It on the Rainstick · About a Boy-Yoi-Yoing · I'm Just Not That Into Me · Catch and Release · The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth · No, You Can't Sit with Us · Dalia Nicole Smith · Les Lucioles · Stiiiiiiill Horny
See also: Episode Guide