TV Review: “Trophy Wife”- Slightly Rusty

Written by Emily Stewart October 20, 2013

Trophy Wife Cast

“Trophy Wife” Kate (Malin Akerman) didn’t think a karaoke night would lead her to future husband Peter Harrison (Bradley Whiteford). Neither did his three kids or two ex-wives, Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) and Jackie (Michaela Watkins). Despite the unexpected meet, “Trophy Wife” features predictable scripts you’d expect in anything involving young adults. Actually, the writers use the same formula in different situations each episode. While Kate is a fun and positive character, she isn’t taken very seriously. Some members of the family, especially Diane, want nothing to do with her. It’s clear Kate is indeed a “Trophy Wife”-whether she realizes it or not.

Oh look, a family with secrets! (Yawn)

Most of the episodes surround Kate trying to be a good mom and adjusting to life as a parent. She means well, but will cover up to avoid trouble. Then again, nearly all the family members are hiding something in each episode. She chugs step-daughter Hillary’s vodka-spiked water bottle so she won’t get caught, but the drunken stepmom confesses at the end of the first episode. Peter and Jackie buy their youngest, Bert (Albert Tsai) a puppy, hoping he’d forget about his “lost” (ahem, dead) hamster in the same plot. Neither of them fess up that not only one, but both of his hamsters died either.

Kate, Connor and Hillary

Nobody likes it when their family’s angry with them, but it’s obvious the characters will confess; happens in every other sitcom. Not to sound defiant, but we heard it a million times already!  Kate does state in the pilot she wants to raise a family, and she is beyond thrilled about becoming a step mom. She is the most tolerable and fun character to watch. It’s tempting to cheer for her, even if she doesn’t realize Peter only married her to put her on display.

Switching it Up

The only significant plot change in “Trophy Wife” is the switch of actresses who play Hillary-and apparently a personality change. Gianna LePera plays the moody and apathetic step daughter in the pilot, but Bailee Madison plays a bubbly yet shrill version of the character for the rest of the show.  Both versions refuse to accept Kate as a member of the family-and that’s about the only thing they have in common. LePera and Madison act out their versions of the character well, but one of them should’ve stayed from the beginning. The personality switch creates confusion over the true intentions of the character.

Peter and Kate

One of the few on-screen moments with the newlyweds

Third time’s the charm, or is it?

Peter actually spends less time with Kate than his ex-wives-especially Diane.  She reports any concern for children Hillary or Connor (Ryan Lee) to him as if they were a still married couple. Kate wants to jump in and help, but Diane tries to shoo her away- it is her kids after all. Peter met Jackie in a bar as well, and she is not that much older than Kate. At that point, his commitment is questioned. Does he really care about any of his partners throughout the years? Why is he still in close contact with his ex-wives if he remarried? Either way, one thing is clear: Poor Kate is just a “Trophy Wife” after all.

You have to feel sorry for Kate while watching “Trophy Wife”.  She is a bubbly and enthusiastic character who can’t wait to become part of the family, even if that some members don’t accept her. Kate does care about her new family, and it is refreshing to see someone her age excited about raising kids; especially since two of them are in their teens. That said, “Trophy Wife” doesn’t have much plot except for getting in trouble with the family- Not exactly award worthy material.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Trophy Wife Cast 2

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About Emily Stewart

Emily is a Media, Information and Technoculture student at Western University who likes to put her critical thinking skills and passion for writing to good use, including reviewing TV shows for We Eat Films.

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