From the brownstone apartment buildings of New York City to the vomit-colored cookie-cutter houses of the suburbs, Tessa’s move to a new home might as well be on another planet. Tessa’s overprotective dad has rescued her from the sexually active lifestyle of Manhattan teens to bring her to salvation in the suburbs. Tessa calls this place “Suburgatory.” You’ve probably been there. It’s where plastic moms strut around the mall in their mani-pedi flip-flops sipping on their oversized frozen coffee drinks.
Yeah, Momageddon is scarier than, well, a regular Armageddon. It’s especially foreign to Tessa because her mom hit the road shortly after she was born, so growing up with George is all she’s ever known. George is her dad whom she doesn’t call “dad.” To Tessa he’s George – just George. George is hoping that Tessa will discover her inner-suburb girl. We won’t hold our breath.
George meets up with his old pal, Noah, at the local country club, but it’s not the Noah that George remembers. He looks different. Maybe it’s his Nerf ball-colored skin or his unnaturally blonde hair? Either way, George feels out of place. To make George feel more comfortable, Noah lets him in on a little secret. Apparently the women of the suburbs think George is hotter than the most happening BBQ in town. All the women, single and married, are drooling over the unattached, mysterious city man. Dallas Royce, George’s neighbor, is especially fond of him.
George, who’s an architect, goes to Dallas’s lavish home to take a look at her daughter Dalia’s bedroom. Dallas wants a new skylight put in and George is just the man for the job. George begins to feel insecure that Tessa is missing a mother figure in her life after he sees how pink and bedazzled Dalia’s room is. Dallas suggests that she and Dalia take Tessa and George to the mall for a little shopping trip. “Everyone loves Dalia,” Dallas boasts.
Everyone except Tessa, that is. While George gets his flirt on with Dallas, Dalia gives Tessa a guided tour of her new high school. Tessa describes Dalia well: “Her personality is as flat as her hair.” And she’s not exaggerating. To make things worse, the whole school assumes Tessa is a lesbian because she’s not dressed like a hooker. The entire experience makes Tessa even more aware that she doesn’t belong. To get away, she hides out in the handicapped stall of the girls’ bathroom. From her hiding place she watches as Dalia and her posse gang up on a less popular girl. Once the mean girls leave the bathroom, Tessa comes out of hiding to comfort the girl who was just picked on. It’s a shame that even the dorky girl screams at Tessa, “Get away from me, you lesbian!” Charming.
School is out and Tessa can finally go home and unwind after a terrible first day. Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Tessa gets dragged to the mall by Dallas, George and Dalia. She’s miserable at the mall with the Barbie girls and dad is totally clueless that a shopping trip is the last thing Tessa wants. Dallas barges into the dressing room and sees Tessa’s manly, ugly-looking sports bra. Dallas can’t bear to see this horrible thing on such a pretty young girl, so Dallas takes matters into her own hands. Without Tessa’s permission, Dallas buys Tessa a pretty pink bra. Although Tessa is outraged at first, she comes around and is thankful for the gift. It is, after all, the prettiest thing she owns.
Later on, Tessa answers her front door to see Lisa, the dorky girl she was spying on in the bathroom. Apparently Lisa’s Martha Stewartified mother, Sheila, dropped off a casserole dish that she needs returned. Lisa apologizes for being so mean in the bathroom and she leaves on good terms. Tessa has to remind herself that even though she’s the new girl, that doesn’t mean she’s the only one struggling to fit in. With Tessa’s newfound optimism, she decided that maybe life won’t be so bad in Suburgatory. Only time will tell.