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ABC’s “Home Economics”: Family, Class and Money |




COMEDIES THAT arrive complete with an obvious subject and theme tend to stumble. Home Economics (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) is about class and money and how it fits between siblings. Comedies should be smart and fun. While obvious and at times vulgar, Schitts Creek explored class, family, and money, but kept the focus on laughter.

Topher Grace (That 70s Show) plays Tom, the middle child of three siblings. Once considered a promising author, his books have stopped selling. How do we know this? He tells us in a voice over that continues throughout the show.

Sarah (Caitlin McGee) is the oldest, mother of two with wife, Denise (Sasheer Zamata). They are first seen crammed into a one-bedroom apartment, where the children’s room is actually the top of a bunk bed. Sarah has just lost her job and is in no mood to meet her wealthy younger brother Connor (Jimmy Tatro), who has just returned to their hometown, presumably Los Angeles. He not only came back, but bought a gigantic glass box that he repeatedly reminds everyone of belonged to Matt Damon.

Some vague financial machinations may have made Connor a billionaire, but instead he acted like a dude and rode in the toy bumper cars Matt Damon may have left behind. Everything about her house is overkill and off-putting for Sarah and Tom. The room where Connors’ daughter stores her toys is larger than most houses. But that doesn’t stop them from feeling embarrassed about hitting their brother for money.

Toms’ voiceover ultimately turns into the hook of the series. He has spoken out on the subject of his next book and his own family and the income disparity that seems to define them. He hints that his siblings may not like him using them as material.

Like any author, Tom made himself the most three-dimensional of the bunch. Sarah is bubbling with resentment, and spitting appropriately arouses the rants that even his wife finds above. Connor is a barely drawn man-child whose wealth is a mystery to everyone.

Some may see Home as a parable of the class divisions of the Americas. But what exactly is he saying? Even Tom, the author, is not sure. He’s dismayed at Connors’ garish excess, but he wouldn’t mind sharing it.

It has been said many times that their family ties bring them together despite their differences. But I don’t know why anyone else would want to stay.

Netflix begins streaming The Wedding Coach, This Is a Robbery: The Worlds Biggest Art Heist, and Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute.

Other highlights

A tennis player avoids the inevitable on Chicago Med (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

The CW is adding to its stack of remakes and reboots with Kung Fu (8 p.m., TV-PG).

Hemingway (8 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings) ends.

Someone is working Severides’ latest nerf on Chicago Fire (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

The four-part story Exterminate All the Brutes (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) examines the genocidal results of European encounters with indigenous peoples in Africa and North America.

The 2020 documentary The Go-Gos (9:35 p.m., TMCX, TV-MA) focuses on the group’s punk origins.

Hondo feels the heat on SWAT (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

Domestic violence on Chicago PD (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

Truth and Implications for A Million Little Things (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

Cult choice

Richard Dreyfuss became the youngest man to win an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in the 1977 Neil Simon comedy The Goodbye Girl (6 p.m., TCM, TV-14).

Series Notes

Tough as Nails (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … The Masked Singer (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … A tent situation on The Goldbergs (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

Jasons’ career is at stake on SEAL Team (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) … Game of Talents (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … On two assistants from The Conners (ABC, TV-PG) ): double shift (9 p.m.), surprising gossip (9:30 p.m.) … Take one for the team on Nancy Drew (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG).

Late at night

Lil Rel Howery appears on Conan (11pm, TBS) … Leslie Odom Jr. and Michio Kaku are listed on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (11:35 pm, CBS) … Jimmy Fallon hosts Denis Leary, Cristin Milioti and Rod Wave on The Tonight Show (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Dr Anthony Fauci and Diane von Furstenberg visit Late Night With Seth Meyers (12:35 p.m., NBC, r) … Kenan Thompson and Julien Baker appear on The Late Late Show With James Corden (12:37 p.m., CBS).

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