“Odd Mom Out” comes to Bravo with a clear voice and point of view. It’s just that the perspective warrants such marginal interest or sympathy as to significantly narrow its appeal. Featuring Jill Kargman as a Manhattanite whose privileged life pales next to the wanton affluence of the blow-dried moms that surround her, the show, created by Kargman, taps into a legitimate strain of yuppie angst — that somebody is able to provide better for their pampered brats than you can. But a smattering of funny lines in this scripted sitcom doesn’t make Bravo’s fictitious housewives more than passable company.
Actress and author Kargman plays Jill Weber, whose husband, Andy (“The Office’s” Andy Buckley), is a successful lawyer with whom she has three kids. The filthy rich, however, beginning with Andy’s blue-blooded family, heavily populate their extended circle in New York’s Upper East Side. Presided over by an imperious matriarch (Joanna Cassidy), the clan’s members include Jill’s brother-in-law (Sean Kleier), who has cashed in his company for hundreds of millions, and his rail-thin wife (Abby Elliot), who leads a pack of snobbish, designer-outfitted blond women.
“Between Lexington and 5th, I’m a charity case,” Jill grumbles.
Nevertheless, Jill finds herself being sucked into the family’s absurdly high-class problems, like fretting about the ocean view of their funeral plots, or debating whether the family name sounds prestigious enough.
Making fun of the 1% might seem like fertile territory right now, but other than the limits on their credit cards, this isn’t far removed from the meanie moms on “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” who were also intended to make the central character feel inadequate. Along the way, the women cavalierly drop lines like, “Where do you guys summer again?” and “I haven’t seen you since we had a white president.”
Kargman sells the bewilderment and exasperation well enough, but the series is as slim as its size-zero dresses. Moreover, there’s precious little sense of irony evident in a program that satirizes ostentatious displays of fabulousness on a channel that wallows in them elsewhere, as if Bravo is trying to have its cake and mock it.
The network made a reasonably impressive scripted debut with “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” — and “Odd Mom Out” is certainly within the same general marketing sphere. More charitably, there is a somewhat universal quality in marrying into a family that makes you the proverbial odd duck.
Even so, this is a less successful effort than “Girlfriends.” Because while Jill’s predicament would certainly make for a fine New Yorker essay, it’s not so terrific in sustaining a TV series. Sure, someone’s always got it better than you do, but hold the violins. And for TV viewers thinking about where they should “summer,” thanks to an abundance of options, there are more appealing locations on the dial than “Odd Mom Out.”