ABC’s new comedy Downward Dog is a show about a woman named Nan (Allison Tolman) and her extremely emotional talking dog, Martin. Of course, the dog doesn’t talk to Nan — that would be crazy! — and instead we hear Martin The Dog’s feelings-filled diatribes through talking head interviews, like he’s a pinot grigio-chugging Real Housewives Of New York star with a serious fear of cats. We can all agree this is a lovable, yet super bizarre, concept. Despite the um, unexpected, nature of Dog, there is one way the sitcom is more true-to-life than nearly any other show out there: the clothing.
On most series, our heroes and antiheroes wear brand new duds in literally every episode. Each and every outfit is brand spanking new, down to the shoes and accessories. This trend maintains itself everywhere, no matter the lifestyle of the characters we’re following. The ladies of Pretty Little Liars would never be caught committing the sin of outfit repeating. Even nomad demon hunters like the Winchester brothers on Supernatural have an ever-expanding closet of flannel button downs. This is not so on Downward Dog.
In the premiere, Nan wears a Metallica T-shirt over the weekend as she tries to figure out why Martin is acting out. She goes to a doggy academy, heads home, has a chat with her ex-ish boyfriend Jason (Lucas Neff), goes to the office to work on a very long project, finishes the entire project, and goes back home. On Monday morning she wakes up wearing a chunky sweater and what still looks like the rock tee. So, Nan either had the longest singular day in history, or she basically wore the same shirt over an entire stressful weekend. This is the most relatable detail ever.
In this same episode, Nan comes stumbling home on a Friday after drinking some of her jerk of a boss’s hidden alcohol in the office. As we watch the disgruntled employee trudge up her stairs she kicks a bike with her work-appropriate wedges. In episode 3, “Loyalty,” the dark shoes are back on Nan’s feet in the Clark + Bow Outfitters office — you know, like what actually happens in real life. I don’t know about everyone else, but I have a limited rotation of about five pairs of shoes I wear to work. I, unlike Black-ish’s Dre Johnson, am not breaking out a new box on the daily.
Nan isn’t the only one going back into her own closet for every episode, since it looks like her totally chill somewhat-ex Jason sports the same long-sleeve green t-shirt and denim jacket throughout his life. This little quirk gives a high concept show like Downward Dog the feeling that it very much takes place in the world around us. Now if only they would tell the Pretty Little Liars costume designer to join the bandwagon.
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