American Housewife (2016– )
User ReviewsAdd a Review
Fat Pam is Katie's neighbor from across the street and she is moving which will leave Katie as the second fattest mom in her neighborhood. Katie convinces her husband Greg that he has to help her find a heavy woman to buy the house across the street so she won't be looked upon as the fattest mom in the neighborhood and she can feel better about herself. But common sense prevails and Katie ends up eventually having to welcome another Stepford looking wife to the neighborhood named Viv, played by Leslie Bibb. The initial interaction between Viv and Katie one could imagine it would not be exactly a warm welcome and thus we have the making of a new sitcom.
Katie and Greg are the proud parents of two daughters and one son. Their son Oliver's ambition is to be the next Warren Buffet but I don't think that Katie and Greg have the heart to tell their son that they actually are just renting the house they live in. Their younger daughter a cutey patootie named Anna-Kat is scared of germs and shows sign of having an obsessive compulsive disorder. Their older daughter Taylor fits right in the neighborhood with all the slim good looking girls and Katie resents that Taylor may grow up as just another plastic Stepford type wife, shallow but beautifully slim.
What I really like about this new sitcom is there is no "canned laughter" barreling at the audience during and after every conversation the family may have. The laughter will have to be earned and they earned my laughter during the first episode. This family themed comedy format has a good chance of becoming a weekly "must see" as we the audience get to know the personalities of Katie, Greg their three children Oliver, Anna-Kat, Taylor and their new neighbor Viv. I look forward to future episodes of American Housewife.
I give the pilot an 8 out of 10 rating.
I'm only done with episode three - and I'm looking forward to each and every episode to come.
I have several issues with this show. The protagonist Katy Mixon playing the Mom. She dislikes her surroundings, the people around her and their values. She calls herself fat and she is average weight. She attacked her children her daughter by her food and her son by his values. She was only kindly towards her youngest child. Another issue was if this was a comedy I did not laugh.
Mixon I actually liked in Mike and Molly. If you were trying to explore weight issues it was a miss. Instead it was self- deprecating. The actress in Mike and Molly Melissa McCarthy was actually overweight. She was self-improving motivated and working proactively to improve her life. She was a positive character. She went to meetings and learned how to cope with stress and found someone to love. Her sister Mixion was dealing with her issues like the mother in that show chose to treat their pain with substance abuse, not food.
The children reminded me of Family Ties. The daughter liked by her peers a stock American daughter. The son was a dead ringer for Alex P. Keaton. He was an entrepreneur with a solid gold heart and no personal empathy but dollar signs. The difference was the youngest child was an odd child, dealing with overwhelming OCD issues, not the stock little girl.
Let's talk about the where, they are living in a neighborhood that is not compatible with their core values. This is America if you do not like where you live move. Now the socioeconomic struggle and difference was perfectly shown in Gilmore Girls. A girl from that neighborhood moved away because she did not accept their core values. She had to deal with the values when she needed money for her child to attend private school. If the mom does not need to interact with the other people in her neighborhood. She had friends, so why was she comparing herself despairingly? The skinny women were not competition at work, her husband's work, social clubs, church or family. So why?
The only positive thing I saw was a husband that sexually desired his wife. So that in itself is the only positive value is given by a man.
Now I liked the individual actors. I just did not like the premise of the show or the negative display of women.
I'm waiting for the redeeming message, where she realizes that constantly comparing herself to everyone else is self defeating, and harmful to her children, but it never comes. The "white privilege" stereotype is annoying. The "I'm fat and have a negative body image" stereotype is annoying (and honestly, she's too small for that stereotype, so it makes it not believable). The "over achieving Asian" stereotype is annoying. The only stereotype that's believable and you are rooting for is the OCD daughter.
Having said all that, I like all the actors, they cast it well. I just wish it was a better sitcom. I've watched 2 episodes and don't think I can stomach a third...
"Suburgatory" did it better. So did "Odd Mom Out", but this series attempts to make hay from Katie's observations about the shallow values of those around her. Unfortunately, Katie is hypocritical She wants to be "not fat", but her eating habits say otherwise. She criticizes the lean physiques of her neighbors, but really envies them. We can forgive the fact that she's hypocritical, but she's also mean, sometimes to her own children.
One daughter suffers from OCD, (Dad-induced) germophobia and other assorted personality disorders. The other hangs out with the shallow children of the shallow neighbors. And her son, who is Alex P. Keaton reincarnate, already has life goals that involve making plenty of money.
Oliver, the son, runs rings around his mother intellectually. She wants to turn him into an altruist (because we all know capitalists are never altruists, right?), but she has difficulty making arguments for her beliefs in the face of his comprehensive belief system. He points out how happy he made someone in one of his money making schemes and she realizes he has a point.
In some comedies, you laugh AT the lead character ("All in the Family") and in others you laugh WITH the protagonist ("Seinfeld"), and I think the audience for this show may consists of equal parts of each. Katie is part Leah Remini and part Roseanne Barr, but we mostly laugh WITH those two comedy greats.
In some ways, the show is non-PC, allowing Katie to take shots at many social "norms", but her two best friends are a black lesbian and an Asian woman. And she is clearly left-leaning. The result is an interesting mix.
Her husband, Greg (Diedrich Bader)--like most sitcom husbands--is primarily fodder for her jokes, but he does serve to offset some of Katie's neurotic behaviors (as she does for him).
Despite the fact Katie is sometimes mean to her children and sometimes lies to them, I think some American housewives will identify with her and find laughs in the dialogue. Personally, I only laughed once during the pilot episode, but it was a good one.
There are better shows, but this might tickle the funny bones of some viewers.