Beware This American Housewife
Written by PTC | Published September 12, 2016
Another sitcom about the horrors of suburban life.
Kate Otto is a housewife obsessed with her weight and lack of social status. Despite having chosen to move her family to upscale Westport, Connecticut, Kate despises her neighbors for their wealth, physiques, and perceived cliquishness. Kate is also unhappy with the effect of their surroundings on her children: she resents the ease with which thin, attractive teen daughter Taylor fits in with her classmates (Kate never did), while young son Oliver is already saving money and planning for a career as an entrepreneur (Kate worries about him becoming a “capitalist pig”). While easygoing husband Greg tries to temper Kate’s negativity and convince her she is attractive, only Kate’s avowed “favorite,” little AnnaKat, escapes her scorn; but AnnaKat has problems of her own. Kate vows to make Anna fit in more, and her other two children fit in less with the suburban lifestyle which surrounds them.
American Housewife contains a large amount of content inappropriate for younger viewers. Continuing a disturbing trend in ABC’s alleged “family comedies” in recent years, the program features frequent uses of “bitch,” “ass,” and various bleeped profanities; sexualizing remarks about “the “boob fairy” visiting adolescent daughter Taylor, and Kate telling Greg that “my boobs are one-third gut;” and literal toilet humor, including scenes of father Greg “taking a leisurely half-hour dump” as little AnnaKat stands before him watching. This is not to mention the body-shaming premise surrounding Kate’s character, who is obsessed with both her own weight and that of her neighbors, remarking incessantly on her “plus-size fat ass,” and plotting to lure someone heavier than herself into living next door so that she will no longer be “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport” (the show’s original title).
Like ABC prior comedy Suburgatory, American Housewife is premised on the assumption that suburban America is populated exclusively with shallow, narrow-minded individuals concerned solely with money, status, and appearance…completely unlike like the enlightened denizens of Hollywood. Those who do not share the show’s assumptions will find American Housewife’s smug elitism, profanity, and sexist toilet humor tiresome and lacking in comic value.
American Housewife premieres Tuesday, October 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.