REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – SEASON 2

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

 

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Meet The Spartans)
Meg Donnelly (Zombies)
Daniel DiMaggio (Daddy’s Home 2)
Julia Butters (Transparent)
Ali Wong (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
Carly Hughes (Brampton’s Own)

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Carly Craig (Hall Pass)
Jeannette Sousa (Insidious)
Barret Swatek (2 broke Girls)
Mallory Jansen (Agents of Shield)
Evan O’Toole (Cake)
George Hamilton (The Godfather Part III)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Leslie Bibb (Popular)
Wendie Malick (Mom)
Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Julia Duffy (Newhart)
Sara Rue (Bones)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars)
Fiona Gubelmann (Wilfred)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Logan Pepper (Girls & Boys)
Jerry Lambert (Horrible Bosses 2)
Nikki Hahn (Genius)
Mercedes Colon (JAG)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Ravi Patel (transformers)
Mary Holland (Blunt Talk)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)

Diedrich Bader and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)Of all the new shows on ABC last fall, there’s just one that kept my attention for the entire year: American Housewife. At first glance, it looks like a twist on the 80’s family sitcom full of narcissism and sass, but it’s a lot smarter than that. Each episode builds to a satisfying conclusion, with clever setups along the way leading to hilarious outcomes. But what’s more, the characters are relatable and through their faults, likable.Katy Mixon, Daniel DiMaggio, Meg Donnelly, and Julia Butters in American Housewife (2016)Reconnecting with the Otto family this season, Katie has a master plan to get out of a crazy commute that involves driving across town multiple times each day to get her kids to all of their after school activities. With their oldest daughter Taylor on the brink of getting her driver’s license, Katie can’t wait to take up hobbies like sitting in the bath drinking wine. But when Taylor reveals that she isn’t going to college, Greg wants to withhold Taylor’s drivers license as a motivator… and Katie is having none of it!George Hamilton and Daniel DiMaggio in American Housewife (2016)In typical American Housewife fashion, there’s a joke in this episode that gets setup early on, but has an even more hilarious payoff for those paying close attention near the end. Katie’s past also comes back to haunt her in a major way. When Anna-Kat refuses to participate in any after school activities, Katie’s plan of having Taylor drive everyone all the time falls apart. In order to get her daughter to be more outgoing, she has to volunteer at school functions with the same healthy trendy moms she spent last season mocking.Diedrich Bader, Katy Mixon, and Daniel DiMaggio in American Housewife (2016)If you aren’t already watching American Housewife, here’s what you need to know. Greg is a brilliant professor and his wife Katie doesn’t fit in with the athletic and trendy moms in their snobbish East Coast town of Westport, so she rebels through snark. The two oldest kids fit right in and often try to hide the fact that they are considered poor where they live, despite their upper middle class means. And the bottom line is mama Katie isn’t having any of it, so look out Westport and look out kids!NATHAN FILLION, KATY MIXONIn a world where weekly television series’ have to compete against streaming platforms like Netflix, it’s easy for shows like American Housewife to get lost in the shuffle. But what is clear to me is that this show has the power to stand up against the competition and you should tune in or at least add it to your Hulu watchlist. It’s guaranteed to be one of the funniest half hours of your week.

Advertisements

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – BLUE CHRISTMAS

untitled

BLUE CHRISTMAS

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Vampires Suck)
Meg Donnellly (The Broken Ones)
Daniel DiMaggio (Tales of Halloween)
Julia Butters (Pals)
Ali Wong (Savages)
Carly Hughes (Lucky Stiff)

148032_3782_595_MiniLogoTVwhite-Gallery

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Brian Stepanek (Jingle All The Way 2)
Nikki Hahn (Adventures In Babysitting)
Courtney Pauroso (Wolfgirl)

nuEd

It’s Christmas morning at the Ottos. The kids are itching to open presents, but Katie insists they follow their yearly Christmas tradition first – build a fire, eat a big breakfast, talk about the true meaning of Christmas, Greg’s seasonal hypochondria flairs up, etc. Then, the landline rings. (What’s making that noise?” “Sounds familiar…It’s the landline!”) In Katie and Greg’s words, no one calls the landline unless somebody’s dead…or it’s that computer that tries to trick you into thinking it’s a real person.”  It’s Doris. She’s been texting Katie, who hasn’t seen any of the texts, so she’s finally tried the landline. She’s in labor and all alone, having sent the rest of her family to Aspen for Christmas. And she’s “not giving birth alone like some teenage crack whore!” so Katie has to hurry on over to the hospital.148032_6850_595_MiniLogoTVwhite-GalleryWhen Katie leaves, she demands Greg make the kids wait to open presents, so they can continue the family tradition of opening them together. This is easier said than done. So Greg resorts to locking himself in the office with the presents. (“Open the damn door, Greg!”) The kids even try to fake an injury on Anna-Kat to get him to unlock the door. Fortunately, he’s smart enough to demand that they “slide something under the door with her blood on it” first.  At the hospital, Doris is enjoying the deluxe “1% suite,” when Greg and the kids arrive. Greg’s decided that instead of waiting at home for Katie, they’ll all be together at the hospital, and the kids can, therefore, open their presents. Since Doris is in the super-rich-person suite, there’s plenty of stuff to fulfill the Christmas tradition – a fireplace, a fancy breakfast, even a nice Christmas tree.maxresdefaultBefore they can start opening the presents, Doris’s monitor begins beeping and they have to leave. (She’s fine. Katie just unplugged the monitor to charge her phone!). In the waiting area, Taylor, who’s mourning her breakup with Ayo, encourages Oliver to practice asking out the girl from ballet to the Nutcracker on the gift shop cashier. He fails miserably, several times, each time ending the conversation by grabbing a random nameplate key-chain and asking “If you don’t have anything to do, would you like to…sell me this license plate key-chain?” On the third try, he finally succeeds in mentioning the nutcracker tickets. Only, this woman doesn’t realize he’s practicing and starts crying that her newly deceased mother used to take her and her sister to the Nutcracker every year and how Oliver’s a Christmas angel. (Maybe she “won’t turn back to drugs after all!”) In an  uncharacteristically selfless moment for Oliver, he gives her the tickets. While there, Greg runs into one of his re-enactor friends who’s a doctor and gets him to take a look at his hands, which he’s determined are turning blue and tingling. american-housewife-1968-s2e10-blue-christmasUnfortunately, Dr. Not-Irwin seems to think that something is actually wrong with his hands. Blue and tingling could be gangrene. (At this, Anna-Kat gets quite excited at the prospect of amputation.  With it looking like Greg might actually be sick, Kate’s left running between him and Doris. Katie leaves Angela on webcam to support Greg while she tries to reassure Doris that even though she’s been kind of a horrible parent with her first three kids, this baby can be different. (“A do-over baby!”)  While Katie’s with Doris, Angela starts looking up Greg’s symptoms on the internet, which Katie has banned Greg from trying. Angela finds where rubbing your hands on new jeans (which Greg has been doing) can cause the dye to come off and turn your hands blue. She tells Greg to try rubbing alcohol. Unsurprisingly, this takes the blue right off!  As Greg celebrates the fact that he’s not about to lose his hands, Katie comes in, apologizing and vowing to be there for him when he needs her. Of course, he waits until the end of this apology to tell her he’s fine.  The episode ends with Katie rushing off to be with Doris, who finally has her “do-over baby.” Afterwards, she finds Greg and the kids ready to open presents in the waiting room, even though she’d caved and told them to go home and open presents without her. And Oliver asks out the girl from ballet. She says “okay.”hA great Christmas episode that’s just as awesome as the first a great watch for the holiday season.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – KRAMPUS KATIE

4x17-a-very-crappy-christmas-south-park-21651796-500-375

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Vampires Suck)
Meg Donnellly (The Broken Ones)
Daniel DiMaggio (Tales of Halloween)
Julia Butters (Pals)
Ali Wong (Savages)
Carly Hughes (Lucky Stiff)
am-9-3
GUEST CAST

Leslie Bibb (The Skulls)

am-9-2

KRAMPUS KATIE

Despite what Greg insists, there aren’t many anti-Santa villains in Christmas stories. There’s the Grinch, there’s Krampus, and now there’s Katie Otto, accused of elf murder and general Christmas grumpiness. It isn’t that Katie gets grumpier at Christmas, but simply that everyone else gets more cheerful. As she observes the parents volunteering at the Westport School Christmas concert, it’s like someone watching the animals at the zoo. Katie can’t understand how one day suddenly changes everyone’s personalities.

am-9-6
Even Viv is more manic and cheerful than usual, which didn’t seem possible before we see the crazy in Leslie Bibb’s eyes. In “Krampus Katie”, Katie struggles with her position as Krampus to Viv’s over-medicated Santa. As Katie and Greg discuss a special speaking job Greg’s counting on, Viv bursts in and Anna-Kat is captivated. With her happy nature and love of splashy volunteer work, Viv seems just like real-life Santa. Katie, on the other hand, is apparently more like Krampus, the demon goat who terrorizes bad children during the holidays. Viv gives Greg and the kids pointy muffins and Katie “the gift of potential”, which is actually just a fitbit. Katie is offended enough to refuse to help Viv plan the annual Christmas concert. Although, she wasn’t going to do it anyway.
676
Normally, Katie would successfully ward off Viv, Viv would go away, and that would be that. Now, however, the Elf on the Mantle is in play. The Elf on the Mantle, which is half the price of the one you’re thinking of, is Santa’s little spy in the house. Anna-Kat is deathly worried that the elf will see Katie be grumpy and deny the entire family presents. Katie doesn’t listen to Anna-Kat’s warnings until she accidentally sets fire to the elf. Then, it just stares at her with its creepy little elf eyes until she goes down to the school and pretends to be merry. To impress the elf and survive the holidays, Katie turns to Greg for help. Unlike Katie, Greg can find the silver-lining in any situation. Even when Oliver and Taylor demand better presents, Greg decides that this is an opportunity to teach them a Christmas lesson. Greg’s heart is in the right place, but his optimistic way of looking at the world makes him a bad teacher for his much more cynical children. When he takes them to a nursing home, Oliver and Taylor get the basic idea, but their hearts aren’t exactly melted by the residents.
am-9-8
As Oliver and Taylor cope with their punishment of talking to delightful old ladies, Greg makes a friend of his own. His new actor acquaintance tells Greg the lesson he learned after being a pushy extra on Mad Men: you have to fight for what you want. It’s kind of a Christmas lesson, but Greg is too passive to take it to heart. The kids haven’t learned their lesson either. Oliver and Taylor completely luck out when they meet a befuddled old lady who thinks they’re her grandchildren and gives them Christmas money. They almost get away with it, until Greg catches on. Greg thinks he has another chance when Katie, eager to prove to that dumb little elf that she has Christmas spirit, agrees to help Viv deliver presents to a family in need. This leads to the most “Westport” scene of the episode, where the Otto family realizes that Viv’s definition of a family in need is much different than theirs. This family had their accounts frozen and can only afford to go to *gasp* Hawaii for Christmas. Greg and Katie are outraged, but polite enough to just give the family the presents and walk away. Some battles aren’t worth fighting.
am-9-5
Throughout the episode, Greg has slowly been losing it. He can’t get through to Oliver and Taylor, he was forced to give a rich family charity presents, and he loses the speaking position to Kidney-Disease Carl. At the Christmas pageant, he finally can’t take it anymore and chews out Anna-Kat’s music teacher for being too hard on the kids. Katie in particular is ecstatic that Greg is finally giving into the anger, but is once again reminded of the elf, Anna-Kat’s hopes, and the true spirit of Christmas. When Viv has a Santa-sized meltdown over planning the concert, Katie invites her over. As Anna-Kat tells her later, the elf is proud, and Katie can stand tall knowing that at least one Otto kid values charity and kindness. As for Oliver and Taylor – the jury’s still out. This is the last American Housewife of the year. I’ve enjoyed watching the show and look forward to it’s return in January.

REVIEW: AMEIRCAN HOUSEWIFE – BOO WHO?

american-housewife

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Vampires Suck)
Meg Donnellly (The Broken Ones)
Daniel DiMaggio (Tales of Halloween)
Julia Butters (Pals)
Ali Wong (Savages)
Carly Hughes (Lucky Stiff)

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 6_11_07 AM [www_imagesplitter_net]

BOO WHO?

GUEST CAST

Jessica St. Clair (Life As We Know It)

147631_1618_595_MiniLogoTVwhite-GalleryEvery year, Westport families leave anonymous bags of goodies and candy on other people’s porches a few days before Halloween – a practice known as “getting booed.” It’s not a huge shock to find out the Ottos, as the town’s resident outcasts, are always left out of this practice. But this year, everything’s changed. The Ottos have been booed! As Oliver laments “My poster was right! Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it,” a “not excited” but secretly totally thrilled Katie starts to wonder who finally moved to include them. Of course, being booed doesn’t solve all their Halloween related problems. Oliver screams like a little girl and has decided there’s no way he’s going to his friend’s big haunted house party, so Anna-Kat takes it upon herself to practice some immersion therapy on him. Basically, she’s going to all but scare the screams out of him. And Taylor? She’s thrilled to have been invited to participate in a group costume. And, this year’s group theme is “Norwalk Pregnant Prom Girls!” Katie’s just too thrilled.147631_2424_595_MiniLogoTVwhite-GalleryAt lunch, Angela and Doris figure out that the Otto’s Boo came from Katie’s arch-nemesis Chloe Brown-Mueller. The items in the basket are from Chloe’s store, “one of those vanity shops Westport housewives open so they can say they have a career.” Katie takes this as a peace treaty and a sign that she’s finally moving up the Westport social ladder, so she rushes off to thank Chloe. Of course Chloe, ever the soulless twat, didn’t actually mean for the Boo to go to Katie. The address got mixed up and her employee/unofficial servant Maria delivered it to the wrong house.  So, a defeated Katie goes home realizing she hasn’t actually climbed the social ladder like she secretly wanted to. At home, Katie’s met by Taylor, who’s decided that if she can’t be a pregnant Norwalk prom girl, she’ll be going as a slutty ladybug. Katie, predictably, vetoes this as well. Then, as a Frankenstein-clad Greg returns from the Zombie Run, Katie tells him about the Boo mix-up. Greg, world’s most lovable pushover, decides to finally face confrontation and heads down to Chloe’s shop to defend the family honour.147631_1344_595_MiniLogoTVwhite-GalleryIf any of you were expecting a breakthrough with Greg’s fear of confrontation, get ready to be disappointed. While trying to confront Chloe, Greg gets his zombie makeup in his eye, trips, and subsequently breaks just about everything in the store. Back at home, Taylor finally convinces Katie to let her go as a pregnant prom girl, comparing her desire to go as part of the group costume and fit in to Katie’s desire to finally get a Boo like everyone else. Greg returns then, having failed to confront his fear of confrontation. Katie, however, informs him that even though he didn’t actually accomplish his mission of standing up to Chloe, knowing that her shop is now completely destroyed makes his visit totally worth it. As Halloween night finally arrives, everyone sets out to celebrate conflict free. Katie’s slapped a Bane mask on Oliver, so whenever he screams he “sounds like a dude!” Taylor heads off to party with the rest of the pregnant teenagers. Greg goes to Chloe’s store to begin working off his debt (after making Katie a Boo of her own), and Katie takes a zombie-princess Anna-Kat trick-or-treating.MEG DONNELLY, DANIEL DIMAGGIOWhat 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 it. This is another great Halloween episode that will hopefully become a yearly tradition.

 

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – SEASON 1

CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedirch Bader (Bones)
Daniel DiMaggio (Tales of Halloween)
Meg Donnelly (Team Toon)
Julia Butters (Transparent)
Carly Hughes (Insatiable)
Ali Wong (The Angry Birds Movie)


RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Leslie Bibb (Iron Man)
Jeannette Sousa  (Zombie Strippers)
Kate Flannery (The Office)
Isabel Gravitt (House Call)
Wendie Malick (Mom)
Janet Varney (Catwoman)
Kristin Eggers (Workaholics)
Robert Gant (Supergirl)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Lidia Porto (Scary Movie V)
Jill Johnson (This Is Us)
E.J. Callahan (Yes Man)
Eddie Shin (Wetsworld)
Jay Mohr (Cherry Falls)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Barret Swatek (2 Broke Girls)
Tiffani Thiessen (Saved By The Bell)

The story line about a slightly overweight mother and her husband raising three children in the suburbs of Westport Conneticut will resonate with a lot of household families. Actress Katy Mixon who just came off six seasons of the successful sitcom Mike and Molly plays mom Katie Otto, who feels a bit uncomfortable in what she feels is her over sized body compared to all the neighborhood school moms who remind her of the perfect Stepford wives. Now Katie’s husband Greg, played by Diedrich Bader is just your normal dad who enjoys his morning read on the bathroom throne with a cup of java. Greg doesn’t think Katie is as fat as Katie thinks she is.

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 every episode. With a season 2 renewal thinks are looking bright for this great new sitcom.

REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – WESTPORT ZOMBIES

Image result for american housewife Westport Zombies

WESTPORT ZOMBIES

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Vampires Suck)
Meg Donnellly (The Broken Ones)
Daniel DiMaggio (Tales of Halloween)
Julia Butters (Pals)
Ali Wong (Savages)
Carly Hughes (Lucky Stiff)

GUEST CAST

Leslie Bibb (The Skulls)

American Housewife is settling into its groove. While the pilot focused on Katie’s problems with the other housewives, and “The Nap” focused on her stresses about motherhood, “Westport Zombies” combined the two into a good episode that gets to the root of Katie’s insecurities. The one thing that “Westport Zombies” does better than the previous two episodes is that it gives Katie an actual nemesis. I complained in the pilot review that the other housewives haven’t been callous enough to earn Katie’s ire, but Viv is a different story. In a Halloween episode, Viv is the greatest monster of them all. Leslie Bibb plays it perfectly, too. Viv could be the stereotypical rich, vacant housewife like the other mothers, but instead she’s practically rabid. She straddles the line between being manic and maniacal and it is perfectly understandable that Katie is worried about Taylor spending time with the crazy new neighbor. When Katie begins to feel threatened by Viv’s presence in her daughter’s life, she decides to settle the score at the Zombie-themed fun run. Katie was initially scornful of the event, which takes the joy out of Halloween and replaces it with exercise. When she hears, however, that Viv and Taylor have signed up, she vows to beat Viv.
Image result for american housewife Westport Zombies
It turns out that Doris and her husband are the sponsors of the fun run, which lets Katie cheat by adding more flags to her belt (zombies try to take the flags, if they take them all, you’re out). It was nice to see Doris in a scene outside of the coffee shop and I like the hints of her husband’s vaguely shady dealings. They’re just trying to earn back the community’s trust! While there are many zombies in the episode, it’s Viv that seems the most like the walking dead. When she twists her ankle on the obstacle course, she starts lurching and screaming behind Katie and it seems for a moment like a scene from an actual horror movie where soccer moms have been infected by a rage-virus (someone please make this movie). Viv beats Katie in the end, but Katie has more important things to care about. 

Greg, Anna-Kat, and Oliver all get wrapped up in the fun run themselves. Oliver uses it as an opportunity to impress a girl (it doesn’t go well) and Greg and Anna-Kat get to be the world’s most adorable father-daughter zombies. Given that Greg’s and Anna-Kat’s one defining characteristic so far has been their germaphobia, it seems to be reaching a bit that they would be up for an activity that involves so much dirt and chaos. It was worth it, however, to hear Anna-Kat’s zombie Titanic victim screech. But the brunt of the episode goes to Katie and her relationship with her daughter. To be honest, Taylor has been the weak point in the cast for me. I spent quite a bit of the episode wondering why Katie would care so much about getting her daughter’s affection because Taylor is a bit of a drag. That made the reveal of Taylor’s real motivations such a pleasant surprise. She isn’t hanging out with Viv because she thinks Viv is better than Katie, but because she realizes that Viv has a very sad life and is lonely. The moment humanizes Taylor for the audience and gets Katie to realize that her daughter really is growing up. And that’s nothing to be scared of.