Is American Housewife the blandest name for a sitcom ever? Pretty much, yes. It's insane to me that someone thought that would be a good title even as American Crime, American Crime Story, American Horror Story, American Grit, and presumably half a dozen others are currently still on the air. To be fair, the show was originally to be called The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport which is a way better title and more or less sums up the plot of the show's pilot.
The program begins with Katie Otto (Katy Mixon) gazing at her window and pondering how she will soon earn that aforementioned title — one that further proves that her and her offbeat family don't fit into their ritzy suburban Connecticut city. Of course, fitting in isn't exactly her goal as she despises most of her fellow citizens and mothers in the area. Meanwhile her own kin — consisting of her husband Greg (Diedrich Bader), youngest daughter Anna-Kat, and older kids Taylor and Oliver — is experiencing their own issues as two of them are proving too popular for Katie's liking while the third is riddled with quirks.
That's really all you need to know going into the pilot for American Housewife... and it's also really all you need to know going into the second episode. In my mind, nothing of major consequence happens in this first 22 minutes other than the typical establishing of characters and tone. Sure there are some hints at future storylines but, if you do miss this week's premiere, don't feel like you can't join in later
While I'm not sure that I loved American Housewife, I did enjoy it and intend on checking back in with it. The show moves quickly and is full of laughs (alas, isn't that what you want in a sitcom?). However, going back to the title change, I worry that the show's true voice might be getting stifled by the constraints of network television and all that entails. It's just a hunch but we'll see if the show can maintain its edge in subsequent weeks.
Overall I'd say it's worth giving American Housewife a chance if for no other reason than Mixon and Bader are both fantastic. You're also sure to fall in love with Anna-Kat and her various "anxieties." I can already tell this show won't be for everyone but, for some, this second fattest housewife could be the first truly funny show of the fall season.
American Housewife premieres Tuesday, October 11th at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.