Review: ‘American Housewife’ puts fat-shamers to shame

Tom Long
The Detroit News

“American Housewife” is in many ways a predictable, sitcommy, broadcast network sitcom — except that it has one element of timeliness going for it.

It’s about fat-shaming.

Actually, it has other things going for it, but you have to wonder if Donald Trump owns stock in Disney, which owns ABC, which just happens to be putting out a show about fat-shaming at the same time that a certain presidential candidate is being lambasted for judging women by their weight. Of course, we’ll never know unless his taxes are released.

Either way, “American Housewife” tackles an issue that’s sure to reverberate with many. Katy Mixon (“Mike & Molly,” “Eastbound & Down”; at least this show doesn’t have an ampersand) stars as Katie, a happily chunky mom living in Westport, Connecticut, where all the other moms are thin, wear fitbits and look like their teenage selves.

The skinny women use endearing terms like “you’re so real” when talking to Katie, and yes, she resents it very much. Her best friends are a black lesbian and an Asian woman — also outcasts in Westport, apparently — and despite her resentment, Katie is recognizably real.

She’s also pretty funny. The show is weighed down with stereotypes, beginning with her family, which includes patient-if-horny husband Greg (Diedrich Bader), blossoming teen hottie Taylor (Meg Donnelly), OCD young sprite Alice (Isabel Gravitt) and straight from “Family Ties,” young capitalist rip-off Oliver (Daniel DiMaggio). Yet all these characters manage to work, at least in a broadcast-show way.

This is mostly because of Mixon’s constant narration and commentary; she’s offering a sarcastic-neurotic voiceover on her own absurd life. And she’s also doing a take-down on the idealized American woman. This show was originally called “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport,” which was an honest and timely title. Let the fat-shamer shaming continue.

Tom Long is a longtime culture critic.

Twitter: @toomuchTomLong

‘American Housewife’


8:30 p.m. Tuesday