Tag Archives: ABC-TV

“Fat Housewife” Review Is Far From Phat

If you’re thinking of watching (or recording) tonight’s premiere of “American Housewife” — the ABC sitcom previously known as “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport” — you may want to save your time.

The New York Times’  Neil Genzlinger is not a fan. His review today begins:

American Housewife,” an awful attempt to transplant “Roseanne” into the age of economic inequality, mistakes sophomoric for subversive. The show, which begins Tuesday on ABC, seems to be angling for what it views as an underserved demographic, all those malcontented Americans we keep reading about in connection with the presidential election, the ones who are stuck in a can’t-get-ahead life because the privileged class has mucked things up and taken all the money. In this show’s interpretation, the down-and-outs spend their days telling potty jokes, thinking the whole world hates them because of their weight, and in general emitting contempt for everyone and everything, including their own children.

It’s a domestic sitcom with a fish-out-of-water foundation: The Ottos, a family of five, rent in wealthy Westport, Conn., a town full of entitled snobs. The Ottos, in contrast, are down-to-earth people. We can tell they’re down to earth because two minutes into the premiere we get to see the father, Greg (Diedrich Bader), sitting on the toilet.

The real focus here, though, is the mother, Katie (Katy Mixon), who is fat. That’s her description, not mine, and it’s the preoccupation of the premiere because another plus-size resident is moving out of town….

He continues:

Yes, fat shaming is dismaying, but this show’s answer is fit shaming: Katie has contempt for all those well-toned bodies in Westport. To her, fitness equals shallowness and obsession with wealth. Counter one set of stereotypes by promoting another? That might work in more skilled hands, but here it just makes for sour, spiteful comedy.

At least Katie is an equal-opportunity hater. No one escapes her disdain, including her children, especially the two older ones (Meg Donnelly and Daniel DiMaggio), who she feels are in danger of being converted to Westportian elitism.

Katy Mixon and Julia Butters, in

Katy Mixon and Julia Butters, in “American Housewife.” No, Katy’s dress does not make her look fat. (Photo/Eric McCandless for ABC)

The youngest child (Julia Butters) is supposedly the reason the family rented in Westport. She has, we’re told, special needs that require Westport-caliber schools. What special needs, you ask? Whatever ones might garner a cheap laugh. In the first two episodes, we learn that she washes her hands a lot and prefers to urinate outside. School-district shopping is a real challenge for parents whose children have serious needs — see ABC’s own “Speechless,” where cerebral palsy is the issue. It’s still possible to get laughs out of that situation — “Speechless” does — but first you have to respect it, which this show doesn’t.

There’s more (and you can find it by clicking here).

But really, why bother? You know all you need to not watch the show.

Go have some ice cream instead.

(Hat tip: Tom Greenwald)

2nd Fattest Housewife No Longer In Westport

It’s one thing for the TV world to know Westport through Bobby Axe, the hedge fund billionaire we love to hate on “Billions.”

It’s quite another to be known for our 2nd fattest housewife.

That was the working title — “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport” — of a comedy series pitched to ABC.

According to “Deadline Hollywood,” Katy Mixon stars as “a confident, unapologetic, plump wife and mother of 3.” She’s raising her “flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with ‘perfect’ mommies and their ‘perfect’ offspring. She lets us in on her deepest, most unfiltered thoughts through voiceover,” as the 2nd fattest housewife here.

Does this outfit make Katy Mixon look fat?

Does this outfit make Katy Mixon look fat?

The network has picked it up — but without what “Deadline” calls “its somewhat polarizing title.” A new title has not been announced.

That news has been reported elsewhere, in local media. But what everyone else missed is that Kenny Schwartz serves as executive producer.

He’s the 1985 Staples grad who had huge hits with “Guys With Kids,” “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place,” and “American Dad.”

It’s unclear whether to thank him for changing the name, or blame him for suggesting it in the first place.

(Hat tip: John Nathan)

The 2nd Fattest Housewife In Westport

Hey, it’s not me talking. Here’s the Deadline Hollywood website:

This is a contender for the catchiest project title this pitch season: ABC has put in development “The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport,” a single-camera family comedy from novelist/TV writer Sarah Dunn, producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios.

“The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport” is narrated by Katie, who is being described as a (slightly) larger wife and mother raising her flawed family of 3 in a wealthy town filled with “perfect” wives and their “perfect” offspring.

So what’s the deal? Is this just a coincidental made-up name, the TV equivalent of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry or Beaver Cleaver’s Mayfield?

It can’t be our Westport. The 2nd fattest housewife here works out every day at Joyride.

(Hat tip: Tyler Paul)

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