American Housewife Premiere: Is ABC's Newest Family Comedy a Total Dud?

American Housewife was originally called The Second-Fattest Housewife in Westport. It’s a title that perfectly represents Tuesday’s series premiere, assuming you can get past the fact that its central character isn’t actually fat.

Of course, that’s part of the alleged joke in this mean-spirited sitcom that, having changed its title, is hopefully planning to throw out its premise and start fresh in Week 2.

The series centers on Katie Otto (Mike & Molly‘s Katy Mixon), a mother of three with serious body-image issues. When she learns her overweight neighbor Pam is leaving town, she makes it her mission to find a “ripe fatty” to buy the house next door. If she doesn’t succeed, she risks becoming the second-fattest woman in her picturesque Connecticut suburb — a place where all of the other moms live on a steady diet of green juice.

American Housewife Diedrich BaderKatie eventually finds a heavyset woman willing to make an offer — a woman Katie’s husband Greg (The Drew Carey Show‘s Diedrich Bader) says is so fat that “there’s no getting around her on the sidewalk” —  but chases her away once she learns she’s both a bigot and a homophobe. As a result, the seemingly perfect Viv (GCB survivor Leslie Bibb) buys the house next door. She introduces herself to Katie as a former fat person who intends to whip her into shape, which is meant to be a nice gesture, but just makes her intolerable.

Speaking of insufferable human beings, did I mention Katie has three kids? Anna-Kat (Transparent‘s Julia Butters), the youngest daughter with extreme anxiety, is introduced whilst urinating in the backyard. Middle child Oliver (Supergirl‘s young Kal-El, Daniel DiMaggio) is a garbage person who doesn’t “get” charity and takes money from homeless people. And oldest daughter Taylor (Johnny Sequoyah in the pilot, but Meg Donnelly in subsequent episodes) doesn’t have a personality, and is bound for therapy since her mother seems to despise the woman she’s becoming.

The closing montage, which only works because it promises a future for the show free of fat jokes, finds Katie breaking the fourth wall to declare she doesn’t intend to change anything about herself. If subsequent episodes hold her to that, perhaps there’s a future for American Housewife beyond a pilot that probably should’ve been scrapped.

What did you think of American Housewife? Grade Episode 1 via the poll below, then hit the comments to share your thoughts. 

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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62 Comments
  1. Al says:

    I thought it was funny
    Some flaws but has potential
    Only worry is it might be a bit offensive for abc comedy viewers

    Agree they need to tone down fat jokes

    • DAVID says:

      WE NEED shows that OFFEND, Can’t laugh at anything anymore :(

    • GUSTAVO ALCALA says:

      AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE IS A THINLY VEILED VERSION OF ABC ROSEANNE STARRING ROSEANNE BARR!!!! KATY OTTO IS ROSEANNE CONNOR. HUSBAND GREG IS DAN CONNOR. DAUGHTER TAYLOR IS BECKY CONNOR. DAUGHTER ANNA KAT IS DARLENE. SON OLIVER IS D.J. CONNOR .WITH BETTER WRITING AND A STRONG ABC THE MIDDLE LEAD IN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE CAN RUN FOR YEARS!!!!! KATY OTTO IS THIS GENERATIONS ROSEANNE CONNOR AND PEOPLE LOVE THE UNDERDOG!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. kat0711 says:

    I was excited because I live in a town right next to Westport and I haaate it. I don’t shop there because it’s so snobby. This lead actress is very annoying and does not have the voice to do voice overs. I doubt I’ll watch it again but they nailed how unlikeable Westporters really are.

  3. Beth says:

    Wasn’t the best pilot, but I’ll give it a few weeks. Had some laughs.

  4. c-mo says:

    Got tired of hearing the word “fat”. I get it, she’s “fat” according to Westport standards. Had to stop watching about 10 mins in.

  5. Diane says:

    Surprisingly liked it. That OJ joke was killer.

  6. Gena says:

    I might have chuckled once during the Spanx scene, but that was it. :\

  7. H says:

    I loved it! Reminds me of Suburgatory in some ways.

  8. claire says:

    Pilot was terrible! Not a single laugh.

  9. Paula says:

    An embarrassingly horrible show. Total waste of network space. Predict this will be cancelled soon.

  10. JB says:

    I actually really liked it and Katy Mixon is hysterical.

  11. Chuck says:

    I watched the pilot a few months ago and really found the humor forced and offensive. I don’t know who at ABC ever thought this was a good idea for a show.

  12. Lala says:

    I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I have to say the son was sensational…I was in stitches every time he was screen. Great start to the show but I hope they stop focusing on the weight too much as the show goes on.

  13. Tom says:

    I WANT to like it, agree on the kids

  14. be916 says:

    I’m not a big fan of any modern comedies and this was another one to add to the list. I thought it had potential and thought it was going to be the comparable of This is Us on the comedy side. Huge disappointment.. I even set it up on Tivo. That was a waste of 30 minutes of my time and had zero laughable moments. Delete from Tivo. Check.

  15. Yeah. That wasn’t good…
    I don’t think I laughed once and the narrating annoys me.
    So far with all other narrated ABC shows, I don’t have a problem with it, but this one just doesn’t work for me.

  16. Pebal says:

    The advance word was no too good for the show, but I tried it out anyway. Turns out the advance word was kind. The 1/2 show I watched was terrible, everyone in cast was miscast, lead actress was the worst. Could not stand to finish the episode so I went to something else. I won’t be returning. Show needs to go and go fast.

  17. P says:

    Wow, that was painful to watch. I thought this would be a modern-day Roseanne type show but was sadly disappointed. They all seemed so stiff, like robots. The dad the worst stiff of all. And the wife’s voice was just a bit annoying. But hey, if you want to get drunk you can do a shot every time she says “fat”

  18. dman6015 says:

    Hopefully they retooled the premise after they made the pilot. If not, I don’t see it last more than 3 or 4 episodes.

  19. KLS says:

    This show was horrible. The scathing review was kind.

  20. Charlene Ofstedahl says:

    Not one laugh. And I love Katy Mixon. I will watch one more but then that will be it. The fat word got real old real fast.

  21. SJ says:

    Wow, talk about bias. Every other series that ever premiered had a title like “did you like it” or “what did you think about it” and this one gets “total dud”?! I don’t get where this negativity is coming from. And if you think the comedy is “mean-spirited” you either didn’t watch it or are a typical thin-skinned SJW. But then again, this is TVLine after all so it’s gotta be the latter.

  22. Ro says:

    I think one of the options in these polldaddy surveys should be: didn’t watch. That might skew these unscientific results.

  23. Reed says:

    This show baffled me. I wanted to like it. I really did. And I enjoyed and identified with some of it. Throughout the entire episode though I was just sort of but not really offended. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I was sort of but not really offended. I just don’t know if I liked it or not. It is definitely flawed and I hope that those flaws can be worked out and people watch this show before the cancellation axe swings. I think it has good potential to fit between The Middle and Fresh of the Boat.

  24. Sue Kelly says:

    it was okay. i love Katy. she is funny in whatever she does. will the show last? doubt it but i will watch until that day happens. she is perfect in the role. she is a heavy set actress but embraces it and has no issue having jokes written about it in the script. seeing she has no kids in real life, though she and the actor who plays her husband, have no chemistry. she plays a mother well. she is now taking the “fat” role from Molly in “mike and molly” the show she was on and she now is the molly character in this show.

  25. Collette says:

    I find Mixon’s baby doll voice as irritating as Chandler’s girlfriend Janice’s on Friends. So, pass.

  26. It was pretty good….way better than crap reality shows

  27. kim says:

    Too political, felt like Hillary propaganda!

  28. Bart says:

    this was a freaking funny show….especially to all of us that have a sense of humor….to the ones that loved the show…I agree it was awesome….to the ones that didnt…change the freaking channel

  29. Mi Chelle says:

    I thought it was the longest Jenny Craig commercial I’d ever seen. Wont watch again.

  30. DAVID says:

    It’s a lot better than some of the CRAP they have come out with lately, I’ll continue watching it.

  31. Jen says:

    I really wanted to like the show but…. needs some work. As a pleasantly plump girl I can definitely relate to her views but it seemed a bit over the top and forced. Although the “prepping to enter the bathroom” was definitely funny!

  32. Mario says:

    I am far from “thin skinned” but with all of the criticism of Donald Trump and his comments towards women, he is somewhat tame compared to some of the content in this show.

  33. Twokeets says:

    I hated it! A man on a toilet, a girl urinating on the lawn, annoying voice-over narration, the mother isn’t that fat………Think I’ll skip this show.

  34. Tom says:

    Wasn’t funny at all! I was really hoping for funny and I didn’t even snicker at anything. Waste of my 30 minutes!

  35. Betty says:

    Thought is was a bit crude…not a fan of seeing anybody’s husband on the toilet, or a little girl going pee in the back yard…lose some of the fat comments and don’t force feed the gay ending…it can be funny without over doing it. …but look forward to next week

  36. wanda says:

    didn’t care for the hubby sitting on the toilet part or the kid peeing in the yard but I thought it was ok. I love Katy Mixon and hope it lasts a while. the fat story line was funny. people need to lighten up, no pun intended.

  37. TLynn says:

    I enjoyed it. I am sure it will get better in time. I hope ABC gives it a chance.

  38. Frank says:

    I watch a lot of tv. This show was excellent. I think if one can shed themselves of certain beliefs/thoughts, etc., they might have enjoyed it more. But regardless, my wife and I loved it.

  39. david says:

    I thought it was pretty good for a pilot. Pilots are often not very good, because the actors haven’t really gotten into their characters yet, sometimes it takes a season. I love that the main characters aren’t the beautiful 20 somethings, but more like real people with everyday issues. It’s a show that doesn’t have to use gross jokes full of sexual innuendos. Here’s a slightly overweight mom who is trying to do the best to raise her kids and a husband who obviously adores her regardless of her weight or if she is dressed up.

  40. Cynthia Brown says:

    Loved it. I don’t live near Westport but do live in Ct. Loved her body image issues, her husband “trying to be supportive”. Kids.

  41. Nancy Kirn says:

    I was hoping to see Katy Mixon after M&M but she deserves better that what they did for the 1st episode.

  42. Krystina Price says:

    I’m sorry but I loved it! She was hilarious and for women that are a little chubby we can relate. I thought the review was too harsh!

  43. Richard47 says:

    Was flipping channels when I came across the show, only to see the scene with the son at the front door explaining why he (long story short) lacks any appeal or empathy and how smart-alecky the young actor comes across. Hard pass.

  44. Brenda Walsh says:

    I think she is a great actress and can pull it off without throwing her weight around. I plan to keep watching it!

  45. Marci says:

    I watched it because I love Katy Mixon–but she’s NOT fat, so I don’t get the premise. I hope they tone down the fat jokes.

    • kat0711 says:

      I don’t understand why people keep saying she’s not fat. It’s not about whether or not she’s the same size as you and your friends, fat is fat. She’s not morbidly obese but she is fat.

  46. Kimberli A Taylor says:

    I liked it… so I guess that means it will be cancelled.

    • mattoaks says:

      My wife said the same thing! I enjoyed it too. We laughed more than afew times. TVLine hasn’t liked the show since it was announced. Talk about a closed minded review.

  47. Lisa Echerd says:

    Katy Mixon is very funny and she deserves a better show.

  48. Christine M says:

    I expected so much more! I wanted to love this and did not. I didn’t think it was funny. Didn’t care for the characters, or the writing. It could’ve been so good. I love the cast, and especially Katy Mixon. She’s the reason I watched and will watch a few more episodes before I write it off.

  49. shadester says:

    I liked it ok. I am hoping it will get better. I like her and the kids. I thought some of the jokes were too much and not funny.

  50. nancy says:

    I used to live in Westport and was a teacher there.I find the show completely offensive. It depicts an average sized person as unpopular because of her weight, and there is SO much focus on her weight. The last episode stereotyped every group, from the “loser parents of the artsy students” to the “asian parents who only care about academics”. I actually rewound because I thought I misheard something. Are you kidding me? Also, the parents and people in Westport are intelligent, creative, kind and caring. The opposite of how they are stereotypically depicted in this show. It should be removed from the air.