American Housewife - Season 5 Episode 5 Review - Kids These Days


In this episode, Katie complains that kids don't take risks these days, not like her wild, tree-climbing childhood as she compares favorite scar stories with husband, Greg. She decides to push Anna-Kat and Franklin (Evan O'Toole) to trying new things, like water balloon fights and the trampoline.

Meanwhile Oliver, fresh off the disappointment that his family can't afford an SAT tutor, decides that taking an ADHD medication "boosterin" is the only way he can ace his exams. But Oliver soon sees the consequences of performance enhancing drugs when Greg takes them by mistake to prepare for his city council debate.

And keeping with the theme of risk and boundaries, Taylor is still attracted to her TA, Andre (Chibuikem Uche) who inspires her to be challenged by a modern sculpture on campus.  She is disappointed when Trip doesn't see anything in the sculpture aside from triangles. Trip may be the "sweetest guy in the world" but as Taylor's college experience broadens her mind, is she outgrowing her high school boyfriend?

This is overall one of the better episodes this season, with a fun and thoughtful theme about risk-taking that operates on many levels. Anna-Kat and Franklin represent extreme, over-cautious kids playing safe in a virtual world - a nice throwback to the first season Anna-Kat who was washing her hands constantly.  Katie and Greg go for some physical comedy as she dislocates her shoulder on the trampoline and he has a VERY physical reaction to a drug overdose. 

Cooper is still under-written - I've noticed before that we know more about Franklin than we do Cooper, who, for some reason doesn't know that the word "bibliotecha" means "library" when he talks about donating money to get admission to the university of his choice.

Oliver seems to be losing his usual self-confidence as he frets about the possibility that he won't get into Harvard.

But how the risk-taking develops with Taylor and her relationship with Trip is interesting. College is clearly exposing her to new thoughts and ideas. Having Andre fawn over her doesn't hurt either. You can't help but feel sorry for Trip when the modern art sculpture is beyond his comprehension and he's frustrated that he doesn't see what Taylor sees.

There are new characters coming to AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE when the show returns in January. Hopefully, this will literally bring back Ali Wong to the table.  It's weird seeing her only through Katie's tablet, the only hint that they're shooting the show during a pandemic.

Harrison Cheung (@harrisonic) is the author of the award-winning biography of Christian Bale (BenBella Books) and a contributor to Brave New Hollywood and The TV Ratings Guide.

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