American Housewife - Season 5, Episode 6 Review - Mommy’s Little Helper

 



The first episode from the season break introduces a couple of new characters, ostensibly since the show had its issues with Carly Hughes who left the show alleging a toxic environment and discrimination.  Katie's old friend, Tami (Holly Robinson Peete) and daughter Grace move to Westport after Tami strikes it rich from inventing tear-away packaging tape.

Meanwhile Greg and Katie discover that Oliver and Cooper have a very expensive and hidden bar in their basement apartment.  And Taylor discovers that Greg has a secret of his own!

In typical AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE fashion, the pacing is dizzyingly quick as Tami is established as a long time friend whom Katie idolizes for her mothering skills.  This is all great fodder for Katie's Mommy Vlog as well.  But how good of mothers are they as Anna-Kat lawyers up with Franklin serving Katie a cease-and-desist order to prevent her from using Anna-Kat in the vlog.

I've seen on some fan sites that Oliver and Cooper's secret bar is a metaphor for being closeted, but I think the writers tried to play it for unrealistic laughs.  It's one thing for a couple of 17 year old boys to get drunk sipping stolen beer in the basement, but it's AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE's over the top style to make it a hidden bar loaded with expensive booze that would normally grace the bar of The Peninsula hotel.  But how funny is under-age drinking?  Especially when the boys never really get the consequences of having that bar. (A couple seasons ago, when Oliver stole his parents' car, he crashed the car into a tree.) For a couple of teens, AH played it artificially safe because there are no drunken ragers happening in the Otto basement - just two boys sipping expensive liqueurs?  

Cooper now calls Greg "Dad" but I'm getting Eddie Haskell vibes from him.  For the unfamiliar, Eddie Haskell was the cloyingly obnoxious insincere best friend of Wally Cleaver from the classic TV series, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. The reason why I go there is, how can Cooper keep calling the Otto parents his own while sneaking in a bar like that? 

The show also continues to silo the new Anna-Kat. For some reason, she never shares a scene with her siblings, and that's not going to help rumblings from fans who have been unable to accept the new actress as Anna-Kat.

This is one of those uneven, middling episodes where one feels the writers are patching holes.  A good clue is the episode number: 506 which means Season 5, episode 6.  Next episode to air is 505, so apparently "Mommy's Little Helper" was inserted to air first, probably to quickly introduce Tami and daughter since there's been no back story to explain why Angela (Carly Hughes) has left.  Oddly enough, Doris (Ali Wong) does not appear either.  AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE has been rocked by scandal and delayed by COVID. Here's hoping they get back on track.


Harrison Cheung 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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