American Housewife - Season 5, Episode 11 Review - The Guardian

"Hit me up with the beep-boop-beep-boop," Oliver pleads to a girl in one of the more awkward moments of "The Guardian," an episode where the A story follows Katie and Greg deciding to test her mother, Kathryn (Wendie Malick), to see if she would be a good guardian for Anna-Kat in the event of a tragic accident. (Wait, didn't last week's episode analyze how bad a mother Kathryn was to Katie?)

The B story follows Oliver and Taylor as they hang up Greg's election signs around town. The two squabble, but when Oliver bumps into his former prom date, Lindsey (Madison Thompson), who is back home from college and clearly not interested in seeing him, Taylor becomes supportive. Big sis and bro share a hug. (Fans might remember that Lindsey was the older girl who called Teen Hotline because no one would ask her to prom. So Oliver, breaking the hotline's confidentiality policy, agrees to take her.)

Unlike the highs of last week's 100th episode, "The Guardian" is back to AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE's bad habits where the cast is silo'ed again, and the loss of interaction makes the three storylines feel clumsily spliced together.  No Trip, no Cooper would normally make for an uncluttered episode but, hold the phone, the C story zooms the show back to unethical territory played for laughs as the new Second Breakfast Club - Katie, Tami (Holly Robinson Peete) and J.D. (Jake Choi) - decide to interview J.D.'s potential egg donors. There are so many problems with this - first of all, are we officially done with Ali Wong? Secondly, and more importantly, the idea of spying on your potential egg donor, breaking medical confidentiality by pretending to "job interview" them is bizarre, especially when the uncovered traits (athleticism, singing) end up being something you'd see in a donor profile anyway.

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE loves teasing "Cooliver" the 'are they or aren't they' couple that many fans want to happen, but bringing back Lindsey, a girl Oliver took to prom, also seemed like a red herring. Why would Oliver make such a fuss over a girl he dated just once? 

Although it's always a joy to have Kathryn back, the parental hunt for the ideal guardian has been done before in sitcom land - think EVERYONE LOVES RAYMOND to MODERN FAMILY.  So it's no surprise how this episode ends.

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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