AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE - Season Finale - Season 5 - Episode 13 Review - Election



"He's my best friend. I don't know what I'm going to do without him." Oliver sobs, hugging Katie at the news that Cooper Bradford (Logan Pepper) is moving to Florida. 

Oh, but that was last year in the episode, "Graduation."  For this episode, the much-hyped season finale, when Cooper's father (a very douchy Joel McHale) orders Cooper to move back home with his family in Florida, Oliver doesn't care or react, except to tell his parents that he hopes they show the same "level of distress" when their actual son moves out of the house.

So ends the most uneven and ill-fated season of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE.  At its best, the show is tart and funny. But at its worst, sloppy directing and convoluted plotting seemed to forget what happened to the Otto family in prior seasons. Throw in a casting scandal or two, COVID-hampered production, a chopped season, and you get the impression that the writers were churning out unpolished drafts, racing to meet deadlines.

In this finale episode, the over-arching theme is to "be true to yourself."  Katie invites Cooper's dad, Doyle, over for dinner. She hopes that Cooper will tell his father that he's gay.  No, sorry, "Cooliver" fans. She hopes that Cooper will tell his father that he wants to be a chef.  His dad's reaction is as expected, exploding, "Bradfords don't cook! They are cooked for!"

If Oliver didn't react to the news that Cooper was being ordered back to Florida, the rest of the family didn't react to Oliver failing his SATs. Ignore the last five seasons of Harvard-bound Oliver!  He's okay with failing now, as long as he has a backup plan to get rich. 

Greg and Principal Ablin (Jerry Lambert) go down to the wire with the election for town councilman. Will Greg maintain his honest election or will he succumb to Ablin's dirty tricks? Props to the return of Maria (Julie Meyer) battling Lonnie (Matt Shively) for upping the fun factor here.

In a sweet bit of irony, Taylor advises Anna-Kat to make Franklin jealous so that he doesn't take her for granted.  Anna-Kat is beginning to tire of Franklin's "old people" habits.  Of course, just a few episodes ago, Anna-Kat called Taylor a "ho" for this same tactic.  The same tactics yield the same results. Franklin proposes to Anna-Kat. Trip (Peyton Meyer) proposes to Taylor.  Of course, Katie and Greg have two very different reactions to the double proposals.

The episode ends with the much-wanted surprise. Cooper proposes to Oliver. Sorry, April Fools!

The episode finishes with the big surprise - Katie is pregnant.  I'm not sure if this is part of what happens when you truncate a season or if they ended this shortened season here on purpose. AH's fans predicted this going into the finale thanks to a "leaked too much" trailer that was heavy on the word, EXPECTING.  But is Katie carrying JD's (Jake Choi) baby as his surrogate or is this going to be another sitcom cliché adding a new member to the family when the older kids are growing up or being difficult with their contract negotiations?

Will AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE be renewed for Season 6?  Judging by social media, a large contingent of fans wanted Cooliver to happen in this finale.  But instead, this episode seemed to separate the boys on purpose. Will this multi-season tease impact the show's ratings? The show ends with a couple cliffhangers as Cooper and Oliver are ready to graduate high school without any Ivy League ambitions, Taylor and Trip might be getting married, Greg begins his political career, and Katie will have a new kid to care for. But will the Cooliver fans lose interest? 

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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