Tag Archives: Speechless

Initial Reaction to American Housewife

So in watching some of my other ABC shows I kept seeing ads for the new show American Housewife and it looked funny. The premise seems to be a stay at home mom dealing with all of the ups and downs of being a stay at home mom with three kids. The ads looked mildly interesting and a good half hour comedy can be nice to have in the back pocket for a quick show to watch.

Thus I decided to give the show a shot and after the first episode something just rubbed me the wrong way. At the same time I know that pilots can sometimes be a bit different so I decided to watch a second episode, and while there were still funny moments the show still just rubbed me the wrong way. I think I pinned it down a bit and it just seems a little overly negative for my taste. Now maybe over time it will get better, but after two episodes I don’t know if I want to give it more shots.

Us versus Them

One of the first things that I realized is that throughout the episodes there just ends up being this us versus them attitude. Now some of the moms are skinny and dress alike and are kind of cookie cutters of each other. They will make somewhat underhanded compliments sometimes, but it almost comes across as the main character thinks that people are talking about it without proof that they are. Instead she often sneers at seeing these moms and ignores people who are just trying to do their job and seems to constantly act put upon. It just ends up feeling a little bit like playing the victim because she lives in a town that she doesn’t quite fit in. Instead of owning that she doesn’t fit in and not caring, there is just a lot of repetitive negativity, which is just not what I want in a show.

Feeding Into and Breaking Stereotypes

Throughout the show there has been an interesting concept of simultaneously trying to break and feed into a variety of stereotypes. It is great to see a family that is normal and that breaks some of the typical stereotypes. There is still a little bit of the doofus husband, but it definitely feels more of an equal partnership. He even encourages her to go back to work if she wants, since she had graduated with a marketing degree and her old job offered her her job back. She decides that she prefers to be a stay at home mom, but I feel like it does not explore why you might go to work. Instead saying that her raising her kids is more important than her job, which implies that if she worked that she would not be raising her kids somehow. There are other examples of this where it is like two steps forward two steps back on some things.

Compared to Speechless

I think the other problem that I am having is the fact that Speechless is so good and so much more positive. In at lot of ways the family on Speechless is so dysfunctional, but they know who they are and accept that. They do not care what other people think of them or their family and the conflict is the mother who is overprotective of her children. There is never a feeling of an us versus them mentality, but just the journey of being who you are and working in the world. American Housewife on the other hand seems to be a lot about each of the kids are doing something wrong and the other moms are terrible people, etc. There are funny moments, but the other moments just bring the whole mood of the show down.

Conclusion

There are better 30 minute sitcoms out there that this just does not seem worth the time for me. Now maybe I am looking too much into this and if I was in the same situation as the mom I would find it more humorous. I don’t want to diminish the fact that it is okay for a stay at home mom to question what she is doing and to have insecurities, but it is a little difficult to watch a show that seems to focus on that. I just feel like there would be a better way to show an all American family.

Verdict: Speechless

Another show that David and I have decided to give a try is Speechless. This show stars Micah Fowler playing JJ Dimeo, a kid with cerebral palsy, which is not too much of a stretch for Micah as he himself suffers from a milder form of the disease. As a kid he has been on shows such as Sesame Street, but this is an opportunity to do so much more.

Now while the main character does seem to be JJ it is not just about him, but about his whole family. What is great is while they do not try to downplay the fact that JJ is in a wheelchair, it is focusing on him trying to navigate being a teenager. The focus of the first episode is trying to find someone to be the voice of JJ since he cannot talk himself, and it starts out pretty badly. The short of it is that the family dynamic is part of what makes this show great. It is a family trying to navigate a lot of different issues – including living in a new place – and that is part of what makes it great.

Continue reading

Fall TV Premieres

So it is that season again where most TV shows get back into full swing. For some we get to get back in the swing of things – and then there are the new shows to try and decide which to watch. With David and I already watching a slew of current shows (Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and more), it makes it harder for a new show to sneak its way in to the mix. Below are a few shows that we are planning on giving a chance. Now this does not include all-at-once shows like Marvel’s Luke Cage because we already know we are going to watch that whole season. This includes any show that we have heard about that is premiering this fall that we want to try out but might not continue. Continue reading