‘American Housewife’ reviews: Is ‘delightful’ Katy Mixon the new Roseanne?

Fall TV premiere season continues on Tuesday night, October 11, with the debut of ABC’s new family sitcom “American Housewife,” starring Katy Mixon as Katie Otto, a mother of three in the affluent suburb of Westport, where she struggles to fit in among the town’s cadre of richer, thinner moms. Mixon isn’t a household name, but she already has plenty of sitcom experience, having co-starred in CBS’s “Mike and Molly” and HBO’s “Eastbound and Down.” Will this be a breakthrough role for her?

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As of this writing, the series has earned solid reviews, with a score of 63 on MetaCritic and 65% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics object to its excess jokes about the title character’s weight — after her neighbor moves she becomes “the second-fattest housewife in Westport” — but there is strong potential to explore class conflicts the way “Roseanne” did in the 1990s, and the “delightful” performance by Mixon appears to be one of the show’s biggest draws.

That could be good news for Mixon at the Golden Globes, where she may be a contender for Best TV Comedy Actress. She has the advantage of starring in a new series; Globes voters love to recognize freshman shows. In fact, six of the last seven winners for Best TV Comedy Actress won for their shows’ first years and the last two in a row, like Mixon, have been fresh faces in star-making roles — Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin,” 2014) and Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” 2015).

Check out some of the “American Housewife” reviews below, and discuss TV’s fall season in our forums.

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Sonia Saraiya (Variety): “The essential core of the sitcom is Mixon’s delightful, sarcastic turn as Katie, whose life seems more filled with messy indignities than the lives of her neatly put-together neighbors … The inner snark is much of the appeal of the show — the ongoing soliloquy where Katie tells the truth, punctuated by Mixon’s skillful balance of eye-rolling cynicism, cheerful enthusiasm, and deep-seated worry.”

Mark Perigard (Boston Herald): “‘American Housewife’ might just be the most radical show on TV in 20 years … hopefully the pilot will move beyond weight and get to what really is intriguing about this show. Not since ‘Roseanne’ has there been a prime-time comedy so poised to poke fun at economic class.”

Verne Gay (Newsday): “But like any pilot, you have to take a leap of faith and decide that what’s here, or who is here, is worth a second look. Over a long, varied career, [Diedrich Bader] has always been good, sometimes great. He certainly deserves that second look. But what about Mixon, who’s not so well known? Her Katie is a blend of can-do optimism and bitter, seditious cynicism. She’s worth that second look, too.”

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