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American Housewife - Family Secrets - Review: "Throw Love as Freely as Quaaludes"


Family thanksgivings are notoriously stressful for just about everyone. In "Family Secrets," we find out the Ottos are no exception.

Greg's parents are coming for Thanksgiving. Greg (in his own words) "puts Katie and the kids through hell just to impress them" every-time they show up. This manifests in everything from him taking away the kids' electronics (right as Taylor gets an "I love you" text from Eyo) and covering the TV with dust to make them look more cultured and less like "slaves to technology" to laying out specific "appropriate" outfits for them to wear and instructing Taylor on how to do her hair ("Use a curling iron to give it a light bounce.") Katie is also irritable about Greg's parents coming. Apparently Greg's father didn't approve of Katie and Greg's marriage because he thought Katie was beneath him, something which he has continued to remind of her in the many years since.

Before Greg's parents can arrive though, another unexpected guest shows up - Spencer. Oliver invited him because "He's all alone and I want him to feel like family. Family you leave money too." Only Spencer can't get any farther into the Otto house then the hallway without his ankle monitor going off, so (much to Greg's horror) he decides to play doorman. This leads to him opening the door to Greg's parents, who immediately recognize him as the famous con he is, as he introduces himself as "Your son's doorman who's never allowed to play the market again."


A few minutes later the doorbell rings again. It's Katie's mother, the polar opposite of Greg's uptight parents, a wild and crazy flight attendant with a penchant for drugs, sex, and booze. Apparently Katie's sister is stuck in Turkey because of the travel ban, so her mom's Thanksgiving plans have changed to the Otto house.

As the holiday roles on, Greg's father continues to be more and more terrible and concieted, as Greg continues to make excuses for him, even going as far as to say that maybe the reason he hasn't mentioned Greg's new book is because his copy was abducted off the front porch by squirrels. Anna-Kat continues to film the family event for a school project. Taylor continues to rush everyone through the day ("Let's just move to the damn table already!"), so she can get her phone back and respond to Eyo. Katie even realizes she and her mother are getting along because of their shared hate for Greg's parents.

When Katie finds out what's going on with Taylor, she tells her to ditch dinner and go over to Eyo's in person to respond to him. While Taylor's out, the rest of the family view Anna-Kat's short film. She's captured just about every disastrous moment of the day, including one which was definitely supposed to stay behind closed doors.

Greg's father has been hiding another family in England for 20 years (which his mother just found out three months ago). Not only does he have another wife over there, but another son, also named Greg, so he "wouldn't make a mistake and call Greg by the wrong name." At this, Greg finally breaks down, admitting that he has the family put on facade every-time his father comes to visit to try and impress him. He then goes as far as to introduce him to Hans Gruber, whom he'd had Anna-Kat stow away in her room.

Greg's father storms out with Greg's mother running after him (but not before reassuring Greg that "You will always be my favorite Greg. Because the other one isn't my son. And he has a whore for a mother.") Taylor returns home and tells Katie that she and Eyo broke up. Oh, and Spencer and Katie's mom hook up, having bonded over their shared love of all things illegal.

Random Thoughts:
-It was sweet to see Oliver realize that he wants to be Spencer's friend for more then just the money.

-I just about rolled when Katie's mom looked at Anna-Kat completely seriously and said "Do you know how to make a whiskey sour?"

-"Do you have a decanter?"
"I have a Sun Tea jar."
"That's what they call decanters in Florida." Sure Oliver...

-Best line of the night goes to Katie - "What I do know is I'm going to go out there and get plastered with my tramp mom, provided she is not abducted by squirrels."

-Anna-Kat popping out the hamper at the very end with her video camera...I'd have to put a bell on that kid.

So, how do you think this revelation will affect Greg going forward? Have you ever had a Thanksgiving dinner as disastrous as the Ottos?







 
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