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American Housewife - Home Sweet Homeschool - Review: "Throwing Elbows and Shouting Un-Christian Words"

Katie's ready to launch her mommy vlog! Now she just needs to find something to film!


In the Otto house, everyone's busy. Katie's busy watching other mommy vlogs for inspiration (They're all way too creepily cheerful.), Oliver's busy trying to convince her to hire him a $100 an hour SAT tutor. Unsurprisingly, Katie says no. He'll just have to study on his own like all the other not filthy rich kids do. Taylor's busy writing her first college paper. (It's on Dora the Explorer  - a "great" thinker of the 20th century!) Greg's busy trying to gather the required signatures for his city council run - while dressed in full Revolutionary War garb! (I think Katie's right - it's not helping your campaign buddy!) And Anna-Kat and Franklin are still home from school with mono. They're supposed to be completing make-up packets, but that would require Katie to teach them, and we all know that's not going to happen, so she just deletes the email Principle Ablin sends with the packets and turns on 90 Day FiancĂ© for them. 

At second breakfast, Katie video-chats Doris (She's still vacationing in Hawaii.) and complains she still isn't sure what to talk about on the vlog. Katie runs into Walker, the annoying waiter being forced to work to gain access to his trust fund again. And again, Doris has a blast biting his head off, all while 5000 miles away. (And this time, things take a spectacularly weird sexual turn between them! Maybe it's a good thing she's on the other side of the country!) 

Katie gets a call from Principal Ablin telling her he knows she deleted the email with the kids' make-up packets. Apparently, Franklin ratted her out during his and Ablin's standing weekly phone-call. (Why am I not surprised this is a thing?) Doris suggests now that she's going to be forced to temporarily play teacher, Katie take advantage of it and film her homeschooling for the vlog.

Unfortunately, "Can Do Katie," the happy, bubbly, patient-with-kids-on-camera version of herself Katie's trying to portray is nothing like the real her, and she keeps pausing filming to yell at the kids! Of course, Anna-Kat and Franklin aren't too into playing along with Katie's plan either, so nothing about her first vlog is going too well.

Meanwhile, Oliver and Cooper decide to move down to the basement because Cooper's ever-expanding wardrobe is taking up all of their room. Katie agrees, thinking it will be a good lesson in hard work since they'll have to put in a lot of effort to make the basement livable. But Oliver reminds Cooper that he is, after all, "really rich," so they just hire contractors to do it for them! When Katie walks into the kitchen to find strangers casually eating her food and they inform her Cooper's hired them to remodel her basement, she's not happy. 

When she walks into their newly remodeled digs, Katie's torn between how much she totally loves that she now has a luxuriously upgraded basement, and how pissed she is that Oliver and Cooper took the easy way out. 

Taylor, meanwhile, gets a grade back for her Dora paper. And it's an....A? Yeah, I'm as shocked as Katie and Greg are! Katie suggests to a baffled Greg that maybe the TA thinks if he gives Taylor great grades, he can score a date with her. After-all, Greg did the exact same thing with Katie! Katie and Greg decide they need to tell Taylor what they think is really going on. Taylor's none too happy to discover that her parents don't think she's capable of making good grades on her own. 

Back on the homeschool front, Katie continues with her un-naturally cheery (and so very fake) videos. When she shows them to Greg, he voices what we're all thinking - this isn't the real Katie. However, real Katie is more "cranky and vengeful" and that's "not for everyone," so she decides to stick with the overly happy demeanor for the videos.

When Anna-Kat and Franklin get distracted one too many times during the vlog filming, Katie finally has it and goes on a rant about how hard motherhood is. When she's done, she goes to delete the footage and (you can guess where this is going)... accidentally posts it instead. Franklin and Anna-Kat notice but decide not to tell her. After all, "it's best to let sleeping dogs lie." (Or at least that's what Franklin's mom's cult leader says!) When the video goes up, the sponsor Katie's gotten pulls out. 

Wanting to at least get something right, Katie invites Walker over to show Oliver and Cooper what they've got to look forward to if they keep relying on Cooper's trust fund and not putting in the work. Unfortunately, instead of convincing the boys that the last thing they want to become is a couple of "40 something trust-fund kids with no ambition and no life skills," Walker just asks Cooper to ask his parents to talk to Walker's parents about giving him access to his trust fund. (Apparently, they're yachting together in some tropical locale at the moment!) But hey, at least the boys have a new friend to play video games with!

At school, Taylor confronts her TA and asks him if he gave her an A just because of her looks. And believe it or not, he actually didn't. He says that Taylor's choice to do her paper on Dora the Explorer showed her ability to be an independent thinker. When everyone was writing about Gandhi and Einstein, Taylor was thinking outside the box.  

At home, Oliver and Cooper finally get a taste of why they DON'T want Walker's future. When his mom calls to tell him to go pick up her poodle from agility training, he has to be ready to do what she says at the drop of a hat. Ultimately, she is the one who controls his cash flow, so he's at her mercy. 

Realizing he doesn't want to be stuck depending on his parents for the rest of his life, Cooper takes a big step (against Oliver's protests). He hands over his credit cards to Katie so he can start learning how to take care of himself. I never thought I'd see the day!

Later that night, Katie gets ready to delete her vlog, when she's surprised to find numerous positive comments. Apparently, other moms are thrilled that Katie's showing the real, unfiltered side of motherhood. In a land of overly-cheering, "perfect mommy" vlogs, people are relieved to have found Katie speaking the truth about how hard being a parent can really be. Katie decides to keep her vlog going, changing the name from "Can-Do Katie" to "A Real Mother." 

Finally, Greg observes that while everyone is "doing great" being themselves, he's being himself in his city council campaign, and no one's interested. Katie tells him that politics are the one place where being yourself doesn't help and encourages him to act like someone Westport citizens can relate to..." a total d-bag!" So, Greg dons his tennis whites and campaigns for green juice, Labradoodles, and all things rich people. And believe it or not, people start paying attention!

Random thoughts:
-The best line goes to Katie. "I stopped worrying how Taylor made me look when she decided to potty-train herself in the toilet display at Home Depot." 

-Taylor's TA is definitely into her!

Were you surprised that Cooper took such a big step toward independence? What do you think will happen with Katie's vlog? Let me know below?

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