Francesca Truitt ’17
It’s rare to find television comedies that hone in on small towns for their setting. Most seem to take place in a fake town in either a fly-over state, or in a well-known city like New York. So as you can imagine, it was a bit of surprise to see Westport, my home town, as the setting of ABC’s show, “American Housewife.” But what was even more of a shock for me was how inaccurate I felt some of the descriptions were when first watching this show.
ABC’s “American Housewife” is full of real footage of Westport. While viewing shots of Main Street and the Saugatuck River, I was impressed to see how the producers made an effort to show real visuals of our town. Yet, the show tends to exaggerate Westport in all other realms.
Sure, Westport is far from an ordinary American town. It’s replete with millionaires who made it big on Wall Street or Bridgewater, and have retreated to the suburb of Fairfield County to raise their kids in our highly praised public school system. However, very few in Westport are so extravagant as to wear two Fitbits as I feel that stereotype only applies to a select few residing in our town.
Further, the show completely discounts the versatility of women living in Westport. “American Housewife” constantly bashes the housewives’ obsession with Soul Cycle and eating well to suggest that being thin is all that matters to the average Westport women. The show doesn’t include anything about working and financially independent women, who make up a significant portion of our population. By suggesting that all Westport women can only play the role of housewife is both inaccurate and offensive.
However, what most bothers me about the show is how it tears apart Westport’s neighboring towns. The show completely bashes Norwalk, suggesting that its residents are the type to buy designer knockoff clothing, and that the teenagers living in Norwalk can be expected to get pregnant mid-way through high school. Not only is this description inaccurate, but it’s hurtful.