American Woman Recap: Good Vibrations

Photo: Paramount Network
American Woman

American Woman

Adam Season 1 Episode 5
Editor's Rating 3 stars

This show does so much to idealize parts of the ’70s. Think about the amazing clothes, the gorgeous interiors, the idea everything in your house could be avocado and wood paneling like it’s some sort of hipster tree house. But then you have to live in the ’70s, where women are struggling to get out of the shadows of their husbands. Even worse, there is the ’70s wiring that makes all the lights in the house go out every time you plug in your vibrator. What, they didn’t have batteries before the Carter administration?

This episode sees Bonnie very horny. She goes to lunch with Diana and Kathleen and says that she’s so stressed out about making her mortgage payment and trying to cook a dinner for her children where she doesn’t melt a Barbie’s face while trying to grill up some pork chops. Kathleen tells her it’s because she needs an orgasm and to invest in a “personal massager.” I’m not sure that exactly tracks. Orgasms are great, but if they could pay the rent, I’d be making out my monthly check to Sean Cody rather than my landlady. Oh hell, I’m going with this though because the only thing I love more than avocado interiors is horny former housewives.

And if there is something I love more than horny former housewives, it’s slutty former housewives — or maybe slutty Real Housewives. After the vibrator fries Bonnie’s wires (and not in the good way) she decides to call Adam, the hunky painter who ate her out against a puke-colored painting at that party in the Hollywood hills a few episodes ago. Adam, as well as being young and very attractive, seems to have some sort of allergy to wearing shirts. It is an affliction that also seems to affect most attractive men with Instagram accounts and two out of four Jonas Brothers.

When Bonnie goes to visit, they have a glass of wine together but it’s not long before they’re getting down and dirty on the bed. We don’t actually see it, but we see Bonnie remembering how much fun they had while she’s fantasizing about it the next day while jerking off in the shower. During that scene, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing on television. It was shocking! I was bowled over … by the green, filigreed tiles in Bonnie’s bathroom. It’s like something you would find in a boutique hotel. How can I get some of those for myself? Oh, we’re supposed to be paying attention to Bonnie’s sex life? Sorry, it’s hard when that shower tile is so amazing.

It’s not long before Adam is in the shower with Bonnie. He comes over for some very era-appropriate afternoon delight. He tells Bonnie that he has an art show coming up in New York and he wants her to come along with him. She tells him that she can’t because of the kids and her job and all the stuff she has going on. She tells him that her life is very complicated. “You need to un-complicate your life,” he tells her. “I’ll show you how.”

Oh, pretty young Adam. Doesn’t he realize that he’s just another complication? He certainly becomes one when Becca, Bonnie’s older daughter, catches them smooching out in front of the house. Becca, who is already at the age where all daughters hate their mothers (at least in TV sitcoms) freaks out and thinks that is the reason why Bonnie left her father. She storms off in a cloud of “I hate you”s like every daughter in every television sitcom has before her. It’s a tale as old as time, or at least The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Speaking of TV sitcoms, we find out that Wally Cleaver made Alan gay. You remember Alan, Greg’s old boyfriend who Kathleen tried to set up with Diana last episode? Well, Diana “left” her “jacket” in Alan’s “car” when he drove her home from that disastrous dinner party at Kathleen’s house. She calls to get it back and sucker him into a date. He ends up taking Diana out for a drink when he drops it off because he likes how fun and honest she is.

Drinks are going well and it seems like they’re hitting it off. Diana even opens up about her awful and controlling mother, telling Alan that her mother thinks that Alan is a homosexual. Alan can’t deny it because, well, he is. For the first time, this all makes sense. Of course a sassy career gal who is unlucky in love and maybe a little bit plain is going to become a fag hag. This is Diana’s calling. (And don’t even start with the, “We prefer to be called fruit flies” bullshit, because this was the ’70s and they definitely called them “fag hags” so we’re not trying to anachronistic.)

It seems like Diana is having even more fun with Alan once he comes out to her. Since this is the ’70s, the gays were a lot more underground, so Alan explains to Diana that they meet at special bars, like “The Red Target” out in the valley. This would be a very easy place to make an anal sex joke, but I am going to be a classy modern homosexual and refrain it.

Later Diana is over at Kathleen and Greg’s house playing a three-way game of Monopoly. Even for a burgeoning fag hag like Diana, I can think of about 13 million better ways to spend a Friday night than playing the world’s worst board game with a couple that is prone to squabbling. Yes, Kathleen and Greg are having problems. Kathleen is on a cookie diet where she gets to eat six cookies a day and lose weight. (I would like to be on this diet too.) She is also popping diet pills, which are really speed, because they are cookies after all. She wants to be thin because she thinks the reason Greg won’t sleep with her is because she’s too fat.

Really the reason he won’t sleep with her is because he’s gay. He’s at least sweet enough to throw away all her pills when they start to turn her into a bit of a crazy person. However he’s not so sweet that he won’t explain to her why there is this “incredible distance” between them in their relationship. He plasters over it so he can seem nice and straight and have someone to finance his casting agency.

That all goes awry during one game of Monopoly. Diana goes to light a cigarette and reaches for Greg’s matchbook. She sees that it’s from a bar called The Red Target, where Greg met Alan earlier in the episode to warn him against outing him to anyone. You could almost hear the dramatic “Duh duh duuuuuuunnnnnnn,” in Diana’s eyes when she figured it all out. Looks like all three of these ladies are going to need a vibrator really soon.

American Woman Recap: Good Vibrations