the many things she is and does to distance herself from the other,
stereotypical, Upper East Side moms, she is, in fact, no better than
they are. It is basic human desire to strive for perfection (Burke
14). So, in her quest to be the best mom and the smartest woman
she can be, Jill actually leans into the trap of luxuries that, ironically,
she prides herself for avoiding.
Even though Jill believes she is outside of the bounds of
what constitutes superficial life on the Upper East Side, she
actually accommodates the behavior she claims to reject through
the three major facets of her life in her roles as mother, wife, and
friend. It is through the back and forth of her internal conflict that
the series ratchets up the drama and uncovers the foibles of her
human façade. Viewers may enjoy watching Jill’s struggles and
misfortunes, but what does this say about us as viewers? Often,
Jill’s desire to fit in with women around her and her lack of
awareness of her own privilege reflect the experiences and
perspectives of many viewers. I argue that Jill grapples with the pull
between her authentic self and her aspirational self throughout the
series, and the show ultimately fails because its trajectory favoring
the aspirational self sucks viewers into the pole of Jill’s experience
oriented toward the vacuous and fantastic.
From the earliest days of radio sitcoms to the modern
sitcoms on television and streaming services, American situation
comedies have always questioned the complexity of social class. It
is in sitcoms that characters “pursue, but never quite achieve, the
American Dream… however, the characters tacitly accept the
validity and possibility of achieving this dream, with little political
or economic critique to the contrary” (Dalton and Linder 9).
Typically, sitcoms are representative of the American middle class,
or they are based on the narrative conceit that characters exist
separate from the stratifications of social class. Odd Mom Out takes
a U-turn from the norms of the sitcom and does not pretend that
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