American Woman Season 1 Episode 3 Review: The Party

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Going to swanky parties should be fun for everyone, right? Yeah, but no, that's not always the case with women.

On an otherwise innocuous installment, when Bonnie, Diana, and Kathleen attended a party in Malibu with a Hollywood crowd, American Woman Season 1 Episode 3 showed that even with their best friends present, women can still feel insecure, competitive, and depressed in their quest for a good time.

At least one of our new friends left with a big smile on her face, though. 

Primping Together - American Woman Season 1 Episode 3

It was apparent the night was going to be difficult from the beginning.

Even if the three had been partying through Steve's birthday recently, it was an engagement for which Bonnie was responsible. It's hard to let loose when you're worrying about party guests and food and someone potentially drowning in your pool.

Her hope of having a terrific night out with her friends started decaying much like the pruning skin on Kathleen's body as Kathleen languished in the bathtub replete with a cocktail and bickered with Diana about how stressful her evening was going to be,

Diana: Don't worry. I'm sure people will be paying so much attention to your amazing personality and your perky tits that they won't even notice me.
Bonnie: Alright, that's enough. You two are worse than my girls. Kathleen, if you have anything that will calm you down in that armada of pills you're always carrying around with you, I suggest you take it.

Diana's self-confidence isn't as high as her friends,' and it probably has something to do with being their friends. After all, she's a working woman struggling to make ends meet in one of the most expensive cities in the United States.

The shock of living in that reality hasn't hit Bonnie yet, and even when it does, she'll still have what remains of the life she lived before. She has the glamorous clothes, the stunning jewelry, and the fabulous house.

Related: American Woman Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Changes and the New Normal

What we know of Diana's life pales in comparison. 

As they arrived at the party, Diana was immediately on the defensive, stepping into the shoes of an unknown woman and accepting her place to prove to her friends she's fun. 

Diana is FUN - American Woman Season 1 Episode 3

Unfortunately, Diana had put herself under so much pressure she was anything but fun and didn't have an interesting thought in her mind while chatting with the somewhat hunky (in a 70s way) lawyer named Terry.

Having spent many years propping myself up in the eyes of my friends, I know enough to exaggerate my role when necessary in a crowd. Take the "junior" off of loan officer, for example. Never talk about where your branch office is located unless there was a recent disaster nearby.

Related: American Woman Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Liberation

Make your life seem exponentially more important than it is, especially if you are not sure you will ever see the person to whom you are engaging in the trickery. If it comes to the point you have to tell them, well, all of that will seem silly once they know how freaking fantastic you are by then.

But Diana was just a little too off her game. It only got worse when she spotted a singer she adored and proceeded to fall all over her, then sing all over her with several bars of her favorite song and a tale of youthful woe.

Good Times Roll - American Woman Season 1 Episode 3

That led to her taking both a quaalude and doing a line of coke which, on top of the copious amounts of alcohol she was swilling, gave her an overbearing amount of confidence.

If Diana and Kathleen had stopped a moment to listen to each other, they might have realized they were both suffering from a little insecurity on that particular evening.

All the money and perky tits in the world weren't going to help Kathleen get what she most needed: experience in casting.

Kathleen Makes Her Move - American Woman Season 1 Episode 3

Welcome to Katherine LaNasa to an already fantastic female cast. Here's hoping we see more of you going forward. She's always cool as a cucumber in her roles, and Lori was no exception. She managed to both embarrass Kathleen and eventually give her something to think about going forward.

Lori: Hmmm. So what studio were you doing casting for before you opened your own office?
Kathleen: I'm doing it with my boyfriend, and he worked for Paramount.
Lori: What about YOU?
Kathleen: Nowhere. [laughs] I've never done this before.
Lori: So you don't know anything about casting?

Kathleen didn't have an easy sell, and she could have used a few of my self-motivational tips when talking with her new career idol.

Related: Get Great Selection of New & Classic Movies with the Lifetime Movie Club via Prime Video Channels!

Giggling and telling Lori she had no experience in casting was a serious newbie move. But while Kathleen might have started a business, she'd never had a job before, did she? So, kudos to her for jumping right into the fire.

She was just stupid enough to be courageous, and in the end, it worked for her.

Someone Gets Wild - American Woman

If Diana hadn't vomited on the side of the pool, would Kathleen have claimed her as her friend? Maybe, maybe not. But it was putting herself out there and risking being ostracized from everyone laughing at Diana for being so crazy (although there were a lot of other guests who cheered for her) that impressed Lori.

The bickering friends who were sure one or the other would make the night miserable saved each other in surprising ways. Hey, that's why we have friends, isn't it?

Bonnie was on her own after discovering Steve and Masha (it sounds more exotic than Marsha) at the party. And she her introspection led her to a man far superior to Steve. 

What a Lovely Painting - American Woman Season 1 Episode 3

Adam, a young and hot (in any decade) man struck a conversation with Bonnie and after a shaky start got into the groove a wasted Diana had been trying to tell Kathleen was all around earlier.

A talented artist from Nebraska, he wasn't used to women making the first move, but when he made his on Bonnie? Well, let's just say he had all the right moves. It was Bonnie who thought giving out her number might not be the right thing to do, but I hope she reconsiders seeing him again.

Related: The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 10 Review: The Last Ceremony

Adam seemed like a nice young man and one who would treat her like a princess while she finds her way back to the world. Something tells me Steve didn't have the same moves Adam used on Bonnie. Poor Masha

It was fun seeing girlfriends take some time out for fun, but I'm not sure it was earned this early in the season. I wish we'd had one more episode to find out why, for example, Kathleen and Diana were at each other's throats other than my suggested reasoning.

Still, I'm into the '70s vibe and enjoyed the focus on Diana. There is still a lot to discuss and potential to move forward. What about you? Have you had the time to watch American Woman online

Drop me a comment below and let's chat about what you think of the show so far!

The Party Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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American Woman Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Diana: Don't worry. I'm sure people will be paying so much attention to your amazing personality and your perky tits that they won't even notice me.
Bonnie: Alright, that's enough. You two are worse than my girls. Kathleen, if you have anything that will calm you down in that armada of pills you're always carrying around with you, I suggest you take it.

I don't know why anybody lives in Malibu. It's so far away from everything and there's no place to park.