Schitt's Creek's Annie Murphy gives a voice to overlooked sitcom wives

Annie Murphy is taking a stand in her latest role as a wife who is over taking care of an oblivious husband

 Annie Murphy attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.
(Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association)

Annie Murphy shone on our screens as the iconic former heiress Alexis Rose in popular Netflix series Schitt's Creek, but her latest project aims to do more than just bring laughter.

Most of us may be familiar with the typical sitcom wife trope—often a housewife who's funny (but not too funny), and much better looking than her rather useless husband. She caters for his every need, but is also often the person who prevents him from having fun. She's Carrie in The King of Queens, Debra in Everybody Loves Raymond, Peggy in Married... With Children, Lois in Family Guy... the list goes son. 

But in AMC's latest dramedy, Kevin Can F**k Himself, Annie flips the script. 

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The series starts out as a sunny sitcom about the dynamic between a goofy husband and his wife. But wife Allison, played by Annie, seems out of place. In fact, her character has an awakening, an understanding that she wants more from her life. The show then loses the warm sitcom colors and shows the reality that this housewife lives in. 

Once she steps outside of their home there is no laugh track, instead, we're shown the life that Allison is actually living, one in which her husband is no help and she's left to pick up his mess.

"It’s about a woman who keeps playing the perfect housewife,” the actress narrates in the trailer. “Then one day, she realizes what she wants.”

And what she wants is to murder her husband, Kevin, played by Eric Petersen.

A crew films actress Annie Murphy on location at a real estate office in Brockton, MA on Oct. 20, 2020. Murphy plays the lead in the new AMC series, a dark comedy called Kevin Can F*** Himself, about the secret life of a sitcom wife, from writer-creator Valerie Armstrong (of Lodge 49 fame) and executive producers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

(Image credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

If you find there's something familiar about the show, it's probably because it allegedly draws inspiration from the Kevin James sitcom, Kevin Can Wait. In that 2016 series, the wife character was killed off to make room for a newer, hotter, version. Now, Annie's character is exacting her revenge on male characters, like her husband Kevin. 

Unlike Annie's past character Alexis, this woman is fighting for her independence and is willing to do anything to get it. We learn that her 10-year marriage has left her drained and unable to put up with the constant ridicule that the audience and other side characters deem humorous. The messaging behind tries to get us to question why we find characters like Kevin funny when they put down their wives.

The series is set to have eight episodes total and will have its second premiere episode June 20 on AMC's streaming service AMC+. 

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.