Monday, September 23, 2013
Review - Mom
CBS' new comedy Mom comes from creator Chuck Lorre, whose shows I've had a love-hate relationship (love The Big Bang Theory, hate Two and a Half Men). So I went into this show - which is part of a great night of current comedy with How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls (Mom's lead-in) - not knowing which way it would fall. But I like the cast - Anna Faris, in her first TV series aside from a guest stint on Friends, and Allison Janney, a four-time Emmy winner for her role on The West Wing - so I just had to see.
Christy (Faris) is a newly single mother raising her two children. In addition to the challenges brought on by that, she is also 118 days sober and faces many temptations and pitfalls. Testing her sobriety is her formerly estranged mother Bonnie (Janney), now back in Christy's life and eager to share passive-aggressive insights into her daughter's many mistakes.
Right off the bat, Faris, who is 37 and definitely old enough to have a teenage daughter and does so on the show (Violet, played by Sadie Calvano), still seems so youthful, so it was hard for me to accept her as such. She just doesn't pull off "parental authority" for me. (A similar mother-daugther relationship that worked so much more realistically was that of Lorelei and Rory (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, respectively) on Gilmore Girls). It's easier to by Faris being the mother of her TV son, young tyke Blake Garrett Rosenthal.
What I do buy is Faris as a woman on the edge, juggling a great deal of stress (an affair with her married boss, a sexually active daughter, an unreliable ex-husband) and emotional issues, along with the very combative relationship she has with her mother. Faris puts her all into her character and sells the role well, her comedic timing sharp as a tack.
Janney is dry, droll delivery is terrific and she, too, brings her character very realistically to life. She and Faris play off each other nicely, even if they don't physically look much like mother and daughter. Their chemistry is the important thing, and they have it. Jokes about pot and sex seemed obvious and obligatory, but it's a modern sitcom, so ... whatever.
Mom has a nice supporting cast: French Stewart (3rd Rock From the Sun), Nathan Corddry (Harry's Law) and Matt Jones (Breaking Bad). And I think the show is a nice fit for the net's comedy line-up (the male-centric We Are Men premieres next week).
BOTTOM LINE: Mom is decent enough, nothing outstanding, probably worth a second-ep viewing.
Mom airs Mondays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.