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TV Review: Mom – The Complete First Season

2 min read

Anna Faris and Emmy award-winner Allison Janney star in this new comedy from Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men) about Christy (Anna Faris), a single mom whose newly found sobriety has given her the ability to see her life clearly and is fast realising that her life leaves a lot to be desired.

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Now she endeavours to undo years of bad decisions in order to make a better life for her and her two children. However, being a better person is harder than she anticipates. A low-paid waitress and recovering alcoholic in the heart of wine country, she struggles to conduct a healthy romance with her married boss, raise her impressionable young son to be a good man despite his dopey father’s hopeless influence, convince her troubled teenage-daughter to make more responsible choices than she did, and forgive her long-time estranged mother, Bonnie (Allison Janney), for not giving her any of the required tools for life.

While it is possible to overlook the obvious stereotypes that are perpetuated in this show to the point of nausea, it’s not possible to overlook the talent of its two stars (Faris and Janney) whose onscreen banter makes for some of the funniest moments in the show. While the supporting cast have their moments, it is the dysfunctional relationship between these two that actually forms the foundation for the show.

While there are funny moments, the show is often contrived and predictable and does not give its stars very much to work with. It is in fact, the stars that bring everything to the table and they are often much funnier than the material itself, which leaves the audience sort of feeling disappointed for them.

Despite the single-trait characters that rely on often-offensive stereotypes and the cookie-cutter nature of the humour, there is obviously an audience for these kind of sitcoms (see the evident success of The Big Bang Theory) but it is not the important social commentary that Lorre fans claim it to be.

There is some indication that this show hits its stride in Season 2, so perhaps it has just been subject to the teething problems that all new series suffer. If you can push through, it does get better as the season continues and Faris and Janney tackle their roles with the kind of reckless abandon one would easily expect from actresses of their calibre; a calibre that is sadly wasted on this show.