Friday, September 27, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Funny: Mom Edition

Welcome to another edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Funny! This week, I'm talking about the new CBS sitcom premiere, Mom, but before I get into that, I have some fun news:

Remember a few months back when I told you about the return of the Extra Hot Great podcast? Well one of my favorite features on their show is the TV Canon - a place where listeners can send an audio recorded submission that describes their favorite episode of their favorite show. As luck would have it, the crew chose my Happy Endings submission for the podcast this week, and they inducted it into the canon (meaning the majority of the hosts voted, and felt it belonged with the best of the best)!!

What?? I know. Best. Day. Ever! Y'all know how much I love Happy Endings, so to hear everyone discussing it on the show was really special, and since I've been a fan of the podcast since its first iteration, needless to say I've been psyched beyond belief all week.

So thanks, Extra Hot Great, for making me EXTRA happy this week! 
You guys are amazing.

To listen to my submission for Happy Endings Season 2, Episode 21: (Four Weddings and a Funeral Minus Three Weddings and One Funeral) and the rest of this week's EHG episode, click here

And now, onto the business at hand: 

It's a been a big week for TV premieres, but I'm going to break it down nice and slow for ya. Today, I'm all about:

Mom (Premiered Monday, September 23rd on CBS)

The Premise

Recovering alcoholic, Christy (Anna Faris), is trying to juggle sobriety along with a dead-end waitressing job, her two kids, and her married boyfriend. But things get more challenging when her mother and former addict, Bonnie (Allison Janney), suddenly comes back into her life. 

The Good

Anna Faris and Allison Janney are both really good in this pilot, and I'm interested to see how their relationship develops over this season. Something else that usually doesn't get enough attention is the set design - you actually believe that Christy and her kids could live in this house on a waitress' salary, which is a nice change of pace from the usual TV depiction of "working class" homes which are often way too unrealistic (ex. Two Broke Girls, you definitely cannot afford that Brooklyn loft). Also, I kind of have this weird crush on Nathan Corddry (United States of Tara, Children's Hospital), so hopefully they'll figure out how to use him better (aka, put him on screen more).

The Bad

Like I said, the main actresses are both good. The problem is, they may be a little too good for the material they have to work with. A lot of these jokes are real clunkers, and as interesting as our main duo are, the supporting characters are mostly tired stereotypes: the child-support-owing dead-beat ex, the bored, angry teenager who hates her mom - come on sitcom writers, create a teenage character that's more than just a sequence of eye rolls please - and the harsh, pompous chef Christy works for are all characters we've seen a million times before.

The Funny

- Anna Faris' tearful shift at her restaurant was cringe-worthy and great. The bummed-out happy birthday song she has to sing to one of the customers is only made better by the sad "Oh no..." she delivers as soon as she sees the cake.

- I liked Christy explaining to her boyfriend's stuck-up wife, "CLOUD-ia" that her name is actually pronounced "CHRIST-y".

- Her son, Blake Garrett Rosenthal, is the kid in the deleted scenes from Bridesmaids! And he's funny!

Final Verdict: As sweet as the pilot was at times, I give this show one more episode before I'm asking for the check.

What else is new? New pilots that are worth checking out for the week of 9/23:

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Premiered Tuesday, September 24th on ABC)

Trophy Wife (Premiered Tuesday, September 24th on ABC)

Masters of Sex (Premieres Sunday, September 29th on Showtime)

That's it for this week, TV fans!
Fridays are the new Wednesdays: check back every Friday next month for more pilot and season premiere reviews!

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