The Telefile

Mom: Could Use Some Parental Guidance

by Angel Cohn September 24, 2013 6:00 am
<I>Mom</I>: Could Use Some Parental Guidance

This new Chuck Lorre sitcom is taking the place of Mike & Molly for a bit, and that seems appropriate as this show hits just about the same tone. Both are fine sitcoms with strong cast members and some funny moments, but neither really makes you want to set your DVR for a season pass. But while Mom isn't exactly breaking new ground or creating must-see television, at least it isn't as horrifically terrible as Dads. So if you are looking for a "parental" sitcom this fall, Mom would be the wiser bet.

This stars Anna Faris as Christy, a hard-working single mom who has a host of issues with her own estranged mother Bonnie (Allison Janney). They reconnect at an AA meeting. Is it just a weird coincidence that Mike & Molly also had its two leads bumping in to each other at an "Anonymous" type meeting? Those confessions about their bad habits get old quick, so let's hope that Mom moves away from them as rapidly as Molly did.

Bonnie was an awful mother who was not only remarkably absent, but constantly battled drug and alcohol problems. Now she's back in Christy's life in order to help her with her kids and maybe make some amends. But Christy is overwhelmed with a troublesome daughter of her own, her own issues with alcoholism and a complicated relationship with her manager (Nate Corddry). On paper it sounds depressing, but it is all played out for comedic purposes and there's plenty of snippy quotes and physical comedy to keep it moving along.

The one real failing of this show is French Stewart. He's playing a persnickety chef who seems to exist solely to say rotten things. It's a one-note character, and unfortunately that note is sour. The rest of the actors are holding their own and sell the material that they are given. It's not the most ringing endorsement for this show, but without seeing a few more episodes it is hard to judge what it will look like once it gets past the labored set up.

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