The new crop of fall comedies might seem overwhelming, but it shouldn't, as there are really only a handful of new laffers worth checking out this season. Is CBS's new comedy Mom one of them? Read on to find out in the latest edition of TV.com You've Watched This Show Do You Recommend That I Do Too?
Mom? Is this a companion piece to Dads?
God, no. While the name is unfortunate, Mom is a comedy about a newly sober single mother who's trying to raise her two children while working as a waitress... in wine country. And just in case that doesn't sound challenging enough, her estranged mother—who's also a recovering alcoholic—suddenly reappears in her life.
Who birthed Mom? And who's in it?
The series was created by CBS golden boy Chuck Lorre. If for some reason that name means nothing to you, perhaps these show titles will: Dharma & Greg, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly. Lorre created and/or executive produced all of them.
Anna Faris stars as Christy, the titular single mother, while four-time Emmy-winner Allison Janney makes her return to TV as Bonnie, Christy's estranged mother. Christy's two children, Violet and Roscoe, are played by Sadie Calvano and Blake Garrett Rosenthal (the kid Winston nannied for on New Girl). Rounding out the cast are Breaking Bad's Matt Jones (Badger) as Roscoe's father Baxter (seriously), Nathan Corddry as Christy's boss (and lover) at the restaurant, and French Stewart the restaurant's chef.
When does Mom premiere?
The parenting hijinks begin on Monday September 23 at 9:30pm on CBS.
Who will like Mom?
Anyone who likes Lorre's previous work and who doesn't mind the laugh track will probably enjoy Mom's sometimes lewd, sometimes emotional comedy. This is a charming series with talented leads that has the ability—or perhaps it's still potential at this point—to tell heartfelt stories while also throwing out dirty jokes every once in awhile. Because what's funnier than zingers about sex, right? (Sorry.)
What's good about Mom?
It's a given that Allison Janney is great, and it's fun to see her starring in a comedy after watching her act mostly serious on The West Wing for seven years. The woman is very funny. And she brings some added warmth to the character of Bonnie, who could have been a one-note player in the hands of a lesser actress. Anna Faris is also great, and although she's mostly known for her film work, once the woman commits to a joke, she's in. Matt Jones' Roscoe is only one step up from Badger with regard to his proclivity for making questionable life choices, but what the hell, Jones has that role pretty well down, so he's a hoot to watch, too. Oh, and hey, Nate Corddry!
The comedy in Mom borders on good. While it's not laugh-out-loud hilarious stuff, the series revolves around an emotional core, so it works. Once the show settles into itself and we get to know the characters a little better, I think the series will find its legs and (hopefully) evolve into that comedy-with-a-heart-of-gold type of show.
And what maybe doesn't work so well?
The laugh track. The laugh track. The laugh track. And some of the humor is cheesy, but that's what you get with a Chuck Lorre comedy on CBS, so I don't know if I can hold that against it.
So should I watch it or what?
Sure! Mom isn't the best new comedy of the fall, but it's a pretty decent one, especially in comparison to its fellow freshman sitcoms. It's one of the few newbies that stands a chance of surviving.
Got a trailer?
Mom premieres Monday September 23 at 9:30pm on CBS.