Mom

7.7 / 10
23 min
Comedy
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" gives "Mom - Pilot" a 4."
Written by on 23 December 2013.
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Mom - Pilot

Anna Faris is an actress I only know as the dumb blonde from the ‘Scary Movie’ films and as the surrogate mother of Monica and Chandler’s twins in ‘Friends’. She now has a new role in the new comedy series ‘Mom’, created by Chuck Lore (‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’). As said before, I’m not a big fan of comedy series. However, I didn’t know anything about this show, so my expectations were quite low. So I decided to give ‘Mom’ a go and watch the pilot episode.

Anna Faris plays Christy, a single mom of two. Christy has been four months sober and works as a waitress in a fancy restaurant. She works there to support her children and she really tries to be a good mom and not make the same mistakes her own mother, Bonnie, made (Allison Janey, ‘The West Wing’). So Christy’s sobriety is tested when her mother, a former alcoholic herself, reappears, presenting a very special view on Christy’s current life. Mother Bonnie isn’t the only person in Christy’s life. There’s Gabriel (Nate Corddry), her handsome married boss and lover; the hot-headed chef of the restaurant, Rudy (Nat Stewart, ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’); Christy’s beautiful but rebellious daughter Violet (Sadie Calvano) and her sweet and honest son Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal). Finally there are also Baxter (Matt Jones, ‘Breaking Bad’), the irresponsible ex and Roscoe’s dad, and Luke (Spencer Daniels), Violet’s no-nonsense boyfriend.

The pilot episode starts by introducing Christy whilst she is working as a waitress. During this scene, you immediately meet the hot-headed chef Rudy as well as her sympathetic boss Gabriel. Then the show switches over to Christy’s home, where we meet her adolescent daughter and her adorable, somewhat nerdy son. Meanwhile, you can hear stupid fake laughter in the background at the most humorless moments. Some shows (like ‘Friends’), use these laughter tracks at exactly the right moments, but in ‘Mom’ it feels like they’re trying too hard. And when Christy complains about her problematic childhood, it is accompanied by incredibly lame jokes. As a viewer, I was continuously annoyed! The second part of the pilot deals mostly with the relationship between Christy and her mother. But you also get to meet some of the other characters, such as ex-husband Baxter and Violet’s boyfriend. Because of this, the show manages to remain light and to include jokes on more than just one subject. Nevertheless, the laughter track keeps making appearances during unfunny moments and I can’t tell why it’s supposed to be funny. That’s a shame, because if there would have been a better balance between the real jokes and the fake laughter, the show would probably be somewhat bearable.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Anna Faris. She portrays the part of a stressed but helpful AA mom convincingly. Allison Janney is also convincing as the meddling mother. There’s a good chemistry between Faris and Janney as daughter and mother. The rest of the series, unfortunately, doesn’t come together and the jokes are predictable and unoriginal. It really is the umpteenth show about former alcoholics and families with issues. Personally, I feel that it’s all a bit too much. So far I have to agree with the prediction of the editors of MySeries that this show will be cancelled, and I don’t think I’ll change my opinion on this.
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