It does seem odd at first that the new TV season brings a series called "Dads" and another called "Mom." But TV moves in waves and swarms, and this fall there is an emphasis on family (and on extended family), possibly reflecting the experience of writers who are old enough to have their own parents on their hands. In both the just-premiered "Dads" on Fox and the upcoming
"Mom," which premieres Monday on CBS, stars Anna Faris and
Both are sober now, the mother a little longer than the daughter if you don't count the
There is a son too (Blake Garrett Rosenthal), too young to join in that story line.
The series, which has potential and is not bad to begin with, comes partially from
I would think "Mom" has little chance of becoming as popular as "Men," though for reasons that are mostly to its credit. It's the less obvious, more serious show — within the strictures, that is, of a form in which an audible laugh (laid in if necessary) is demanded every few lines. (The oddest are those that follow the positive-thinking affirmations Christy repeats in her car: "The more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful" — I am still looking for the gag there.)
This isn't the first comedy to make a recovering alcoholic a main character. There was Sam Malone in "
There are, to be sure, plenty of jokes about the drunk and the drugged here, though seen in the rear-view mirror, as it were. Some lines are clearly made to be outrageous, while the principals' previous years of bad behavior are more asserted than felt. Christy: "Mom, I've watched you lick cocaine crumbs out of a shag carpet." Bonnie: "It's not a sin to be thrifty, dear."
And yet the writing rings true as often as not, and the actors do not wave their arms or raise their voices unduly; they play to the human moments between the rim shots. Christy's house looks appropriately modest and messy. "Mom" is not "Dads."
Also here are Matt Jones as Christy's semi-ever-present ex-husband; Spencer Daniels, making himself at home as Violet's boyfriend; and Nate Corddry as Christy's married boss, with whom she's secretly sleeping.
When: 9:30 p.m. Monday
Rating: TV-14-DL (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 with advisories for suggestive dialogue and coarse language)