Chuck Lorre is the king of the multicamera sitcom. In fact, as the creator of comedies including Two and a Half Men, he’s like a multi-camera sitcom: old-fashioned, bound by conventions, laughing a little too hard at his own jokes. And judging by his new pilot, he’s just as resistant to change as the form itself. With Mom, he returns to the type of woman-starting-over story he pioneered (to greater effect) with Cybill and Grace Under Fire. Anna Faris plays Christy, a newly sober waitress determined not to turn into her mom, Bonnie (Allison Janney), another recovering addict who, back in the day, wasn’t above licking cocaine off the carpet. Christy isn’t the best role model either. Her self-help mantra? ”My daughter’s an easy lay, and it’s not my fault.” Yes, tvtropes.org could’ve drafted these characters: the inappropriate grandma, the wild-child teen, the exasperated mother who’s smarter than her ex (played with sublime idiocy by Matt Jones). Luckily, Faris and Janney are funnier than the material. When Faris, a sad clown with a rubbery pout, cries while serving dinner to befuddled patrons, she’s the Lucille Ball of dumb-blonde comedy. And Christy’s devotion to AA suggests deeper pathos to come, especially since Lorre’s general view of humanity seems to fall somewhere between bleak and cruel. This isn’t the type of show you’ll want to watch with your own mom — unless she’s the type who licks cocaine off the carpet. B-
MOMMY DEAREST CBS' new comedy Mom stars Allison Janney and Anna Faris (Monty Brinton/CBS)
Genre: Comedy; Series Premiere: 09/23/2013; Broadcaster: CBS; Status: In Season
Posted September 25 2013 — 12:00 AM EDT
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