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Ellen Burstyn Was On 'Mom.' How Is It Still Not Watchable?

By Emily Cutler | TV | November 6, 2015 |

By Emily Cutler | TV | November 6, 2015 |

Despite Rebecca’s wise warning, I’m going to try to review a TV show I’ve never watched. Or more precisely, I’m going to wonder out loud what the hell it is that I’m missing about the show Mom.

Because on its face, it’s a show that I should love. A comedy with dramatic undertones about a mother and daughter both dealing with their respective addictions and mistakes. Watching shows about people work through their dysfunction is my wheelhouse. And not only would I get to watch a show dealing with imperfect women (a thing I love), those women would be played by Anna Faris and Allison Janney. Allison Fucking Janney.

I should even be excited about the supporting cast. French Stewart’s made a comeback? That’s worth the novelty of watching. Nate Corrdry? Oh, hey Nate. I have an inexplicable soft spot for you. And now, Chuck Lorre has somehow convinced Ellen Goddamn Burstyn to guest star?
Ellen Burstyn Shocked.jpg
What in the sweet holy hell is happening that I’m not watching this show? That’s Allison Fucking Janney and Ellen Goddamn Burstyn in that header photo, and I still can’t sit through an episode.


Because it’s still a Chuck Lorre show. Because the laugh track is still there, because it’s still the same predictable jokes that were “risque” on Two and a Half Men seven years ago, because after trying to watch the first episode my overwhelming thought was “How does a single mother working as a waitress afford that house in Napa Valley if she’s just beginning her recovery and the father of her children lives in a van?”

It’s not that I’ve never tried to watch it. It’s that the many times that I’ve put on the first episode, I’ve lost interest within 5 minutes. And when I’ve skipped to the second season to see if it got better, it hadn’t. I’m not unwilling to be won over by Mom, but so far the combined pull of the show’s astonishing draws hasn’t been enough to convince me to watch. And since Lorre hasn’t made his fortune by breaking the mold, I’m not exactly counting on a show reformat. I’ll instead have to appreciate the show even if I can’t like it.

(Amendment to above: All bets are off if they bring in Patricia Clarkson as Janney’s bitchy sister. Then I’m all in.)

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