Posted by Pablozky at Saturday, September 21, 2013 10 Comments
Now, if only the jokes were shallow there would still be hope for the show, as the jokes could improve along with show run, and even the worst told stories can be carried over with good character and good actors. Sadly, it’s not the case. The characters happen to be as flat and shallow as the jokes I previously mentioned.
Now, we have our protagonist (the mom) Christy, who actually behaves and almost feels like a real human being and it’s the only character the shows works to add some layers of depth along the pilot, but the rest of the characters don’t show such work done on them: we have the ill self-centered mother figure, Bonnie, the rebel teenage daughter who hates her mom, Violet, the supposedly sweet son, Roscoe, his pot headed father, Baxter, the boss and also lover who is understanding but a whim, Gabriel, and so on.
The son, Roscoe, on the other hand, doesn’t bring anything to the mix either; while he doesn’t shout out any stereotype like her big sister, he is just plain, his jokes don’t land well in any given context, and I’m not really sure what to think of him, he doesn’t really show any personality traits to define him. Also, his interactions with her sister on the episode are virtually non-existent; I don’t know if this is for the better or the worse, but I’d surely would have liked to see more interaction between them, maybe humanizing Violet by showing us that she has a good relationship with Roscoe could have made the pilot a little bit more heartwarming and also would have established Violet’s character better, but at the same time we could have just got the typical brother/sister quarrel which is so over done that I would rather not risk it. We might see this developed in future episodes… if we gather the will to watch another episode.
In the world of “Mom” there’s no character that really caught my attention or that would make me want to tune in for another episode the following week; they all can be summed up to one or two words: “alcoholic”, “pot head”, “heartless”, “mean”, and so on and so forth. There’s nothing deep about them. Christy might as well be the only slightly sane in this crazy world of hers and the only one with a glimpse of depth as I previously mentioned: her scene in the AA seemed quite heartfelt to me, it was really natural the way Christy just pointed out how it sucked being sober for her and even more so the laughs from the people there and yet even more so the look on the faces of those people, it just seemed like something that would happen in real life and it was kind of sweet how welcoming and warm these people were, even if they didn’t say a word, and that’s just great. It was a good scene, the kind that makes you smile. But sadly good things often don’t last, and as soon as Christy’s mom (Bonnie) pops out every good will built up by that scene is thrown down the toilet.
Near the end of the episode the writers try to create somewhat of an emotional environment when Violet confronted Christy about not being the best mother, but it’s all ruined with bad lines and cheap jokes; the moment itself is both cheesy and cliché and doesn’t feel organic, unlike the previously mentioned AA scene. And to make Violet even more unlikeable, even when Christi did as she requested she still treats her like shit. And that’s just bad taste.
Now, by the end, the episode tries to somewhat redeem a little bit by having Bonnie showing up in Christy’s house to help out a little, but soon after she goes on a date, because everyone in this shows needs to have an active sex life, except the son, who I guess is 10 years old or something around that age, and yet I wouldn’t be surprised if he started talking about sex now and lost his virginity by season 3 or 4 when he hits puberty. Yep, it’s that kind of show, reminiscent of what Two and a Half Men did to Jake over time.
In the end, there are a few moments that could be considered good, but the problem is that among the 21 minutes the pilot spends with one dimensional characters and flat jokes, those good moments are no more than 2 minutes; but man, those 2 minutes shows us that this show could actually be good if the premise was worked out better.
Anna Faris does ok in the role, she is a capable actress and could shine if given better material, but the rest of the cast just fall flat, they don’t make any impression whatsoever; they play their character’s traits with no effort, and just imitate what has been done in other shows, and it has been done better.
Mom is a sitcom that follows all the rules of a bad sitcom:
-Overstuff with flat jokes and weak punch liners? Check.
-Create several one dimensional characters that serves about just one purpose and hope it works out as funny? Check
-Sex jokes because sex is funny? Check.
-Drugs joke because Breaking Bad is hot right now? Also check.
There’s nothing original here, you can watch far better sitcoms, both single and multi-cameras, in almost any single channel. At least I didn’t see any reason to tune in next week for Mom. Except, maybe, to see if the writers are able to pull a miracle in the second episode and change the focus of the show to one that could make the characters deeper, easier to relate to, more sympathetic as well and to see if they can pull of some better jokes. But by watching the pilot alone there’s no indication the show will take such turns, yet one can hope.
I think I’ll watch 2 or 3 more episodes just in case the show decides to get in track as, to be fair, there have been many shows with weak pilots that become better as they progress. However, I hold no such hopes for Mom: it seems like Christy, a nicely crafted character, is cursed to be trapped in a world full of mean or outright stupid people, and that’s just sad to watch.
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