CBS' 'Mom' not a fuzzy family comedy
The new CBS comedy "Mom" will bring back some family memories -- if your family life included mom cooking meth or searching for cocaine in the shag carpet.
It debuts at 8:30 p.m. Monday, another project from busy producer Chuck Lorre. Given his track record ("Two and a Half Men," "The Big Bang Theory," "Mike & Molly"), CBS can hardly be blamed for betting on Lorre again.
The pilot quickly tries to establish a dysfunctional cast of characters. Anna Faris is the lead as Christy, a waitress and single mom who's sleeping with her married boss. Her 16-year-old daughter Violet (Sadie Calvano) is repeating some of mom's mistakes, and Christy's recovering alcoholic mother Bonnie (Allison Janney) re-emerges to cause trouble. Revolving around them are Christy's son, her loser ex-boyfriend and Violet's loser current boyfriend.
No, it's not the Cosby family. The setting leaves for plenty of the sex and drugs jokes that are Monday night staples on CBS.
"I've watched you lick cocaine crumbs out of a shag carpet," Christy tells Bonnie.
"It's not a sin to be thrifty, dear," Bonnie replies.
Christy later notes that when she was growing up, Bonnie was cooking meth instead of dinner.
Not a warm night by the fire you'd remember fondly. The show's success depends upon whether Christy turns into a character you can root for. One supporting character with real potential is Rudy (French Stewart), the prima donna cook at Christy's restaurant who is all the things you hate about television celebrity chefs wrapped up in one.
"Get over yourself, Rudy," Christy tells him. "I saw you at McDonald's going down on a Big Mac."
That was one line that lived up to the overactive laugh track in the pilot, which spit out guffaws at the mere sight of a window opening. "Mom" will get sampling due to its plum slot on the most popular network's schedule; it needs more genuine laughs to be called a keeper.