'Mom' Review: Anna Faris Plus Allison Janney Equals Comedy Gold
'Mom' Review: Anna Faris Plus Allison Janney Equals Comedy Gold
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
What if you hadn't spoken to your mother in two years and are just reconnecting for the first time? Would you be able to forgive her for how much she's messed up your life or would you still be mad at her? Maybe a bit of both?

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No, that's not the plot of a drama debuting this fall. Rather, it's the situation Christy is in on CBS's new Chuck Lorre-created comedy, Mom. Anna Faris plays a single mother who's trying to get by as a waitress so she can provide for her two kids.

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She planned on having a big, successful career, but as can happen in life, she took a wrong turn and ended up down the same path as her mother, Bonnie, played by the Emmy Award-winning Allison Janney. As Christy says in the pilot, "I drank like her, went through men like her, I was selfish to my kids just like she was."

Both mother and daughter are in Alcoholics Anonymous. And now that they're back in each other's lives, it's going to be hard to forgive and forget. But more important, it's a struggle for Christy to try and make sure her own daughter doesn't end up making the same mistakes, including drinking, smoking and getting pregnant at a young age.

Mom features some hilarious one-liners from the two stars; they play off of each other fantastically. Both Faris and Janney are lovable and brilliant in these roles -- there's absolutely nothing bad I can say about either.

Any good show needs strong supporting characters to complement the protagonists. With Mom, we've got Christy's children to start with. Both showcase the stereotypes of their age and gender: the teenage daughter doesn't care for her mother and is sleeping with her boyfriend, the young boy loves video games. I hope as the series progresses that we get to discover different sides to them and find that there's more to these two than just general stereotypes.

I mentioned that Christy works at a restaurant. The pilot has a few scenes there, and already we run into fantastic opportunities for comedy. Chef Rudy has a sort of Ben Stein-like voice, which makes his lines come off rather dry and even more funny. I look forward to seeing more of him. And then there's her boss, who also happens to be her boyfriend. (No, that's not a spoiler -- it's featured in the promos.) But even with this, we still see some of Bonnie in her.

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There's potential for some heartwarming scenes as Christy works to get her life back on track: with her mother as they reconnect and hopefully become closer, and with her daughter as she tries to be the mom she's always wanted to be.

But this is a comedy, after all. So of course it's the struggles and obstacles that make for the best laughs, which I can tell is what's going to be the huge driving force on Mom. And that's fine, because laughing at someone else's pain is fine when it's not real, am I right?

I can't end this review without mentioning the show's creator: Chuck Lorre. Yes, the same Chuck Lorre that brought us Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike and Molly.

When you have his name attached to a sitcom, viewers will want to watch. He's not trying to reinvent the sitcom-wheel, but what he's offering is a half-hour of some light comedy that will leave viewers laughing out loud from start to finish. And that's fine, because when you pair Anna Faris and Allison Janney together, it's bound to be comedy gold -- and we couldn't ask for anything more.

Check out a preview of the new CBS comedy Mom:



Mom premieres tonight at 9:30pm on CBS.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)



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