Mothers and daughters make for the most complicated relationships.
Yes, superlative statements are dangerous, but we are talking mothers and daughters.
That dynamic can also be very funny, as it is in Chuck Lorre’s latest CBS show, “Mom,” premiering Monday, Sept. 23.
“I buy clothing at Forever 21,” Janney tells Zap2it of her character. “Bonnie is alone and very much wants to find love. I am very aware this is my first grandmother role.”
She quickly clarifies that Faris’ Christy was a teenage mom.
There’s a fun scene in the pilot, where Christy comes home, spent and weepy from her job. She knows her daughter, Violet (Sadie Calvano), is well on her way to repeating the mistakes she and her mother made.
“I got pregnant with you when I was a teenager,” Christy tells Violet. “Please don’t take this the wrong way — it ruined my life.”
Faris (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”) has spot-on timing in her first TV series lead. She had been looking for a role, and the new mom says this script instantly grabbed her.
“I love that our show is about real relationships, and you don’t need to save a spaceship from crashing into Earth,” Faris says.
Though theirs isn’t the sort of relationship moms and daughters aspire to, Bonnie clearly loves Christy. It seems that going forward, they’ll work on their problems.
After running around the way only a single mother of two must — she also has a younger son, Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal) — Christy attends an AA meeting, where she delivers some of the show’s funniest lines.
“Hi, I am Christy, and I have been sober 118 days,” she says. “It has been the worst 118 days of my life. Now that I am not drinking, I can see my life clearly. The only reason I am here is because I didn’t want to turn into my mother. And I did anyway. I drank like her, and I went through men like her, and I was selfish to my kids like she was.”
“Some mothers teach their daughters how to bake,” Christy says. “Mine taught me how to beat a cavity search and still feel like a lady.”
After her little speech, Christy takes her seat only to have her mother tap her on the shoulder.
They go for a cup of tea afterward, where Bonnie comes on to the waiter so strongly that she makes cougars look retiring, and Christy’s temper come to the fore.
The show has what makes sitcoms great: tight writing and actors making the most of smaller roles.
French Stewart, as the heartless chef in the restaurant where Christy is a waitress, tastes a dish and says, “More butter and salt. They only need to live long enough to pay the check.”
Jon Cryer plays a restaurant patron, and it will be fun to see who else shows up and orders overpriced food.
It looks as if the restaurant will be just part of Christy’s life. Her existence will revolve mainly around learning to be a better mother and daughter and finding a man. She harbors a lot of resentment.
“While other mothers were cooking dinner,” Christy says, “you were cooking meth.”
“Otherwise known as working,” Bonnie shoots back.
Bonnie infuriates Christy when she repeatedly says she has forgiven her daughter.
“I think I am endlessly useful to her,” Janney says of her character. “I know what mistakes you made.”