Fall TV First Impression: CBS' Mom

Mom PreviewThe broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall, including a futuristic tale from the Fringe team, new sitcoms from Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes, and a trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | CBS’ Mom (Mondays at 9:30/8:30c; premieres Sept. 23)

THE COMPETITION | NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and The CW’s Beauty and the Beast

THE CAST | Anna Faris (The House Bunny), Allison Janney (The West Wing), Nate Corddry (Studio 60), French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun), Sadie Calvano (Melissa & Joey), Matt Jones (NCIS) and others

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Grid Showing What’s On When and Versus What!

THE SET-UP | In this latest Chuck Lorre production, Faris is Christy, a four months-sober single mom tempted to pitch herself right off the wagon when her mother Bonnie (Janney), herself a recovering alcoholic/substance abuser, resurfaces after an estrangement. Corddry costars as Christy’s restaurant boss/boyfriend, Stewart’s a pugnacious chef, Calvano is Christy’s sexually active 16-year-old daughter Violet and Jones plays Baxter, the stoner/slacker father of Christy’s adolescent son.

RELATED | TVLine’s Guide to All the New Fall Shows

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | Two things I didn’t like about this pilot: The cold open — in which Faris ugly-sobs for what feels like 10 straight minutes — got old quick, and Janney doesn’t show up until about halfway in. But once mom and daughter do reunite and the barb-filled banter starts flying, the show finds a certain footing. The scenes set at home (where Christy tries to tame Violet and her doofus beau while struggling to make peace with her own mother) do not connect with those at the workplace (a restaurant that reads as especially artificial for a sitcom). Prediction: Bonnie gets hired as the eatery’s hostess by Episode 4. As a Lorre show, all the bawdy boxes get checked, including vivid sex jokes and rather specific drug humor — with a small boy reveling in beating a videogame’s hooker with a bat for good measure.

When not crying, Faris is fun and flinty as the middle layer of a dysfunctional family sandwich, while Janney — a four-time Emmy winner in Sorkinland — is obviously have a ball letting her hair and morals down, co-opting our nostalgic love for C.J. Cregg to help forgive Bonnie’s many, many trespasses.

RELATED | More Fall TV First Impressions: ABC’s WonderlandNBC’s The BlacklistThe CW’s ReignABC’s Trophy Wife,Fox’s Sleepy HollowCBS’ Hostages,  NBC’s IronsideABC’s Super Fun NightThe CW’s The Tomorrow PeopleFox’s Almost HumanCBS’ The Crazy Ones

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Spelling Mike & Molly for the foreseeable future, Mom is perhaps a better companion show for 2 Broke Girls (right down to their food service professions!). As such, it should tee up the 10 o’clock hour as well, if not marginally better, than its predecessor — which is important, since CBS is putting much promotional muscle behind its 13-episode thriller Hostages.

Watch a video preview for Mom, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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32 Comments
  1. Tim says:

    Not interested. The commercials for it make it look plain cheesy. Not a fan of Two and a Half Man and this feels quite similar to it.

  2. Babar Suhail says:

    I saw the promos and sneak peeks, and it looked good, so I am going to give it a try.

  3. Alan says:

    yay another piece of misogynistic, sexist crap from chuck lorre, cant wait. ugh, how does this hack have 4 shows on air at the same time?

  4. No love for Mom. This Anna Faris led sitcom won’t last that long. :-(

  5. Bob says:

    Had one of the worst laugh tracks in the history of laugh tracks. I don’t need to be constantly told when something is funny when in actuality it is not.

  6. Cherry says:

    Alison Janey is so incredible, Anna Faris is a bad actress but I’d watch simply for Alison Janey.

  7. Jeff says:

    I like Anna Faris…but hate 2 and a Half Men, Mike and Molly and 2 Broke Girls…and this feels very similar to those…so I don’t see myself lasting longer than one episode with it

  8. Andy says:

    I’ll give it a chance, but that’s probably about it. I liked Anna Faris in What’s Your Number and Friends, but that’s about it. And I’d really like to have one of Chuck Lorre’s shows fail.

  9. Et al says:

    The previews just make me feel embarrassed for the talented Janney and Faris.

  10. N tTVf says:

    You know, I’m not sure about this one. The time slot is gold, cast looks good, Chuck L and co. know how to put a comedy together in this fashion, edgy-humor and all. They know how to do this successfully. From the looks of it, I can’t and won’t bet against this show.
    .
    However, I’m not completely sold either. If (IF) the show does not get moved into another time slot, I think they can make it. A lot will depend upon the fate of 2.5 Men. If that show does not come back in fall 2014, CBS will have two large holes to fill in it’s comedy lineup [Thurs 9:30 and Mon 8:00]. At this point, I can’t see CBS scaling back to just Monday night comedy blocks; they are all in now on multi-hour comedy blocks on Mon/Thurs.
    .
    If their 8:30 Monday and Thursday slots do not produce hits (and that could happen), CBS will need every comedy they (and Chuck L) can come up with to fill slots in fall 2014. That bodes well for Mom’s survival potential. Two Broke Girls and Mom seem to make a good pair, but Broke Girls has an outstanding supporting cast that may not get the attention and credit they deserve. Broke Girls is much more [although maybe not a lot more ;)] than just T&A jokes. The cast works well together.
    .
    That will be the challenge for Mom – the supporting cast. If they jell and the writing supports them well, the show will do fine. If not, and the show get moved around the schedule, that could spell trouble. I can’t see Mike & Molly not on either the Monday or Thursday schedule somewhere before January. Space [no pun intended] will need to be made for Mike & Molly – good time slot space by January/March at the latest (post Olympics). Mom will need to get off to a good start. Allison Janney is terrific, but (as I noticed on Mr. Sunshine), a little bit of AJ comedy can go a long way – sometimes too much (as on Mr. Sunshine) can be too much for an ensemble comedy. I think Broke Girls gets that balance between leads and ensemble just right – hopefully Mom can do the same.

  11. Deb says:

    I’ve seen the promo and thought it was horrendous. Not very likable characters and very heavy handed laugh track. Don’t think it’ll last long, amazed a pilot was made !

  12. Emily says:

    Quite sure it will suffer the same fate as “How to live with your Parents (For the rest of arrgh how long is this title”

  13. JCK says:

    It sounds like lowest common denominator fare. I’ll skip it.

  14. Ram510 says:

    Eventhough Chuck Lorre’s comedies attract alot of viewers like TBBT and 2.5 Men, they all just run me the wrong way. So this one will be a hard pass for me

  15. i’ll check out mostly because of Faris.

  16. Tee says:

    The previews look terrible and generally can’t stand laugh tracks/audience laughing, but I love Allison Janney. I’ll check out an episode or two for her.

  17. I love Alison Janey! I’ve waited for her to come back to TV ever since The West Wing ended. I really don’t think the show has much of a chance, but still I’ll be watching.

  18. Dav says:

    I love Allison Janney but this looks horrible. I will not be watching.

  19. Kristina says:

    Not sure about this one but I’ll check it out, I like Anna Faris enough to give it a shot.

  20. LDS says:

    I’m going to watch just because of Allison Janey, but it seems she can (and has) do much better.

  21. RudyzMom says:

    This pilot was horrible at best to everyone. Stop just simply stop trying to spell funny with dysfunctional. And to suggest via this script and cast that making it generational is a “comedy hit” , offensive period. WTF Chucky Lorre?

  22. Where are the old-time comedies... says:

    Wanted to love the show for Allison Janey, couldn’t wait for her to return to TV. Might give it one more week, but it just doesn’t have a theme that is funny to me.

  23. wells says:

    Watched the first show. We were supposed to laugh when the exhusband wanted $2000 to buy drugs, make money, and pay back child support. The Mom’s daughter ends the show by getting pregnant as a teenager. And that was funny???The characters have a life that is a mess which requires counseling not laughter. My first and last time with the show.

  24. Jocelyn says:

    This show is horrible talks about drug dealing, son playing games with hookers in it, teenage pregnancy what happened to good old fashioned sitcoms, i will not be watching again.

  25. Jim says:

    I came, I watched, I turned it off.

  26. Trevor says:

    Damn. Lighten up, people. I have already seen the first two episodes, and thought they were both hilarious. I knew this would be comedy gold, as this is a Chuck Lorre production. And I think that I am right.

    Anna Faris and Allison Janney gel and both put on great performances as the lead character. I also find Matt Jones hysterical as the drug dealer father of Faris’ adolescent son. I know some of the jokes are rude and crude, but this is a CL show after all.

    This show has some great promise to be a hit, and hopefully will be around for a long time.

  27. Hi everyone

    I’ am good da it is now going to about forever tell again Tv2 show day Mom”
    Right here just so
    Love people from: Andrew Ireland

  28. Harmony says:

    I believe it portrays a false view on women in America. To me I got a message that white American women are dumb sluts who are alcoholics and can’t raise a child. Obviously this is a false statement.

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