Did CBS' Mom Give Birth to Laughs?

mom-series-premiere-300When we first meet Christy (played by Scary Movie‘s Anna Faris), the protagonist of CBS’ Mom, she isn’t exactly likable. In fact, she’s sobbing uncontrollably while waiting tables, and it’s nearly impossible not to cringe at the sight.

But in Chuck Lorre’s newest sitcom, which debuted Monday night, Christy is a newly sober single mom trying to pick up the pieces of her life. And not long into the show’s pilot episode, Christy’s workplace meltdown becomes easy to understand.

PHOTOS | Fall TV Spoiler Spectacular: Exclusive Scoop on 45 Returning Faves

Christy’s goal, as she schleps through a mediocre waitressing job and witlessly brings up two impressionable kids, is having the good parenting skills that eluded her own mom, Bonnie (Allison Janney, The West Wing). But when Bonnie crashes Christy’s Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and re-enters her daughter’s life after a “long, angry silence,” it appears the two are more similar than either cares to admit.

After all, like Bonnie before her, Christy is raising a hard-to-handle teenage daughter (Sadie Calvano, Melissa & Joey), who’s already sleeping with her boyfriend of one year (and might be experiencing some very, uh, permanent consequences). Christy’s grade-school son Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal, New Girl) isn’t quite as rebellious, but he’s just as easily influenced, judging by the hooker-filled video games he plays alongside dad Baxter (Matt Jones, Breaking Bad).

RELATED | Fall TV: Your Handy Calendar of 100+ Season and Series Premiere Dates

Sooner rather than later, Christy realizes she can’t win the trust and forgiveness of her kids until she (begrudgingly) extends an olive branch to her own mom. So she does. Through clenched teeth. All too soon — and much to Christy’s chagrin — Bonnie makes herself a regular presence.

The first five minutes of Mom make it difficult to sympathize with Christy, in all her ugly-crying glory. But by episode’s end, the show and its misfit characters become an oddly relatable group we can root for.

RELATED | Fall TV Preview: Your Guide to All That’s New for 2013-14

That’s what we think, but what’s your take? Grade Mom via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

TAGS: ,
GET MORE: Polls, Premieres, Recaps

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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

66 Comments
  1. Morganic says:

    I woul have like it to have been a bit funnier. But I did think it was pretty good. But the whole “It’s Christ-y” made me laugh out loud!

  2. S says:

    I wanted to like to because I love Allison and Anna but it’s the same old crap Chuck Lorre churns out. Overused laugh track and overused tropes mixed with “comedy” designed for the dumbest of the dumb. Count me out.

    • rowan77 says:

      For the last time – It’s a live studio audience, not a laugh track. Warner Bros comedies do not use laugh tracks – only studio audiences.

      • reccer says:

        That doesn’t matter because they tell the audience when and how to laugh. It may not be canned laughter, but it’s studio-made laughter.

        • rowan77 says:

          No, they don’t. They don’t use flashing signs to make the audience laugh and haven’t for a couple decades or more. At Warner Bros. the audience laughter is genuine. If the audience response isn’t what they hoped for a line, they stop and rewrite the line right there. It’s something Warner Bros. Television has been proud of for decades.

          Seeing a show live is not like watching it on TV. The energy is high, there’s a warm-up who keeps things going in between takes, but the audience laughs at what they find funny.

        • EED says:

          I was personally in the audience for this, and they do not tell us when to laugh. There is no sign or warning, you simply laugh when it is funny. In fact, at one point they had to ask us to stop because we were laughing so hard at one bit a line was getting drowned out.

      • lisa says:

        Ok, the not-a-laugh-track was still super annoying. Even if it wasn’t an actual laugh track, it FELT like one, and that ruined parts of the show for me. I really wanted to like it, since Anna Faris is so great, but it was predictable and kind of bland… I’ll give it one more shot then I’m out.

        • rowan77 says:

          People laugh on multi-camera shows. They always have. The only multi-cams show on right now without a live audience when they shoot are How I Met our Mother and Anger Management. Both then screen shows in front of a studio audience and get the real laughter that way. Everyone else – live audience as they shoot. It’s been that way on multi-cam shows since I Love Lucy. I’m surprised it’s taken you over 50 years to get used to it.

      • S says:

        Then the live studio is full of idiots who laugh at every. little. thing. and then abruptly stop laughing like they are being cut off. Regardless, the writing was terrible. Everything Chuck Lorre creates is terrible. I tried to give the show a shot because I like the actors but even good actors can’t save horrid writing.

        • rowan77 says:

          The writing wasn’t great, I’ll give you that, but as I’ve stated before – the vibe is different at a live show and some things that are really funny in person don’t come over as well once it goes through the lens. They thought the show was funny. I was disappointed. But at least we gave it a fair shot, and I will watch a couple more episodes before I make a full decision because pilots are not always indicative of what the season will really look like.

        • Alex says:

          You do understand that people EDIT the laughing before the episodes are aired, right? They take out any obnoxious laughter, start/stop laughter so lines can be heard, emphasize/decrease laughter if it’s not enough or too much, etc. If it sounds like they’re “being cut off,” it’s because they are… by an editor.

      • S says:

        Also, just an FYI- you can’t say “for the last time” to someone you are speaking to for the first time.

        • rowan77 says:

          I’ve written this comment at least 10 times over the last year or so when someone (out of ignorance, not stupidity) talks about the non-existant laugh track.

          • S says:

            You still used it inappropriately though as we have never held a conversation. But we’re not here for grammar lessons so I digress. Shows still use laugh tracks and they still direct the audience when to laugh, etc. I said laugh track because that’s exactly what it sounded like. If that was genuine audience reaction then I worry about the IQ level of that audience.

          • rowan77 says:

            They do not tell an audience when to laugh. I have already stated that as well, and since my first-hand, long-term knowledge of TV production is guaranteed to far outweigh any knowledge you “think” you have about the subject, you are purposely being ignorant in order to support your weak argument (and your silly need to be right even when you aren’t). I wouldn’t be so worried about the collective IQ of an audience you have never met, nor likely will ever meet if I were you. It’s a silly waste of time.

            If you don’t like the show, don’t watch. That’s why there are buttons on your remote – so you can change the channel.

          • S says:

            lol at you contradicting yourself. You don’t know what my knowledge is so you can’t possibly say that yours is the better of the two. You’re butthurt I made an assumption about an audience I never met yet you did the same thing by making an assumption about me (a person you’ve never met). You are hardcore on a mission about this and it’s hysterical because really, the is-it-a-laugh-track issue isn’t the main reason I felt the show was a fail. The one-note, terrible writing is the real issue. I’ve said twice now (which you should have caught btw Mr. “For the last time!”) that I watched the show because I wanted to give it a chance. I did and I didn’t like it so I won’t be watching it again. I didn’t stutter. I didn’t say I’ll continue to hate watch. You keep fighting the good fight on the interwebs though! Get the word out! We absolutely cannot live in a world where people talk ill of audience reaction!!

          • rowan77 says:

            Your pathological need to be right and to get the last word (no matter how wrong it is) is entertaining. Your clear lack of knowledge about television makes it abundantly clear that I know more about it than you. In fact if it was 15 years ago I would still have more first hand knowledge than you. Also, you can’t stutter in writing. It’s physically impossible.

            You’re funny. Do something else silly and pointless.

          • S says:

            Hate to break it to you but I also work in the industry so we could play this little “who’s d**k is bigger” game all day but really, it’s not that interesting. Neither of us are special because we work in the industry yet you seem to think you are. I’ve never seen someone so butthurt of someone not liking a show. Is Chuck your boss? Cause you sure are defending this like it’s your job to do so.

          • rowan77 says:

            I seriously doubt you actually work in network television because if you did you would actually know what you are talking about. Your own comments prove that what you are alleging is false.

            I have in the past worked on shows Chuck Lorre ran, although not now as I now work on dramas, but there is not a single thing that I have said that “defends” his work. Once again you are grasping at straws to get the last word. You are nothing if not entertaining.

          • S says:

            Oh and if you really want, we can continue the language lesson. You can actually imply stuttering in writing if you were to write something like: “S-s-s-stutter.” #TheMoreYouKnow … Do we really need to continue this little game? You keep believing you proved someone wrong on the internet. Here’s my last word- Bye.

          • rowan77 says:

            Writing “S-s-s-stutter” is not actually stuttering. It is merely indicating a false stutter one needs to use their imagination to make manifest.

            And I seriously doubt this is your last word. You can’t help yourself.

          • S says:

            lol whatever you say… The tactic of “I bet you’ll say something else” is as juvenile as it gets because a) you keep making sure you have the last word so you’re just as pathetic as you’re trying to make me seem and b) either way you delude yourself into thinking you’ve “won” something. But I am done now so if it makes your d**k feel bigger to think I’m an idiot, go for it. Have a good day :)

    • V'ger says:

      Regardless of the laugh track issue, I agree this is a terrible waste of Allison and Anna’s talents. I didn’t even bother to watch the entire episode.

  3. I give Mom a grade of C. Don’t know if this Chuck Lorre produced sitcom has potential but we’ll see how the rest of the series goes from here.

  4. Tom Charles says:

    I could have done without the laugh track, but it wasn’t horrible

  5. Guy says:

    I actually liked it. I think my expectations were just so low. I’ll be checking in next week.

  6. Jill says:

    I’m usually a fan of Faris and Janney, but this was a miss for me. Too many light-hearted drug references; for a sitcom, the back story is too ‘heavy.’

  7. megan says:

    Enjoyed it. Gonna give it a few more episodes before I decide how I feel about it. I really like Anna Faris so it has potential.

  8. jenna says:

    5 minutes in and I was already throwing my hands up at the laughtrack. Overused would be an understatement, it was there every other line!

  9. j says:

    I would like to give the show a couple more episodes before making my opinion because I love Allison Janney but I don’t know if I can sit through another one! 5 minutes in and I was ready to change the channel: the writing, the storyline, add in the laugh track and it was just so bad it was almost painful to watch. The show improved every time Janney was on the screen, but unfortunately the show didn’t live up to my expectations. I too was surprised at the number of drug references

  10. Kaylinb says:

    I think having her daughter pregnant ruins it..? I was disappointed when they showed the clip for the next show confirming that she is in fact pregnant – I was hoping to skip that storyline

  11. cjeffery7 says:

    i’ll give this one another chance for sure. anna faris and allison janey? SHYEAH.

  12. Babygate says:

    I’m getting tired of CBS’ brand of humor. With the exception of Big Bang. I wanted to like this so.much I actually gave up DVRing Sleepy Hollow which I absolutely loved last week. But I really like Anna Faris and Allyson. I even love the chef since he did Third Rock from The Sun. But wow, not funny. It’s all about drugs and sex. When the baby daddy showed up to borrow money to buy drugs, that’s when I decided I had enough. This is off my season pass, as is Two Broke Girls, which I decided to give another shot but decided to open up with ‘Florida hates black people and Texas hates women.” They just think that’s its ok to make a generalization about entire states which, by the way, have viewers. Not everyone from those states agreed with the Trayvon veredict or with the Texas vote. Well, at least I can go back to Sleepy Hollow.

    • King says:

      Seriously? I live in Texas and I wasn’t even offended by that. It’s a joke! You know what just go away. Nobody wants your holier than thou act anyway.

      • Babygate says:

        Seriously??? On a site where people’s feedback and commentary are solicited you are telling me to go away? Is that you Ausiello? No? Ok. I will be back then.

  13. rowan77 says:

    I didn’t mind that she was crying the opening scene. That wasn’t what makes her character hard to like, and I don’t feel like a main character has to be totally likable to be interesting and compelling (see House, AbFab, Sherlock), but frankly I didn’t think the show was particularly funny. There were three actual laugh out loud moments – Two for Allison Janney and one for Anna Faris (“It’s CHRIST-y”). But it’s just a pilot. Let’s see how the next episodes or two do.

  14. I didn’t watch the show, so, I can’t say anything about it. But it’s CBS produced via Warner Bros, so, I can say they DO NOT use laughtracks. I’ve been to watch their shows live before. Laughs aren’t coaxed, either. You laugh when you want. This one time, I laughed all by myself, and it was the last taping (they changed the line the third time!). and when it aired on tv, there it was, my laugh all by itself. Argh, people who don’t get how these things are done!

  15. Sokratis says:

    I really am surprised. Big Anna Faris fan, but really didn’t expect to like it. But it actually surprised me how well it all gelled together by shows end.

  16. Carlos Alvarez says:

    I was laughing all the way thru. I loved it.

  17. fariha says:

    I loved it. It had so much heart AND it was funny. Nobody needs to laugh every scene; it has great potential.

    • Eli says:

      “I loved it. It had so much heart AND it was funny.” Seriously, who paid you to write that crap and how much did they pay? I could use a bit of extra cash…

  18. Eli says:

    Gave it a C because I can’t bring myself to give Allison Janney anything less than that, but honestly this show doesn’t deserve it.

  19. elaine1014 says:

    I definitely liked it better than Dads.

    • tara17 says:

      That’s not saying much. I tuned into Dads for the actors, and my belief that Seth McFarlane is adept at maximizing the easy raunch/humor ratio. The pilot failed for me, but I’ll give Dads another chance. Mom, however, exceeded my expectations. And they were quite elevated, given Anna Farris and Alison Jenney as leads.

  20. Tee says:

    I find studio audiences kinda distracting, cause a line will fall flat and people are still laughing.

    The show was meh, about what I thought but hoped I was wrong. I mostly watched it for Allison Janney.

  21. starship says:

    It was very average, I was really looking forward to this show, but 90% of the jokes fell flat. I love Anna, though, so would give it another few episodes to improve.

  22. I feel like someone punched me, knocked me out and I woke up in Reverse Land.

    I actually thought this was one of the funnier multi-cam pilots I’ve seen in the past few years. And the average grade here is pathetic. Hostages, on the other hand, which I found to be so uninspired, poorly written and full of ridiculous cliches, has like 50% of voters giving it an A. I dunno if we’re watching the same shows here.

  23. tara17 says:

    This show was super fun, featuring 2 amazing actors whose talent I enjoy a lot. Well done navigating sucky issues in a comedy context, I’m quite impressed.

  24. Bob says:

    This is a mediocre-to-bad show that will stay on the air for seven seasons because it’s a Chuck Lorre show on CBS. Think Rules of Engagement (Seven seasons? How? or Two Broke Girls (not canceled after season one?).

  25. Magically Suspicious says:

    I thought it was really funny. It almost felt like a British comedy with the dry humor and ‘adult’ themes. I’ll definitely watch.

  26. Veronica says:

    I laughed at some stuff, but overall was left feeling depressed at the end of it. Not the result I want from a comedy. it was just too much. Single young mom. Crappy job. Slutty daughter. Sleeping with the boss who happens to be married. Recovering alcoholic/druggie. Mom is the same. Baby daddy asking for money to sell drugs. Daughter’s dumb boyfriend. By the time they got to the previews and I realized, that yes, the daughter will really be pregnant I was like “enough already”. That is what lost me.

  27. Keepcomingback says:

    I’m no saint by any means…but the drug references, the sleeping with married men, drug selling, teen sex, reckless disrespect for sobriety and laughing about all of it was too much for prime time. I couldn’t imagine sitting with my children and watching this as a family. If this show is going to truly be about two women in recovery…I hope they TRULY start recovering starting with the next episode.

  28. Katie says:

    I couldn’t handle the laughing. Every 2 lines got a laugh. It was so annoying I turned the show off by the 2nd scene. I hated that, I’m not usually that knee jerk. But it was BAD. I was really only giving it a chance bc Allison Janney is so wonderful… o well.

  29. Yuka says:

    the laugh track was so loud and after every line of dialogue. It was unwatchable & unfunny. I turned it off in under 5 minutes!

  30. Beth says:

    I’ll watch one more week and decide. So far it’s just okay.

  31. erin says:

    I really wanted to like it because I LOVE Alison Janney, but I absolutely hated it. I’m 0/2 on giving new sitcoms a chance so far this year, because Brooklyn Nine-Nine was axed from my season pass after episode 1 as well. I’ll stick with New Girl/Parks & Rec/Modern Family for comedies, because these newbies really haven’t been my cup of tea thus far.

  32. greysfan says:

    It was awful, just awful.

  33. The Truth says:

    It wasn’t good at all. I expected this series to be funny but nope. It was just a piece of crap. I see this being canceled just like that forgettable series last year on Monday. But such a waste for Allison Janney

  34. TKirk says:

    Does anyone know who was voicing the tape she was listening to in the car? Sounded very familiar, but I couldn’t place it.