When we meet Bridgette Bird — the titular SMILF of Showtime’s new comedy — she’s confidently holding her own on a Boston basketball court, giving as good as she gets and flirting with one of the other players after the game is done. But when the guy she’s talking to notices her toddler calling for his mama from the sidelines, he all but calls a personal foul. As Bridget hauls the child up on her hip, basketball dude can’t back away quick enough.
And that, in a small Dunkies coffee cup, is the gist of the new series from Boston native Frankie Shaw.
Shaw writes, directs, produces and stars in SMILF, which is based on her Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short of the same name. In the premiere, Bridgette and Larry’s father Raffi (played by The Strain‘s Miguel Gomez) are shown to be loving but not together romantically: He comes over to help put their son to sleep most nights, but he’s also dating a college sports reporter named Nelson Rose Taylor (played by Australian actress Samara Weaving). Raffi encourages Bridgette to try dating again — she hasn’t been out with a guy since before Larry was born — but she secretly fears that birth has stretched her lady parts beyond repair.
That’s what drives her to booty-text an old hookup that she runs into in a convenience store. (He’s also the one who designates her a “SMILF,” aka “single mother I’d like to…”.) But when the guy freaks out after realizing that Bridgette intends for them to have sex on her grubby apartment’s fold-out couch — right next to where Larry is sleeping — he shuts everything down. “For the record,” he offers on his way out the door, “you feel great, down there.”
Though Bridgette cries after he leaves, she quickly pulls herself together and starts cleaning up her place, which looks much more hospitable to human life by the end of the half-hour episode. And when the single mom/aspiring actress nails an audition for a PSA about military-related post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s a definite win. (Bridg also blurts out that she connected with the material because her dad sexually abused her when she was younger, which, oof.)
The premiere also introduces us to Tutu (Rosie O’Donnell), Bridgette’s prickly mom, and Ally, (Nashville‘s Connie Britton), the oversharing mother of a girl that Ally tutors. Plus, for anyone who’s spent significant time in Beantown, the references to Southie, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Red Sox and the Celtics — Larry’s name is Larry Bird on purpose — are wicked pissah.
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