Call Your Mother

TV review by
Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media
Call Your Mother TV Poster Image
Weak helicopter mom sitcom has language, drinking.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Presumably the creators intended the "it takes a village" message to resonate, but can feel like a demand from mom Jean -- "You must be my village!" The grown children are more level-headed and talk out their family challenges in a relatable way.

Positive Role Models

Mom Jean's neediness is unappealing, yet her adult kids agree that it would be nice to have her living nearby. In contrast to the popular stereotype of 20-somethings living in their parents' basements, these two are on their own. The daughter's roommate is a gay Black man named Lane who mentions coming out to his parents on the way to Bible camp.

Violence

References to violence: Mom Jean says she watches a lot of Forensic Files and warns her Airbnb host "nondescript white male luring women to his guest house...if you murder me you won't get away with it."

Sex

Jean, a widow, talks a lot about how long it's been since she last had sex (she says hasn't had sex in four years and hasn't been kissed in 5). When Jean meets host Airbnb Danny he warns her that his dog "has a tendency to hump"; she replies, "So do I." Jean and her friend Sharon also mention "pornos" and hairlessness therein. Sharon refers to child Freddie's penis as a "little dangle." Now-adult Freddy says he's different from his 7th-grade self in that he goes "all the way" with his girlfriend.

Language

Jean calls a guy who honks at her to move a "d--k," son Freddie is referred to as a "grown-ass man," and there's at least one utterance of "this sucks."

Consumerism

Airbnb is almost another character in the show -- Jean rents a guest house from potential love interest Danny. Son Freddie's girlfriend Celia is a social media influencer who mentions needing to post about buying oat milk and takes notice of backgrounds for her posts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mentions of marijuana stores. All the characters are shown drinking wine and/or beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Call Your Mother is a sitcom about a 50-something widow and her relationship with her two adult children who have moved halfway across the country. The main character is depicted as sex-starved, impulsive, and dependent on her children to the point of existential crisis; she wonders at one point, "If I'm not your mother, do I even exist?" Language includes her calling someone a "d--k" and a couple of non-sexual references to breasts and a penis. Everyone in the show drinks wine, the young adults drink beer in a bar, and pot shops are referenced.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBlogg March 4, 2021

Give me a break was already taken

Horrid for family entertainment, unless you’re caving in and letting your kids run your family. Sedgwick came across another Madoff signing up for this disaste... Continue reading
Adult Written byTiffanie329 February 3, 2021

How is this show rated PG??

I thought this would be an okay show to watch with my two children, we were trying to find a little sitcom to start watching together. It does it rated PG, for... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 20, 2021

Ehh

A few laughs. LOTS of inappropriate stuff when you get to the later episodes. Fine for teens tho. And it’s pretty diverse. If you have nothing better to do (lik... Continue reading

What's the story?

In CALL YOUR MOTHER, Iowan 50-something widowed helicopter mom Jean (Kyra Sedgwick) misses her two grown kids who have moved to California. Since she hasn't heard from her son, Freddie (Joey Bragg), for four whole days she decides to fly out to Los Angeles and check up on him and his more dutifully in-touch sister, Jackie (Rachel Sennott). She discovers a rift between her kids, realizes she knows little about their lives, and decides to stay. Jean checks in with her best friend back home (Sherri Shepherd) to keep her apprised of the goings-on and flirts with her Airbnb host (Patrick Brammall).

Is it any good?

Finding a balance between helicopter mom and negligent mom is a constant struggle for many mothers, but we'd all be hard-pressed to relate to the mom Kyra Sedgwick plays in this weak sitcom. If you've seen Disney Channel shows, Call Your Mother will feel very familiar, with its cliched characters, "wacky" misunderstandings, and "I've seen them somewhere" cast. Fans who know Sedgwick best from Singles or The Closer will be disappointed with the sloppy material covering a topic that will hit close to home for parents of teens and older -- the peril and promise of being an empty nester. More encouraging is the adult kids' relationship; they have a conversation over beers about their oft-difficult mother that will feel familiar to some adult siblings who have divergent ideas about how to deal with aging parents. In a time of "podding" the message about making your family your village may resonate with some viewers; most others would be better off spending 22 minutes calling their own mother instead of watching.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how middle-aged women are viewed by society and how they are portrayed in Call Your Mother. What are some of the issues that affect the lives of older members of the community?

  • How is the sibling relationship portrayed in Call Your Mother? How does it compare to how other shows featuring siblings?

TV details

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