Mom

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Mom TV Poster Image
Quippy mom-and-daughter sitcom plays sex, drugs for laughs.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Family love and unity is championed explicitly and implicitly, but characters are more apt to show affection by mocking each other than like conversing as real people. Drugs, alcohol, casual sex, teen promiscuity are all fodder for jokes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Central character Christy is a clean-and-sober mom working hard to support her family, but supporting characters are mostly ne'er-do-wells including her would-be drug dealer ex-husband.

Violence

Christy works in a restaurant where apparently injuries are common in the kitchen: cooks are set on fire and apparently lose fingers; viewers see bloody bandages, played for laughs. One joke concerns a video game in which players beat prostitutes with a bat until they give your money back.

Sex

Christy's mom and daughter are both on the make. Viewers will see flirting and dating and hear references to teen sex, prostitution, and pregnancy. A teen girl sneaks a teen boy into her bedroom; we see him coming out shirtless and bleary.

Language

Language includes "whore," "damn," "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent references to drugs. Christy's teen daughter Violet drinks and smokes pot and one character tries to acquire pot to sell it. Christy says "I need a drink!" (though she is sober) and her mom advises her to take a Xanax to calm down.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mom is a sitcom about a clean and sober single mom made by the same comic minds who wrought Two and a Half Men upon the world; expect a similar tone, with frequent jibes about sex and drugs. Main character Christy (Anna Faris) doesn't drink and is shown attending AA meetings, but works in a restaurant where diners drink wine; her teenage daughter drinks and smokes pot (offscreen). Her ex-husband is also a pothead and would-be pot dealer, and her mom is an ex-cocaine user who still takes Xanax when she needs to "calm down." Sex is similarly played for laughs: Christy's teen daughter is sexually active and viewers see a teen boy leaving her room via the window. Viewers will also see adultery and some cartoonish violence.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjohnnyj1 May 6, 2016

The best of tv

This is an adult/teen comedy-drama. The pathos are realistic and the laughs genuine, from the gut. It shows some of the pitfalls in life that are better avoided... Continue reading
Adult Written byDr. Norman G. January 4, 2018

A show to learn from

The characters on this show (except for the young son) are all very flawed human beings. As are we all....But they are all clean and sober, trying to make for a... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byScotlandYard October 11, 2013

Not worth your time

This is a horrible sitcom, Chuck Lorre should've quit while he was ahead. The jokes are cheap, the laughtrack is too loud and just about every character is... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bysamshark123 March 1, 2018

Amazing

The main plot of the show is a mother-daughter duo who are in AA. Throughout their journey on the road to recovery (which has quite a few bumps in it) they stil... Continue reading

What's the story?

Christy doesn't have to remember the mistakes of high school -- she's still living with them. She's a waitress instead of the psychologist she wanted to be. She has two kids, including a precocious teen. And she's only now starting to see eye to eye with her blithe floozy of a MOM (Allison Janney), who was too busy snorting cocaine and gallivanting with men to notice what her daughter was up to while she was growing up. Christy doesn't have it easy, particularly since she's newly sober. At least she has the support of her pals in Alcoholics Anonymous. But with daughter Violet smoking pot and sneaking her boyfriend in and out of her bedroom, her grade school son wishing wistfully for more mom time, and mother Bonnie causing behind-the-scenes complications with her difficult personal life, Christy's facing an uphill battle.

Is it any good?

There's the germ of a good comedy on Mom. Faris is as resolutely charming as ever, relatable whether she's crying theatrically over a restaurant table or trying to have a breakfast table heart-to-heart with her rebellious daughter. But the jokes are so broad and the laughter so loud, fake and laugh-track-y that it's a turnoff to the kind of viewer who prefers a subtler guffaw.

Nonetheless, Two and a Half Men is a giant hit for a reason: people like to laugh at pratfalls and hooker jokes. You'll find both here, and they're even occasionally funny. The best thing about Mom is its fabulous cast; the worst, the sitcommy writing and setups. But if Two and a Half Men-style comic stylings are your things, Mom could prove to be decent viewing, provided you're okay with giggling over cocaine addiction, teens who are an "easy lay," and cooking meth.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the relationship between Christy and her mother is realistic. Do they talk like real people? Do they act like them? Are real people ever funny enough to be on a television show?

  • Watch this show bookended by another mom-and-daughter(s) show, such as Gilmore Girls or Roseanne. How are the relationships between different TV moms and their daughters the same as on Mom? How are they different?

  • Mom showrunner Chuck Lorre also produces Two and a Half Men. How is Mom similar to Two and a Half Men? How is it different? Compare dialogue, costumes, characters, plots.

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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