WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: 2013 FALL “MOM” SHOWS

ALBERT TSAI, NATALIE MORALES, GIANNA LEPERA, RYAN SCOTT LEE, MALIN AKERMAN, BRADLEY WHITFORD, MARCIA GAY HARDEN, MICHAELA WATKINS

This is the first of what I hope is several posts comparing a variety of different shows.  The comparisons might be between shows of a similar premise or shows that run in the same time slot.  The possibilities seem endless.  Also, because there are few shows that warrant week to week reviews, this is our attempt to provide a brief guide into what we are at least watching.  First up:  Mom v. Trophy Wife.  Let the games begin. (yes, I said that in a Bane voice).

Mom (Mondays, 9:30pm, CBS) –  In this comedy, Anna Farris stars as a recovering alcoholic single mom who blames her shortcomings as a mother on her own recovering alcoholic single mom, played by Allison Janney.  Thoughts:  The pilot was a little all over the place and did not flow.  Allison Janney was definitely the funniest part of the first episode.  Anna Farris had her moments.  But the supporting characters all seemed like characachers, especially the employees at the restaurant.  The worst thing about the pilot was the laugh-track.  I had forgotten that shows even used those anymore.

Trophy Wife (Tuesdays, 9:30pm, ABC) – Here, Malin Akerman plays a former party-girl turned wife and step-mother to three kids.  Bradley Whitford plays her new husband.  Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins play the two ex-wives.  Natalie Morales places Akerman’s best friend.  Thoughts:  A lot was packed into this pilot.  Afterall, we had to learn Akerman’s backstory and then had to have her deal with her first parenting fiasco all in 30 mins.  Akerman was charming and I honestly thought the little Asian kid was pretty funny.  Enough goodness to make me tune in for another week.

The similarities:  Both shows center around two very blond young mothers attempting to navigate the field of parenthood.  Both shows star West Wing alumni.  Neither show had a particularly amazing pilot.

The verdict:  Trophy Wife wins by a land-slide.  Akerman was incredibly charming and the supporting cast around her was much much stronger than those characters on Mom.  I also didn’t excessively notice a laugh-track in the background while watching Trophy Wife, which means I was actually paying attention to the story being told.  Plus, as much as this will pain CJ to see, Josh > Claudia Jean, in my eyes.

-LJ

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