Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pilot Review: Significant Mother

Significant Mother (CW)
Premiered August 3 at 9:30pm

The CW has had success recently with a handful of light-hearted dramas that have catapulted it back into the mainstream. It’s been a while since the network has tried a half-hour comedy, and I think this one, with its extremely clever title, is as good a first effort as any. It’s not a terrific or hilarious show by any stretch of the imagination, but its concept is entertaining, and its avoidance of a laugh track that would surely have made its jokes irritating and unbearable is much appreciated. I like that there are four core characters, all with different hangups and relationships with each other. Josh Zuckerman’s Nate is the one caught in the center of it all, with his mother sleeping with his best friend and his oblivious father bringing food from another establishment to his restaurant as a birthday gift, failing to see the lack of encouragement in his actions. None of the performers are particularly terrific, save for Jonathan Silverman as Nate’s dad, who also can’t seem to understand the fact that Lydia is very ready to move on and no longer interested in pursuing their marriage. Even though many of the plot developments are completely expected, namely Jimmy’s photo montage getting interrupted by a sex tape recorded over it, they’re still amusing, and I’m more than willing to give this show a few weeks to grow on me and entertain me, if only for moments like Sam’s unexpectedly graphic improvised guitar song performance to cheer Nate up.

How will it work as a series? The fact that Lydia and Jimmy want to pursue their relationship and Jimmy is still Nate’s roommate means that there is the possibility for so many hijinks and unfortunate situations. The hope, and what will differentiate this show from a forgettable formulaic sitcom, is that the show can grow past its premise and turn its characters into three-dimensional people with other problems and personalities that will make them worth watching.
How long will it last? That I have no idea, since the CW hasn’t really done summer series in the past and I can’t even find an episode count for how much of this series has already been commissioned. Reviews weren’t great and the numbers weren’t either, so I’d expect a short summer run of whatever was originally ordered and that’s it for this show.

Pilot grade: B

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