Sunday, August 21, 2016

Emmy Episodes: Mom

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Mom: Season 3, Episode 1 “Terrorists and Gingerbread” (C+)
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Allison Janney)

I’m not terribly fond of this show, and watching it each year is far from the highlight of Emmy season. It’s not terrible, sure, but it’s also not particularly funny. It does star Allison Janney, however, who is the reigning champ in this category with back-to-back wins. She also has four Emmys for “The West Wing” and one for “Masters of Sex,” which she’s also nominated for the third time in a row for this year. I think it says something about this show that she’s the only element of it that contends for awards, though this is also not her best work. She’s having a blast, to be sure, but this is not difficult acting or anything of the sort. This is a formidable submission given Emmy voters’ tendencies to appreciate drama when it shows up in the comedy categories, and grappling with meeting the mother that abandoned her is classic Emmy bait. I’m not sure her submission really matters given how well-regarded she is, but this is a good one technically speaking. I wouldn’t vote for her, but that’s also because I’d probably throw my weight behind June Squibb for this episode, since she humorously played the wonderful woman who should have been Christy’s grandmother and took the brunt of Bonnie’s fury when she wanted to let loose on the woman who gave her up. I’m also surprised that Ellen Burstyn didn’t score a nod to go along with her Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series bid for playing Bonnie’s real mother. That just goes to show you - it’s all about Janney.

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