Thursday, August 31, 2017

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. For the second year in a row, 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 4, Episode 18 “Tush Push and Some Radishes” (C+)

I’ve watched a few episodes of this show over the years, starting with the pilot and then each year when Allison Janney was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She won for the show’s first two years and then was nominated again last year, and now she’s been promoted to the lead race. That worked for her back when she made a similar switch for “The West Wing,” and she’s not the only laugh track-assisted nominee thanks to Tracee Ellis Ross from “Black-ish.” This show has never been great, but it has gotten into a certain rhythm with Janney milking most of the material but allowing her onscreen daughter, played by Anna Faris, to get in more than a few digs at Bonnie’s expense as well. Last year’s submitted episode found Bonnie meeting her mother, played at first by June Squibb in a case of mistaken identity and then by Ellen Burstyn. Now, she’s suddenly gone, and all that exists is negativity from Bonnie and apparently a black son that she didn’t give away but who resents her just as much as his new half-sister. Janney is good with the quick jokes, like fabricating a totally incorrect number when asked how much money she had just counted, and I’d still argue that this is hardly the best use of her talents given her dramatic prowess that works well when mixed with biting sarcasm, which is on full display all by itself here. I feel no reason to watch this show, but it’s more bearable than some of the Emmy episodes I sample.

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