Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pilot Review: SMILF

SMILF (Showtime)
Premiered November 5 at 10pm

This pilot has been available to stream for two weeks already, though naturally I only had the chance to watch it just a few hours before it premiered on television. This show is notable both for its title and for the fact that it stars Frankie Shaw, who I remember as a strong asset of “Mr. Robot” back in season one. Here, she’s full of personality, playing a mom who doesn’t seem to pay too much attention to her baby in public but dotes on him in private while having some very sexually explicit conversations about her body and her life. I didn’t know that this was based on an award-winning Sundance short written and directed by Shaw, and knowing her personal involvement in all aspects of this show, which is based in part on her real life, makes it considerably more appealing. It’s also a perfect show to follow “Shameless,” just as depraved but with far fewer characters to get to know. I also like the Connie Britton featured in this show, one who’s very unfiltered but still exceedingly polite in the way that she says everything. I’m not sure that we got a good enough sense of what the specific plot of this show is going to be from just this episode alone, but I’m intrigued enough by the format, the network, and the lead actress to tune in again and see what happens next with this single mom who has her own way of going through the world.

How will it work as a series? The acronym that serves as this show’s title was used in a text in this episode, and I think that Shaw’s Bridgette is going to try to own it as a positive identifier, scoffing at those who would look down at her and living life the way she wants to, which should prove entertaining.
How long will it last? Reviews appear to be pretty good, and I imagine a lot of people weren’t optimistic about this show only because of its title. Paired with “Shameless,” this show is off to a great ratings start, besting a lot of recent premieres deemed successful, and I think it’s pretty much set to enjoy a long and creative run.

PIlot grade: B+

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