The fall TV season got off to a slow start last week, with the premiere of three new shows: mystery/drama “Sleepy Hollow,” sitcom “Dads” and police comedy “Brooklyn Nine Nine.” (Check out our write-ups of “Sleepy Hollow” here and “Dads” here.)
This week, it kicks into gear with the launch of 11 new series. Today sees the first screening of three: sitcom “Mom” and dramas “The Blacklist” and “Hostages.”
First up, we’ll help you out with some parental guidance about “Mom.”
Unlike that other new comedy named after one of your parents, “Mom” may be more welcome in your house. This sitcom stars Anna Faris, in her first regular television lead, as recovering alcoholic and single mother-of-two Christy, whose attempts to sort out her life are complicated by her formerly estranged, former substance abuser mom Bonnie, played by TV veteran Allison Janney. Her quest for sobriety is not helped by the fact that she works as a waitress in Napa Valley and is dating her married boss.
The two talented actresses bring sass and smarts to a show that doesn’t shy away from mining substance abuse for jokes, with Christy telling her AA group her mother “taught her how to beat a cavity search and still feel like a lady” and reminding Mom she has seen her “lick cocaine crumbs out of a shag carpet.” (The comeback? “It’s not a sin to be thrifty, dear.”)
The laugh track might get a little grating, but the jokes are solid, thanks to creator and co-writer Chuck Lorre, who is behind comedy hits “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Also in the cast is French Stewart, who some may remember from his scene-stealing role as alien Harry Solomon in “3rd Rock from the Sun.”
Listen to “Mom” if you liked Faris in the “Scary Movie” franchise, want to see Janney in a comic turn worlds away from “The West Wing,” or simply want an excuse not to call yours back.
“Mom” premieres Monday, September 23, at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.