Mom Season 3 Review

Mitchel Broussard

Reviewed by:
On November 3, 2015
Last modified:November 3, 2015


With a few ballsy plot lines under its belt and an assured step in the right direction in the season three premiere, Mom may come off as occasionally familiar in its formatting, but content wise it feels downright groundbreaking.

Mom Season 3 Review

mom season 3

Describing the plot of Mom like this sounds like some hard-hitting neo-noir on the effects of alcoholism and addiction, but the Chuck Lorre co-created sitcom is solidly funny in the jokes department, as well. Some lines can teeter into a raunchy oblivion, but the third season shows off a bit more clever restraint in the first two episodes, remembering each individual character’s past trauma and weaponizing it directly at the audience. The jokes are built from honest, traumatizing emotions – the death of a loved one, the addiction of a close friend – and can sometimes be all-the-more uproarious for it. None of the humor is reductive to the emotions at play here, but instead enhances it.

And humor that’s delivered at the hands of Anna Faris and Allison Janney is essentially guaranteed to be winning. The two are still marvelous together, at once cutting and brazen and then thankful, but of course even thankful comes with a scrappy retort. The prickly mother/daughter relationship is as old as this format, but it’s honed to a shiny finish here, with two characters that don’t necessary feel tangible and real (Mom, if anything negative, never fully leaves that filmed in front of a live studio audience uncanniness), but are endlessly endearing as heightened versions of the real thing.

If nothing else, Mom should be awarded for two things: not being afraid to leave its audience on a more serious note instead of a winky one-liner, and scripting stories that stay true to the characters rather than pander to what a large percentage of the audience may prefer, especially with the premiere’s big cliffhanger. It’s a show that feels at once ribald and like a quintessential Lorre production (the second episode is titled “Thigh Gap and a Rack of Lamb”), but it’s also surprising in its emotional relevance and thematically astute in filtering enormously difficult social issues – from domestic violence to addiction to classism – into a ridiculously watchable modern sitcom.