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'Mom' react: Laugh, cry, and vomit!

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage” | Aired Nov 20, 2014

This week on Mom, Christy struggles to give Violet guidance while Bonnie attempts to do her part by gaining employment. The episode perfectly maintained the delicate balance of humor and emotion that Mom fans have come to appreciate.

EW Community contributors Tamar Barbash, Sundi Rose Holt, and Julia Alexander will be chatting about each new episode this season. Here are our thoughts about “Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage.”

Tamar: After last week, what a rebound!

Julia: Absolutely loved it!

Sundi: What did you make of that vomit train scene? I like my humor edgy, but they really went for it with the cats.

Tamar: They were going for some easy laughs.

Julia: Slapstick or physical comedy is almost always a surefire way to get laughs from an audience, and I like that they got grimy with it.

Sundi: Bonnie delivered my favorite line of the night in that sequence: “The only real cure for a hangover is to drink more!”

Tamar: I liked the different approaches Bonnie and Christy took with Violet. Christy is more wary of watching her daughter make the same mistakes she made, whereas Bonnie wants to give her the room to learn herself.

Julia: Which is a really important lesson. And one that resonates with audiences. We all have children, younger siblings, etc. We all want to give them advice, but the best thing we can do is let them fall sometimes and be there to help them stand up again. Saw a lot of that in this episode.

Julia: Do you think the comedy and emotional scenes are balanced fairly?

Sundi: I think so. I don’t recall an episode in which I’ve been jarred out of one moment by something unexpected. I kinda knew what was coming once Violet admitted she was missing the baby. And that scene came on the tail end of an actual physical fight between Violet and Christy, which was hilarious.

Tamar: The scene at the baby’s was the hardest for me. What Violet said was so emotionally intelligent, it just didn’t feel like the kind of thing Violet would be able to articulate.

Julia: It was one of my favorite scenes of the season so far.

Sundi: When Violet couldn’t hold the baby, and Christy wanted to—it was such a loaded scene. Violet seems to be the most emotionally complex. We don’t get to see enough of her.

Tamar: I liked the conflict with Christy and Violet this week. A commenter last week mentioned that the quick return of Violet was a cop-out. I was glad to see it wasn’t all resolved.

Sundi: The best of the lighter side of things are the interview scenes with Bonnie. The jokes weren’t so obviously rigged to get the laugh, but they were funny just the same.

Julia: I think that’s a big testament to Allison Janney’s acting. It’s hard to teach comedic timing, but she’s perfected it.

Sundi: I was disappointed in Alvin this week. Am I being too sensitive?

Julia: I don’t think so; I was too.

Tamar: What disappointed you?

Julia: They tried to force his parental guidance too fast. They don’t have the greatest relationship, and now he’s trying to be a dad again? It just didn’t seem believable. They should build it up a little more, give them time to grow.

Sundi: He was overstepping in a couple of ways. For one, his character hasn’t really put in enough screen time for me to forgive him for being so critical. We need to get to know him a little better before he starts exhibiting personality flaws. Two, exactly what Julia just said. I want him to love her and accept her, not try to parent her at this point.

Tamar: Well, it highlights the reality that we all draw our moral lines crookedly.

Julia: Can you explain, Tamar?

Tamar: We draw arbitrary moral lines. For whatever reason, whatever Alvin has done, skipping out on the rent is over the line for him.

Sundi: I think you are hitting on one of the more important themes of this show. We are supposed to accept the terrible behavior of these women because we connect with them.

Tamar: It’s a question that comes up as a viewer often—what can I forgive? Running a meth lab? Being a serial killer?

Sundi: We should suspend our morality so we can enjoy the show because we care about what happens to them.

Julia: Exactly, and in a way, their rebellious nature enables us to explore it within the safety of our own homes. Alvin’s the voice of reason, but because we’re so used to rooting for the underdogs and their scheming ways, we immediately take a disliking to him.

Julia: He reminds us that there is a reality and it has rules we must abide by. He’s the only adult in a fictional world run by children.

Tamar: Which maybe feels unfair because he abandoned his family, too, so why does he have the authority?

Julia: I hate to be the one to bring it up, but because he’s the “man” of the house. He gets final say. It’s very traditional for a nontraditional sitcom. But they rebel, which is the dynamic of their relationship I love.

Sundi: Julia, I did consider that. He’s trying to assert his patriarchal authority to a bunch of characters who haven’t been subject to much of that during the course of their lives. And they are rebelling against that.

Tamar: Wow. That wasn’t my takeaway at all. Alvin’s been away, so he sees the situation more black-and-white, less emotionally. It’s easy to say “skipping out on the rent is wrong” when you haven’t been living the day-to-day.

Julia: One of the issues is that because they’re looking at it subjectively as it happens to them, we don’t get an objective point of view.

Tamar: Also, Alvin abandoned these people and is now coming back into their lives. He wants to find that they turned out okay, that he didn’t totally screw them up.

Sundi: Tamar, that’s really interesting and makes him so much more sympathetic to me.

Mom airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
February 23, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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