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'Mom' fan react: Everything's coming up Violet

Season 2 | Episode 17 | “Raw Cookie Dough and a Misshapen Head” | Aired Mar 12, 2015

EW Community contributors are chatting about each new episode of Mom. Here are Tamar Barbash and Sundi Rose Holt’s thoughts about this week’s Violet-centric episode, “Raw Cookie Dough and a Misshapen Head.”

Sundi: The whole time I was watching this week I kept thinking about how much I wanted to talk to you about it.

Tamar: Because I love Violet so much?!

Sundi: There is so much psychological subtext in this episode, I thought it would make for some super-juicy talk. I have a teenage daughter and their characterization is spot-on. I feel like I walk around with hunched shoulders—”walking scared,” as Bonnie called it—because my daughter has the same “sneering mug.” It was hilarious.

Tamar: I loved how different their perspective of Violet was from Gregory’s.

Sundi: Gregory is performing all sorts of relationship stuff for these women. For Violet, he’s the manifestation of her daddy issues. For Christy, he’s the representative for all her choices of inappropriate men over the years, and for Bonnie, he’s another Alvin substitute. I desperately want him to stick around.

Tamar: I also think it’s interesting to watch Christy so desperately want to stop Violet from making the same mistakes she’s made. But because she’s made them, Violet doesn’t give her words any credence. Violet won’t allow her to be a mother.

Sundi: And Christy’s attempts are so awkward and wooden. She doesn’t really know how to be a mother, and that really telegraphed this episode. You can see she wants to succeed at it, but she can’t find her footing.

Tamar: And every time Violet shuts her down, Christy pretty much gives up.

Sundi: Violet is pretty hard. I found it a funny parallel when Violet asked her, “How were you ever a stripper?” You could substitute the word stripper for mother in that context. Violet is unrelenting—she won’t cut either of them a break. Do you find that as hard to watch as I do?

Tamar: I find it harder to watch Christy’s inability to stand up to it. At some point, I’d love to see Christy have enough confidence to at least attempt to push back.

Sundi: For some reason, I am much more sympathetic to Christy’s situation. I want Violet to back down a little. That is wildly unrealistic—I should know as a mother of a teen—but it’s tough. I want that too, Tamar, but it almost seems like it’s going in the opposite direction. Like Christy’s getting softer and softer.

Tamar: It’s not just that she’s a teen. She’s also a teen who, for most of her life, had to take care of herself. So to see Christy attempt to parent her now must feel completely ridiculous, coupled with the typical teenage tendency to disregard what your parents say.

Sundi: It has definitely hardened her. The Gregory storyline is really kind of sad. She doesn’t even know how to accept or give love.

Tamar: Is it that? Or is she just not that into him because he’s totally not the right fit?

Sundi: Maybe, but the fact that she is willing to just give her life to him because he’ll take care of her makes me feel sad for her.

Tamar: What upsets me about it is that she doesn’t even realize how wrong it is to take advantage of his real feelings.

Sundi: I didn’t even consider his perspective—what Violet is doing TO HIM. I was so busy feeling sorry for her because she’s so young to be this jaded and cynical. I didn’t even consider how her hardness is going to crush Gregory.

Tamar: Exactly.

Sundi: The writers were really hammering Christy this week—reminding us that her kids have different dads, that she was a stripper, that Violet had to cook the tuna casserole because she was drunk. It reminds us how Violet got this way.

Tamar: Absolutely. And the way that Christy still references Bonnie’s shortcomings is a good parallel, because it shows that she still hasn’t let things go either, which might explain why she doesn’t argue with Violet too much.

Sundi: Yes. Christy still turns to Bonnie to intervene. The whole bit about Bonnie being Christy’s wife was clever. When Christy asks Bonnie, “Are you just going to stand there …?” and Bonnie replies, “Well, you’re the man of the house!” Loved it. It’s such a snapshot of how mixed up their roles are and how fluid they’ve become over the years.

Tamar: This episode explored the dynamics between these three women in a really funny and enlightening way.

Sundi: I really liked how they kept it tight to the original cast. Except for David Krumholtz, but I didn’t feel distracted by his presence like I sometimes do with the guest stars. He was the vehicle for some really interesting revelations about these three tonight.

Tamar: I give the funniest moment of the night to Matt Jones (Baxter). I loved his comment to Gregory on his way out the door. To paraphrase: As her stepfather, I got my eye on you; as another dude, nicely done, sir.

Sundi: He’s always fun. I love the new, cleaned-up version of him—with his nautical sweaters and his blazers.

Tamar: Yes!

Sundi: I sort of wish they hadn’t had Gregory propose so early. There’s no way the writers are going to let Violet go through with it, and then that will be the last of him.

Tamar: I hope you’re wrong. I’d love to see her go through with it. I’d love to see her face those consequences.

Sundi: That would be super ballsy. I’d love it, too. To take it to that place would be really unexpected. And only the most wonderful thing ever. I’m a Krumholtz fan.

Tamar: Me, too! But, more than that, this show doesn’t shy away from the fact that bad choices have consequences. And Violet is not in a place where she’s taking anyone’s word. There are lessons she needs to learn for herself.

Sundi: Or … what if they went through with it and it was the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to her? She turns her life around and really makes a go of it?

Tamar: I can’t see it going quite that well, but if she was at least able to lose some of her cynicism because of the relationship, that would be a huge win.

Sundi: That’s all I can hope for. She’s just so young to be that jaded about life.

Tamar: So maybe being this loved will help soften her.

Sundi: Fingers crossed. But either way, MORE VIOLET!

Tamar: Yes! Sadie Calvano really knocked it out of the park this week.

Sundi: Agreed. That season-three pickup was well deserved. I think this might be just the momentum the show needs.

Tamar: I hope so!

Mom airs Thursdays at 9:/8:30C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
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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