EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Mom' react: Rants and raves, so far

Season 2 | Episode 19 | “Mashed Potatoes and a Little Nitrous” | Aired April 9, 2015

Usually, EW Community contributors Tamar Barbash and Sundi Rose-Holt are chatting about each new episode of Mom, but tonight it’s just Sundi’s thoughts about this week’s emotional “Mashed Potatoes and a Little Nitrous.” Instead of a regular recap, I’m outlining some things that I’m super smitten with (the raves) and some things that I have beef with (the rants). Consider this an open letter to the Mom writers who, by the way, are probably really smart and kind people who don’t deserve my fist-shaking and complaining.

That means all the feelings and opinions are mine and you should definitely NOT hold dear, sweet Tamar accountable for anything I type tonight. No worries, though. Tamar will be back next week to talk about our trek to the finale, so tweet her your best wishes in the meantime.

I am absolutely loving that Bonnie falls off the wagon in this latest story arc. It’s just not an authentic addiction narrative without a few relapses, and you guys are handling it with the same levity and irreverence that you did with Violet’s pregnancy, Alvin’s death, and Christy’s gambling backslide. Tamar and I have made no secret of our lady-crush on Allison Janney. She (but really you, the writers, of course) is making good comedy, and we all know that good comedy is bloody. This is a beautiful mess, and nobody could do it better.

Bonnie attends an AA meeting high on Mom

Last week’s episode (which we didn’t get to recap because of the holidays, sorry folks) showed the start of her slide, but tonight might just be rock bottom. (Right? Will it get worse?) I love the moment on in playground, as Christy’s anger starts to build steam: You can almost see all their unresolved stuff starting to bubble to the surface. More of that, please and thank you.

More Violet. So. Much. More. I know this must sound like a broken record, but Sadie Calvano is so good —like, crazy good—at delivering the teenage angst without causing me to contemplate her murder. She is the lens through which we see all of Christy’s and Bonnie’s shortcomings, and she is the closest thing we have to seeing them for who they really are, or were, or are again. I need her to be around for Bonnie’s undoing because I feel like I can trust her vision.

You also developed this incredibly interesting storyline about her relationship with the inappropriate, but maybe okay, Gregory, but you left us hanging. I want scenes from their life together; I want dramatic fights, hilarious examples of their age difference, silly pet names. I want it all, and y’all are being a real tease. Explore that dynamic, and let’s see how awkward things can get.

Jaime Pressly and Octavia Spenser are glorious. Yes to everything about them. Pressly has perfected the “gorgeous spaz” routine, and Spencer works so well as the voice of reason. It’s really smart to let Regina tackle race, as the only character of color, and I would love to see you drill down into that; sweeps are approaching, after all.

Christy, Jill and Regina watch Bonnie attend the AA meeting high

The decision to make Jill and Regina roommates was brilliant. It’s an “odd couple” situation, and it makes me laugh to see tightly wound Jill lecturing Regina about her cream-cheese intake. Yes to it all.

Slow down, and let Bonnie’s descent drag out a little. This might make me a monster, but Janney is doing her best work as an addict trying to hide her relapse, and I want more. So much more. After Christy walks away from Bonnie on the playground, and seeks comfort with the ladies, it’s pretty clear there is still a lot to sort out.

Don’t wave a wand and make it go away. The show excels in a space in which the audience is constantly asking themselves, “Should I laugh at this?” I firmly believe that Bonnie’s spiral needs time to unwind organically.

Keep writing scenes in which the ladies interact. As much as I adore the Bonnie/Christy island, I need this universe to expand to include other folks. I need to see new faces, hear other voices, and most of all, see Bonnie and Christy through their eyes. I feel so connected to these characters that my own bias shades my expectations.

The ladies start to figure out Bonnie

Any rants or raves from you guys? What do you love? What do you not?

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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