Moms were a staple of 70s and 80s TV. Carol Brady on the Brady Bunch (and Alice, who provided mother-like advice to everyone.) Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days. Clair Huxtable on the Cosby Show. Elyse Keaton from Family Ties. Vivian Banks on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My teens / early twenties were filled with strong maternal characters who nurtured their kids, their step-kids, their kids’ friends with humor and grace. Some of them were one-dimensional…we didn’t know much about them except that they were moms. Others mixed careers and motherhood, and it was nice (and unusual) to see moms working outside the home.
One of my favorite moms on TV today is Castle’s mom, Martha. Famous in her own right, she doesn’t let her also-famous son get away with lying to himself about, well, anything. She knows the real him, knows what makes him tick and, as a mom does, zeroes right in on the source of his angst. And to top it off, she is a maternal influence for her granddaughter, Alexis. She’s unapologetically flamboyant, usually irreverent, and always funny. She lives life on her own terms—and she’s a mom, through and through.
Another one of today’s TV moms who stands out is Alison Hendrix on Orphan Black. I’m not sure I think she’s a good mother (hello, when her husband kills someone, she helps him bury the guy in their garage!) but she is one hell of an interesting character. Do I wish I’d had the imagination to have written characters like these clones? Oh, yeah.
I enjoy watching them on TV, and I enjoy reading about them and writing about them, probably because I can relate to them. And my first published book Forbidden Fantasies included a mom whose smexy times with her husband was interrupted by a sick kid – brought home by his grandmother (yep, another mom – the hero’s—who knows she’s interrupting some alone time.) I know a lot of people don’t like parents or mentions of kids in sexy books, but let’s face it. Moms have sex too (here’s a hint —this is how we wound up with kids in the first place!)
Who are some of your most loved (or hated!) moms on TV?