Monday, September 23, 2013

My Visit to “Mom”– a New Sitcom on CBS

MOMLast week I had the opportunity to visit the set of “Mom” at Warner Bros Studios. Mom is a new sitcom premiering tonight on CBS 9:30 ET/PT. The stars are Anna Faris (Christy), perhaps best known for her roles in the “Scary Movie” franchise, and Allison Janney (Bonnie), who many recall played CJ Cregg on “The West Wing".” The sitcom centers around a multi-generation family: Christy is a newly sober single mom of two kids who works at a posh Napa Valley restaurant and is trying to overcome her past. Bonnie is Christy’s mom and a recovering alcoholic who reappears in her life. Other main characters are Christy’s daughter, Violet, her son, Roscoe, her ex, Baxter, her boss, Gabriel, the restaurant chef, Rudy and Violet’s boyfriend, Luke. Christy tries to remain positive as she pursues her new path in life, but she faces an uphill battle, surrounded by a dubious support system—and lots of dysfunction. I like that the show deals with real characters, with real problems and who have to actually work for a living. Chuck Lorre is the creator of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” and he is also the co-creator of “Mom” along with Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker. I actually lived next door to Eddie when I was a little kid and he was a teenager, in Providence, RI. I hadn’t connected with him for a few years and it was great to catch up with him a bit on the set. I was also able to tell him truthfully, that his show is funny. One of my earliest memories is of being about four years old and being lifted up to crawl in a small window because his mom was locked out of the house. What is my point in telling you this? I guess I have a few points: 1) be nice to your neighbors, you never know who they will become and 2) Hollywood is a very small town!

We got the chance to see Anna and Allison rehearse two scenes and, like I told Eddie, they were well written, well acted and funny! During a break in the shooting, we got the chance to sit down for a Q & A with Allison, Anna, Gemma and Sadie (who plays Violet). It was really fun to hear about their thoughts on the show. They were in the midst of their 7th episode with the show yet to premiere and we could really sense the excitement on set. Allison talked about how much she loves how live audience sitcoms are like the theater. Everyone agreed what great hours sitcoms are for actors. They really allow you to have a life outside the show during the shooting season. This is particularly important to Anna who has a one year old son. I look forward to watching the premiere tonight and I encourage you to join me!

Many of the castmembers will be live tweeting the show (on East Coast time), so if you are on Twitter, here are the handles:  @AnnaFaris, @AllisonBJanney, @sadiecalvano, @imnatecorddry, @mattjonesisdead, @frenchstewart, @sadiecalvano, @momcbs (show) @cbstweet (cbs). You can also like the show on Facebook.