As TV shows race through our stay-at-home lives, we sometimes have to stop and marvel:
Wait, that one – the most recent “Mom” episode (shown here) – was really good. It was probably the best situation-comedy episode I’ve seen since “The Big Bang Theory” departed.
I shouldn’t be surprised, of course. “Mom” is from Chuck Lorre, the producer of “Big Bang” and the master of big-laugh sitcoms taped in front of a studio audience. It’s become TV’s best sitcom. And this episode renewed its best pairing.
There’s Allison Janney, who already has seven Emmys (two in this role) and an Oscar. And Rainn Wilson, who had three Emmy nominations in his “Office” days.
Both are talented, tall (he’s just shy of 6-foot-3, she’s listed at 6-foot but grumbled in the episode that she’s lost an inch) and at their best doing quirky characters.
From the start, the beauty of “Mom” has been that its characters are so aware of their own faults. Bonnie (Janney) knows that during her years of addiction and self-interest, she was an awful mother. If she ever forgets, her daughter Christy quickly reminds her.
Both are recovering alcoholics, as are their friends. These are smart and likable people who have done stupid and nasty things.
Thrown into this lately has been Bonnie’s therapist Trevor (Wilson). Over five previous episodes – one of them rerunning next Thursday (April 9) – they’ve had their verbal battles, beautifully written and played.
But then came this week’s twist, with Trevor’s wife leaving and taking everything. He was crushed; his new “office” (shown here) looked suspiciously like a last-hope motel room.
Suddenly, Bonnie – the great-grandmother with childish instincts – was the grown-up. The scenes that followed showed two great actors, working with splendid material.