Hump, Marry, Kill: The Strange Appeal Of Mom

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hmkPhoto: Robert Ascroft/CBS; Courtesy of Robyn Von Swank/Comedy Central; Courtesy of MTV.
Hump: Here goes nothing: I think I like Mom. Yes, the Chuck Lorre sitcom on CBS where Anna Faris plays a newly sober mother of a newly pregnant teenager. Maybe it’s the antithetical classical music used to break up scenes. Maybe it’s because her character’s ex-husband played Badger on Breaking Bad. But, it’s definitely not French Stewart, whose crazy chef character is entirely superfluous.

Really, though I think it’s because Anna Faris is just so damn likeable. I will freely admit (well, it depends who’s asking) that I’ve probably seen What’s Your Number? more times than the screenwriter’s mother. Same goes for The House Bunny. Faris and Chris Pratt are definitely on the list of people I’d invite to my dream dinner party, couples edition (other guests include Amy Poehler and Will Arnett — divorce be damned! — Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, Adam and Naomi Scott, Paul Scheer and June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt). Ryan Gosling will be my date, obviously. What were we talking about again? Oh right, Mom. It’s pretty entertaining.

Marry: It’s weird how one diminutive white dude with blondish hair and blue eyes who has many, many jobs and a media empire can irk me immensely (Ryan Seacrest), while another I find charming and witty (Chris Hardwick). In addition to being a standup comedian, Hardwick runs what he calls a “nerd media empire” (Nerdist Industries), home to some great podcasts. If you’re an aspiring TV scribe, I highly recommend listening to “The Nerdist Writers Panel” (this week’s episode features the writing staff of Sesame Street). If you need a laugh, check out “Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction.”

You’d think podcasting (his Nerdist show gets some BIG names, like Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks), running a media empire, and being a touring standup comedian would be enough, but nope — Hardwick also hosts a million and one things (probably more than Ryan Seacrest at this point), including Talking Dead, the erstwhile Talking Bad, and The Nerdist on BBC America. And, just last week, he started yet another gig, @midnight on Comedy Central, which is a nightly quasi-game show that airs — you guessed it — at midnight, making it perfect for insomniacs like yours truly.

On @midnight, Hardwick prompts three comedians to make pithy remarks about funny things that happened on the Internet that day in exchange for points that don’t really matter, since the winner only gets a symbolic prize: Hardwick dubs him or her “the funniest person in the world for the next 23 and a half hours.” But still, it’s pretty much a trifecta of things I love: comedy, the bowels of the Internet, and fake game shows. Oh, and all the guests dressed like Carmen Miranda on the Halloween episode.



Kill: I realize Matty and Jenna couldn’t be together forever (because where’s the dramatic arc in that?), and that having the girl cheat on the guy is relatively unexplored territory on teen shows, but this whole Jenna and Colin thing on Awkward is kind of, for lack of a better word, awkward. Maybe it was just the most recent episode, which was missing the usual framework of Jenna voiceovers, though.

When we’re not privy to her innermost thoughts, it becomes clear how strong (and more interesting) the other characters on the show have become. It’s always weird when the protagonist of a show is the least interesting character (see: Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, Ted Mosby at times on How I Met Your Mother), and when Jenna doesn’t narrate episodes on Awkward, she’s at risk of permanently joining that group.