I'm Actually Optimistic About This Show's Decision To Use A Fat Suit

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS.
I stand by almost all of the controversial takes I've written during my (admittedly short) career as a journalist — except for one. Back when Mom premiered in 2013, I included it on a list of "lazy sitcom tropes that should never be used again." Based on the first half of season 1, I thought it was making too much light of alcohol addiction, without showing actual consequences.
But as the show has continued, it's become one of the best TV representations of what addiction is really like. It's a funny show, for sure, but it's also one that's addressed the death of a 20-something character from a drug overdose. Even the U.S. Surgeon General applauded the show for not sugarcoating the reality of addiction. So, yes, there are definitely consequences of addiction, and the show doesn't shy away from them.
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And while Mom's primary focus is alcohol addiction — the show's leading group of ladies all met through Alcoholics Anonymous — it looks like the show will be tackling another form of addiction this fall. To hide Jaime Pressly's real-life pregnancy with twins, her character, Jill, will be undergoing a weight-related storyline. And based on the first photo Entertainment Weekly has revealed, it looks like Pressly will be donning a fat suit to even out her pregnancy bump.
A fat suit might sound like an easy (and kind of weird) way to hide a pregnancy, but hear me out. Mom has always portrayed addiction with nuance in the past, so it's unlikely they'll go the cheap-shot route when addressing overeating.
And as Mom co-executive producer Gemma Baker told EW, there's actually a believable reason why Jill might be facing an emotional eating struggle at this point in her life. Jill recently had a miscarriage, and she's torn over potentially losing the child she's been a foster mom to.
"Addiction doesn't always stay in one place," Baker said to EW. "If you are dealing with addiction it may pop it in other places. We dealt with Christy [Anna Faris] having a gambling problem. So Jill is going through some things, and the way she deals with it is food."
Mom isn't the type of show to throw in a cheap fat joke. So hopefully, when it returns to CBS in November, it will treat Jill's latest storyline with as much sensitivity as it's given other sensitive topics in the past.
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If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.
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