TV Club: Married: “Mother’s Day”

Family sitcoms all look similar for a reason. Every family has the same problems. (We’re not talking about extraordinary circumstances here—there are plenty of outrageous or tragic families, but they’re not what primetime comedy is made of.) The core sitcom family is a heightened, (usually) better-written mirror of the families watching family sitcoms, and so they have points of connection. Parents fight and sexual desire fades. Extended families often introduce disruptive baggage. Kids grow up and need to be taught the same lessons. Teenagers turn on their parents, and parents are angry and confused that someone so precious and beloved could wake up one day and call their mother a bitch.

Married does an admirable job of energizing these stories, not necessarily by turning them inside out, but by engaging with them knowingly. A really good episode of Married (like last week’s “bad mother” visit) sees …

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