Thursday, November 20, 2014

REVIEW: 'Mom' - Bonnie Searches for a Job While Violet Yearns for Direction in 'Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage'

CBS' Mom - Episode 2.04 "Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage"

While Christy tries to get to the bottom of Violet's erratic behavior, Bonnie attempts to get a job.

Mom has been off to a great start for its second season. Sure, last week was a pretty massive misstep. It's still a little disheartening to think that the show still feels the need to go extremely broad every three or four episodes. The comedy is often at its best when it's focusing on the struggles of this very dysfunctional family unit. The ongoing financial and housing issues this season have been a strong through-line. It's been incredibly realistic. It makes so much sense that Christy and Bonnie wouldn't have that much money following everything that happened last season. Now they are essentially homeless and living in Marjorie's house. It's a place that can't be permanent because of how miserable Christy is there all the time because of her cat allergies. It's a joke that could be incredibly stale after being used in several episodes. And yet, it just further adds to the mood of everything in life going wrong for her and her need to work extra hard in order to support her family.

Christy simply doesn't have the luxury to just give up now that things have gotten tough for her. She is the only one providing for this family. How long would Marjorie be willing to put up with this family if none of them were actively working to rebuild their lives? Christy needs to be a provider because she got the family into this situation in the first place. It would be so easy for her to relapse and start drinking again. The first moments of this season proved that. But it's always important for Christy to remember that the rest of her family is dealing with their own stuff. Bonnie is happy turning all of Christy's problems into her own suffering while Violet isn't dealing well after giving her baby to the Taylors.

Violet comes home late at night drunk because she doesn't know what direction to take with her life. She has no meaning in life now that she is no longer pregnant. That was a daunting and sometimes scary experience but it offered her some control over her life. And now, the world is filled with endless possibilities and she has no clue what to do. It's actually an even scarier experience. She is young and able to take the easy way out of the situation. She's still with her family and that offers some protection even though they are now homeless. I didn't enjoy how the show got her back at Marjorie's with her mother and grandmother following her decision to move out. It lessened the emotional weight of that decision in the first place. And now, she's just lounging around and moping. But it's completely justifiable in the end because she has big decisions to make about her future and no clue how to make them. Her mother is there for in the way that her daughter needs - and not just fighting with her because of Violet's bad attitude. Christy offers her comfort and support and that's the best thing for Violet right now.

And then, there's Bonnie's quest to find an actual job. Sure, she has her life coaching business but the family can't count on that to get out of their financial hole. This story is largely played for the comic relief throughout the episode. It's a lot of fun too watching Bonnie lie her way through interviews. The joke of her jumping out the window was a little broad. And yet, this story resolves itself nicely in the end. She gets a job managing an apartment building which offers her an apartment for the family to move into. It's the first sign of hope that things might be turning around. They don't care that Bonnie doesn't know how to do this job. They are just glad that they have a place to live to call their own. It's a happy and uplifting moment that the two of them needed. It was wonderful.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage" was directed by Ted Wass with story by Chuck Lorre & Nick Bakay and teleplay by Gemma Baker, Sheldon Bull & Marco Pennette.
  • Alvin is positioning himself as the good responsible parent. He's hoping to have a good influence on Christy now that he is in her life again. Let's see if it will work.
  • Another broad joke was the entire throwing up sequence. And yet, I was more than okay with it because of the commitment from everyone involved.
  • What is the state of Violet's relationship with Luke? In an episode focusing on the possibility of her future, it was a little odd that he was completely absent.