Saturday, May 12, 2012

Five best television moms

It’s that time of year again.

No, not the NBA playoffs.
I’m talking about Mother’s Day.

This is that special day where you dote on the woman who gave you life – because if you don’t, you’ll never hear the end of it.

As children, many of our ideas and thoughts are formed by our mothers. By extension, television moms help form our lives as well -- just in a different way.

With that in mind, I thought we’d revisit some of the best television moms.

5. Sophia Petrillo – Sure, when we met Sophia her daughter was long into her own adulthood, but Dorothy (and friends Rose and Blanche) still desperately needed a little guidance from the feisty Sophia. She may have been queen of the one-liners, but when it came down to it, Sophia was a caring individual who wasn’t going to let anyone take advantage of her girls. Not only was she ready to fight their battles, but she was also ready to dish out some serious advice. She was also good at a timely self-esteem boost. Of course, when necessary, she was also good with a snarky zinger -- but that's why we love (and miss) Sophia Petrillo.

4. Kitty Foreman – Her son was a pothead and her daughter was a little, um, loose with her morals, but Kitty didn’t let that stop her from loving them. Sure, she doted on Eric a little more than Laurie, but Eric needed the extra encouragement with Red running around. Kitty didn’t just mother her own two children, though. She took in neighborhood stray Hyde, while bonding with neighbor Donna after her own mother left, and even tried to guide the narcissistic Jackie along the way. She taught Fez the dangers of eating off the floor and Kelso the importance of wearing pants while navigating the myriad of situations her son and his stoner pals got themselves into. Truthfully, Kitty was a saint – even when menopause made her crazy.

3. Roseanne Conner – This might not seem like a good choice to some people, but to me it was a no-brainer. ‘Roseanne’ was a show about a blue collar family that was struggling to make it. It was more realistic than most sitcoms – because these people were dealing with real life problems. Despite their money woes – and tendency to snark and yell at one another – the Conner house was full of love. One minute Roseanne might be taking the door off the room of her teenage daughter as a punishment, but in the next she was sitting at her daughter’s side when she got an appendectomy. The Conners didn’t always approach life with grace, but they did it with love. They also did it with a lot of sarcasm – but real families do that all the time.

2. Clair Huxtable – The mother of five was a formidable opponent in court – and her own home. Clair ruled her roost with an iron hand and a soft heart. She encouraged her children to be individuals, but she also called them on their crap when they were being immature. Take daughter Denise, for example. When Denise dropped out of college, Clair let her daughter go to Africa to find herself but gently guided her to make the decision to return to school when she returned. Clair is the type of mother who knows that it’s never a good idea to tell you children what to do. Instead, try to show them the right thing and let them come to the decision on their own.

1. Lorelai Gilmore – Lorelai had a rotten relationship with her own mother (that grew into something more solid). Her relationship with her own daughter, though, was the stuff of legend. Not only did Lorelai name her daughter after herself (Rory for short), but she also raised the girl as a single teenage mother. In actuality, Lorelai was growing up right alongside Rory. Lorelai was not the type of mother who tried to exert pressure on her daughter, though. She let Rory decide what she wanted to be. Lorelai encouraged her daughter when necessary and stepped back when she thought that would help. In the end, Rory not only graduated from Yale but had the strength to say no to a marriage proposal she knew wasn’t right. Though Rory and Lorelai were the best of friends, Lorelai never made the mistake of forgetting that there were times when a girl needs a mother and not a friend – and that’s when Lorelai truly excelled -- and Rory would be the first one to tell you that..

Honorable mentions go to: Elyse Keaton (Family Ties), Florida Evans (Good Times), Joyce Summmers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch), Maggie Seaver (Growing Pains), June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver), Marion Cunningham (Happy Days), Nora Walker (Brothers and Sisters), and Marie Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond).

What do you think? Who are the best television moms?


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