Today we focus our attention on TV moms: who for many of us became our surrogate actual moms (not me though; my mom is perfect in every way.) We were really looking at moms, so some women who were cool women (like Samantha on BEWITCHED or Laura on DICK VAN DYKE) were excluded, as mom wasn’t really their characters’ role. Also, since I know the question is coming, Mrs. Cunningham was not put on the list because she totally abandoned her oldest child, Chuck.
Here are the 10 best:
THE TOP TEN TV MOMS
#10 Lorelai (GILMORE GIRLS) – In real life she’s not actually that great a mom (no matter that my sister is convinced moms should only be friends), but Lauren Graham is so hot we had to put her on this list.
#9 Mrs. Garrett (FACTS OF LIFE) – Another entry where the woman wasn’t strictly a “mom,” but Mrs. Garret makes the list for the no-nonsense advice she always dispensed, and somehow keeping Tuti from eating them out of house and home.
#8 Sheila Walsh (90210) – Anyone who could put up with Brenda and Valerie in one lifetime deserves something.
#7 Wilma Flintstone (FLINTSTONES) – It ain’t easy being a cave-mom, or married to Fred, for that matter, but Wilma did it better than most. Only drawback: she never should have let the Bam-Bam thing get started.
#6 Jill Taylor (HOME IMPROVEMENT) – Jill was a fabulous mother, and frankly would go higher if it weren’t for how much she overreacted to everything her boys did. I mean, it could have been worse: she could have had all girls.
#5 Marge Simpson (SIMPSONS) – Though Marge has her quirks (chronic nagging, dying her hair since she was 19, her bizarre love of Ringo Starr), keeping that family together is cause for sainthood.
#4 Morticia Addams (ADDAMS FAMILY) – Just keeping that house clean must have been a nightmare. That and keeping her “special” children from dismembering anyone; award time!
#3 Carol Brady (THE BRADY BUNCH) – Frankly I wouldn’t have put her this high but Koz (who apparently keeps a Florence Henderson shrine) would have walked off the project. Carol was a pretty great mom, if you ignore allowing six kids to share two bedrooms with one bathroom AND NO TOILET!
#2 Elise Keaton (FAMILY TIES) – You wanna talk about a woman who’s kept her looks; here you are. But even back then Elise Keaton was the grounded center in a zany family, with wanna-be hippie Steven and Alex P. Keaton (who would try any parent’s patience), and the dumb-as-a-sack-of-hair that was Mallory. And we’re not even mentioning putting up with Nick and Skippy.
#1 Claire Huxtable (THE COSBY SHOW) – Quite simply, the perfect mom. A full-time (successful!) lawyer, Claire still always had time for the kids and looked fabulous. Her no-nonsense attitude was a breath of fresh air, and putting up with Cliff wins points too. Way to go.
And so we don’t neglect the other side of the tracks, here are out Top Five worst TV moms.
#5 Roseanne (ROSEANNE) – Hey; I like the show, but let’s face facts: a daughter who got married at 17 a very confused little boy, and let’s not even mention how Becky turned into a completely different person!
#4 Marie (EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND) – More likely to win S’mother of the year than plain old mom. I’ll admit I’ve come to laugh at her antics, but in real life they would simply drive me up the wall. All the guilt trips, manipulation, and condescension. Only reason she isn’t higher: dang good food.
#3 Mama (MAMA’S FAMILY) – She would easily be #1, if not for the fact that she was kind of nice to her son, while treating everyone else (especially that poor daughter-in-law) terrible. Just an awful woman. Why did anyone ever watch this show?
#2 Peg Bundy (LOVE AND MARRIAGE) – A fun character, but let’s be honest: she never did a bit of parenting in her whole life. Plus, look at how those kids turned out: a total whore and complete loser. Al was a saint to stay in that house.
#1 Livia Soprano (THE SOPRANOS) – We could talk about the emotional black hole that was Olivia. We could point out that any woman who could include panic attacks in Tony Soprano and cause him to go into therapy is obviously evil. But if all that fails to persuade: she tried to have him whacked! Not one other mother would do that, and this places her first on our list of shame.