Thursday, February 22, 2018

TV Review: SMILF, Season 1 (2017)

SMILF, Season 1 (2017) - Created by Frankie Shaw; Starring Frankie Shaw, Miguel Gomez, Rosie O'Donnell, Samara Weaving, Raven Goodwin, Connie Britton.

By Kenny Howell

A terrific Frankie Shaw leads us through her life as a single mom in this messy, but occasionally intriguing Showtime show.

Shaw, who created the show, plays Bridgette, a Boston single mom to a little boy named Larry Bird. She has a fairly good relationship with Larry's father but is a mess herself. Part of that is a horribly traumatic past, but the job of being a single mom has driven her crazy.

When the season begins, we see her fretting over her body and other issues fairly new moms deal with, but the series devolves into Bridgette spiraling downwards from the pressure of becoming something. She doesn't know what exactly, she just needs something.

The show devolves a bit as well as Bridgette's character changes into something a little more animated to get humor, and while Shaw is pretty good at that, it makes the series seem a bit scattered tonally. Shaw takes chances like an episode influenced by the German film Run Lola Run and one that is obviously pointed at Woody Allen. They don't always work, and it can seem like a wasted episode or pull you out of the overall story. Or even sometimes mar an otherwise solid episode.

The strength of the season is the more real episodes like one where Bridgette puts herself out on Craigslist as an escort. She meets up with a guy who just wants to have dinner, but what starts as a surprisingly innocent chat ends horribly. Those scenes and Shaw in the lead make SMILF what it is. I can't knock her too much for taking chances because she does generate enough memorable moments to see that this could be a great show with some refining.

SMILF is available with a Showtime subscription.

Rating: **1/2

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