It's taken almost seven years, but Showtime has finally found the perfect series to pair with Shameless.
On SMILF Season 1 Episode 1, we were introduced to Bridgette, a mother who is trying to balance her life as a mother and a working mother, and she did so in hilarious fashion.
Off the bat, it's apparent Bridgette is not the brightest 20-something on the southside, and that's part of the reason why the premiere struck a chord with me. Shows that have characters with flaws are generally the ones that can spin a web of stories to last for years.
Frankie Shaw (Mr. Robot) writes, directs and stars as Bridgette and has done a fantastic job of capturing the pitfalls of being a young mother while trying to find your place in the world.
I'm Bridgette, maybe we could go for a drink later.Bridgette
What I found fascinating was that Rafi played an integral part in his son's life even though he and Bridgette were not an item. Without fail, every night he is there to kiss his son goodnight and tuck him into bed.
The show could have gone the predictable route and had Rafi be a deadbeat dad who does not give a damn whether his son has a roof over his head.
It was telling that Bridgette still held a torch for Rafi because of the way she wanted him to stick around after he showed up to wish his son goodnight.
She was lonely, and Rafi was an easy option, but it was nice that he told her to go out there and find herself some love.
That may have been his way of saying that they were never going there again, but it also gave Bridgette the nudge she needed to realize she did not need to put her life on hold because she was raising a child.
Rafi: You should get out more, you know that, right?
Bridgette: I get out plenty.
I dare say Rafi would have looked after Larry for her to allow her to go out and date. Although the scenes with her former friend from high school were a little too far out there, we need to remember this show is on Showtime.
The premium cable network has prided itself in pushing the envelope for years now, and viewers should know what to expect by switching on any of the content from the channel. That's not a knock at the quality of the show.
Simply put, it's one of Showtime's finest. It's up there with Shameless after just one episode, and that's not something that's easily accomplished.
Of the other supporting characters, Rosie O'Donnell turned in a convincing performance as Tutu. She is a fun, multi-layered character who seems like she's waiting for an opportunity to crack and throw things around.
Her relationship with Bridgette seems more like they are acquaintances than family members, and it's an interesting dynamic to explore. Tutu seems somewhat impulsive, and that's likely why she's buying the latest gadgets around to keep her happy.
Tutu: I'm a bit worried about the baby with Rafi the relapser.
Bridgette: Mom, he's a great dad, he does bedtime every night.
I was not a fan of the way she snapped at Bridgette, saying she had no right to comment on how she spends her money. That made Bridgette feel so small, and I felt horrible for her. It's scenes like that that Shaw strikes a chord with the audience.
Bridgette may not be the smartest tool in the toolkit, but she's trying her best to be the best mother she can be to her son. She has lapses in judgment, and I dare say that stems from the detached parenting Tutu doled out to her.
There isn't much of a mother-daughter relationship between the pair, and that's something that will likely be explored as the series continues. I'm down for getting the truth about all of these characters.
Connie Britton returning to the small screen so soon after her Nashville departure was a pleasant surprise. Lily is so straight to the point, and it's brilliant. The whole scene with Bridgette tutoring Lily's daughter was comical as hell.
It's not very often a show can get the writing, directing and acting in a great place from the get-go, but SMILF accomplished all of its early tests flawlessly. There was not a single weak bit of acting.
All of the actors feel like ones you could walk outside and find. They are a genuine portrayal of what you would expect to see in today's world. My only major gripe is the name of the show.
Doctor: Take my advice, have fun, go have sex.
Bridgette: With who?
Doctor: Just find somebody, have sex. Just make sure it's protected.
Bridgette: It's so hard for me to do that.
It's not something you want to explain the meaning of to your parents if they ask what it is. My concern is that the name alone alienates a lot of people from even giving it a look.
- Rafi is known as "The Relapser." Will he relapse before SMILF Season 1 comes to a close?
- Bridgette was mad when she realized Rafi's new girlfriend had met Larry, and I have to agree with her. Rafi needs to be keeping her in the loop about things.
- The comment about the dust from the tacos being the best bit was everything!
- The audition went completely different from what I expected it to.
Okay, SMILF Fanatics! What did you think of the series? Are you in for the long haul?
Hit the comments below!
Remember you can watch SMILF online right here via TV Fanatic. Get caught up with all of the laughs right now!
SMILF continues next Sunday on Showtime!
Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.