ABC’s new series Call Your Mother tells the story of Jean Raines, a widowed mother of two who feels like she has lost touch with her children after they moved away and is beginning to question her very existence. You might think that sounds like a potential Emmy-winning drama, but it’s not. It’s a sitcom.
ABC has been able to create great shows that fit in both genres, and Call Your Mother seems to be built with that in mind. It has the potential to fit that mold, but it might need some time to grow.
While there is a lot to like about Call Your Mother, it beats you over the head with its laugh track right off the bat. If that’s something that will influence whether or not you can enjoy a show, this one will not be for you. While there are a few laughable moments throughout the first episode, there are far more instances where the laugh track will be the only chuckles you hear.
The show does have a lot of heart. It’s really a fairly dark story with some very relatable characters. While she’s presented in a somewhat goofy way, you can’t help but feel for Jean. Unfortunately, the heartfelt moments are given very little time to breathe before they are twisted into some kind of joke and the laugh track strikes again. It could just be some growing pains and this series could easily come into its own in a matter of just a few episodes.
It’s clear though that this new series has a lot of potential. The story is really strong, albeit not exactly groundbreaking, and there are a lot of great characters. Namely, Lane (played by Austin Crute) and Celia (played by Emma Caymares) provide a lot of this episode’s laughs. It’s also a very diverse cast with a lot of perspectives to offer, which furthers the relatability and heart this series has to offer.
Jean is portrayed by Kyra Sedgwick, who obviously has a great deal of comedic talent (as seen in her role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine). However, she is actually the one who keeps this show grounded and emotionally relatable. Joey Bragg and Rachel Sennott, who play Jean’s children, also provide some laughs and, given the opportunity, could seemingly provide even more emotional depth to this series. It’s clearly a talented cast with a lot of potential to grow together in what could be an entertaining show.
Overall, Call Your Mother is a heartfelt story about a single mother and her children. Unfortunately, in this first episode, a lot of the comedy feels forced. It does however have potential to become a very enjoyable sitcom, though likely not the funniest. The laugh track makes it seem as though there should not be a ton of confidence in future comedic writing. It does feature a golden retriever though and that’s always a plus.
Call Your Mother will premiere on ABC on Wednesday, January 13 at 9:30 PM ET.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”