Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday. Did you remember to mail your mother a nice card and flowers? After everything she’s done for you, a little appreciation is the least you can offer in return. In honor of this most important holiday, we thought that today’s Roundtable would be a good time to celebrate some of our favorite fictional moms from the worlds of film and TV.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
Favorite movie mom: I know the kneejerk reaction among Disney fanatics would be to point to Bambi’s nameless mother. As deeply as I love ‘Bambi’, I grew up around a kid sister who watched ‘Dumbo‘ at least once a day for several years straight, so that’s where my thoughts tend to turn. The way she defends her mistreated baby boy, regardless of the consequences to herself, is remarkably powerful, and the sight of her locked away in an undersized wagon as a “mad elephant” is absolutely heartbreaking. Unlike Bambi’s mom, Mrs. Jumbo is still very much alive at the end of the film, beaming with pride at what her floppy-eared son has become.
Favorite TV mom: Joyce Summers didn’t know that her daughter Buffy was destined to slay vampires for quite a while there, but she did know that Buffy was getting caught up in fights, continuously skipped class, struggled with her grades, stayed out late, came home with blood all over her clothes, disappeared for an entire summer, and, y’know, torched a school gymnasium and forced them to move to a sleepy little town above the gaping maw of Hell. Even with everything Joyce was subjected to throughout those first five seasons of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘, her love and support for her daughter never wavered. Heck, even when she learned that Dawn was a magical construct rather than Daughter #2, Joyce’s adoration for her endured as well. Joyce embraced Buffy’s insane, dangerous life as best she could out of sheer love for her daughter, and that pretty much makes her the best mom ever.
My favorite TV and movie moms couldn’t be more different, except for the fact that they’ll both knock your teeth out if you cross their beloved kids. As far as TV goes, blue collar, speak-her-mind, laugh-at-the-suckers Roseanne Conner will always be my favorite.
For movies, even though she’s pushy, needlessly follows an unwritten standard of social decorum, and can be a wee bit unforgiving, Aurora Greenway from ‘Terms of Endearment‘ is the mom for me. Plus, as a parent, I can’t help but relate to the way she constantly checks on her sleeping baby girl to make sure she’s all right.
TV Mom: She probably popped into my mind because I’m currently recapping the series here, but my favorite TV mom of the moment is Norma Bates, played by Vera Farmiga in ‘Bates Motel‘. Sure, she’s pretty much bipolar, overprotective and borderline psychotic, but she’s also damn sexy. And as for that son of hers? He wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Movie Mom: My favorite cinematic mother has to be Sarah Connor in ‘Terminator 2‘. Any mom who can fight off killer cyborgs from the future (not once, but twice!) qualifies as a major MIWF (Mom I Wouldn’t F- With!) in my book. Plus, in real life, she used to be married to James Cameron…. and survived!
Sure, there are plenty of memorable moms in various sitcoms and movies, but my favorite has to be the Mother of the Resistance, Sarah Connor. Make no mistake, in her various incarnations, Sarah Connor is a great character thrust into a familiar situation with a sci-fi twist. On the one hand, she seems like a pretty lousy mother. She’s hostile, militant, paranoid and tends a very unstable home. On the other hand, she has to constantly put her child first, even at the cost of their strained relationship. Plus, she kills terminators. Topping the list of disappointments involving ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles‘ is the resulting high likelihood that it will be a long time until we again get to see the character onscreen again.
My favorite mom on television right now has to be Norma Bates from A&E’s ‘Bates Motel‘. The new series based on Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous masterpiece follows the family life (and destiny) of our psychopath-in-the-making, Norman Bates. Freddie Highmore’s uncanny performance as the young Norman is exceptional, but even better is Vera Farmiga as his off-kilter mother. She truly steals every scene she’s in with her ticks, poses and those big blue eyes. If Farmiga doesn’t win some kind of award for her role (I foresee an Emmy and Golden Globe, personally), then something is definitely wrong with the world.
I’ve got to go with Claudia Finnerty, played by Megyn Price, from TV’s ‘Grounded for Life‘. She was a no-nonsense mom who also had a sensitive side, and was capable of handling three very different, very troublesome children. She’s also one of the hottest TV moms in history. The show even had an episode about her being a MILF. If that’s not a mom you can love, I don’t know who is.
You know, the Xenomorph Queen from ‘Aliens‘ gets a bad rap as the alleged “villain” of the movie, but if you think about it, the poor gal’s just trying to do right by her kids. First off, there she is, minding her own business in a peaceful slumber, when a bunch of meddling colonists disturb their hibernation and have the gall to invade her home! Then, having woken up and found herself surrounded by annoying sacks of meat, what’s a mom to do? Her kids have gotta eat, right? So, yeah, maybe she does a little hunting and slaughtering of prey that would like to consider itself “sentient,” but how dare we impose our rules of human morality onto an entirely different species? How culturally insensitive! Later, in an act of pure thuggish vigilantism, more meatbags arrive and senselessly murder all of her children. In attempting to defend herself and her family, the Queen gets tossed out of an airlock into the vacuum of outer space. I bet that on the Xenomorph homeworld, they have their own movie about the events of this story. It’s called ‘Humans’, and it scares the teenage Xeno audience shitless.
Tell us about some of your favorite movie and TV moms in the Comments.