Comedies are formats made to give us levity in times of crisis, confusion, and general exhaustion of our daily grind. Broad comedies take the mundane and turn everything on its head into the absurd. A really great broad comedy can approach the most difficult issues with respect, yet still find those small niches for comedic tone. Mom is a show that has done this from the very beginning by showing the trials and tribulations of a mother and daughter who struggle with sobriety every day. The CBS hit comedy has tackled a few other social issues too, but none more important than last night’s discussion on sexual assault.
The episode was emotional to start with when Marjorie walked into a meeting completely wrecked because her sponsor relapsed after 52 years. The point of this move was twofold. First, it took away the group’s rock right when Christy would need her most. Secondly, it shook out the idea that anything can trigger a crisis, whether it is the random act of your neighbor cutting down your hedge, or your worst nightmare walking through the door. Christy puts on her armor when the man who raped who 16 years prior walks into a meeting, but we can tell she’s falling apart inside. Christy takes out her frustrations over a cricket she can’t catch, ultimately tearing the house apart in her mania.
There is a special kind of shame that goes with being raped when you’re under the influence. This is the perfect show to once again scream from the rooftops (because some people seem to need it) that being under the influence means a woman cannot give proper consent. That is rape. It is important to note that Christy doesn’t use the word until Bonnie drags Marjorie over to remind Christy that she is no longer a victim. Anna Faris gives one of the strongest performances of her career as Christy confronts her attacker and promises to use her voice in the future.
If I were an Academy judge, I’d definitely single out Anna Faris and Mom‘s writers for superb work on the monologue, which can be viewed below. What was beautiful about this moment was that Christy got the peace that she needed. I say peace, not closure, because though she says what she does in front of the man who raped her, it’s not really about him. You can’t force an attacker to believe anything but his own narrative. Christy needed to know once and for all that what happened to her was not her fault, and that the person she is now might not have been able to do anything differently to change it. Her power comes from the cognizance sobriety has given her to own her voice, so that someone will have to turn away in their own shame if they don’t want to acknowledge their wrongs. They can’t depend on Christy to be a victim any longer.
Are Mom and Anna Faris headed for the Primetime Emmys once more?
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