BEST OF SCREEN MUMS
By Kevin Bechaz
Mother’s Day is coming up, which means a spike in sales for Cadbury Roses, right? Okay, but seriously, our mother’s deserve the best on their well-earned day of days; so let’s take a look some strong-willed women who have and are currently reigning supreme on our screens.
1. Lily Munster (Yvonne De Carlo)
You may be surprised to know that matriarch, Lily Munster, was actually introduced in the show’s second pilot episode and is the only family member of the 60s sitcom not to appear in the original pilot. Rockin’ those grey streaks like the bride of goofball Frankenstein that she is, Lily excels in her domestic duties such as spreading garbage and dusting with a vacuum cleaner switched to reverse. As a mother, Lily is caring and supportive of her son Eddie and treats her niece Marilyn as her own daughter. Fierce for her time, Lily was a true trailblazer as she strived to be a bread-winner in her own right. Dabbling as a welder, fashion model and palm reader she smashed that stereotypical housewife mould of the time. Suffice to say, Lily’s the full package and gives Morticia Addams a run for her money.
2. Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery)
Samantha Stephens, played by the beautiful and elegant Elizabeth Montgomery was my first ‘TV Mum’, which feels strange to say but I’m sure you catch my drift. Witch, wife and mother, Samantha was the show’s main protagonist, who often struggled adjusting to mortal life with her devoted spouse Darren and their two children. Tough and assertive, Sam was by far the most sensible among the colourful cast of characters with a strong moral compass, who could always endure the chaos that often consumed her well-kept household. For us mere mortals watching at home, her ability to solve any problem without twitching of her nose gave us so much to love and admire.
3. Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey)
Beverly is your typical 80s ‘TV Mom’ turned up to eleven in true Spinal Tap form. Overprotective with a flair for monumental levels of motherly embarrassment, Mrs. Goldberg is a prime example of how we remember our mothers during childhood, a wild exaggeration of everything that made us crazy, but would ultimately admire as adults. The ultimate Smother, she drives her three schmoopies, Adam, Barry and Erica nuts with her meddling, even if it’s coming from the heart. From showcasing her dance ability, ala Flashdance or asking her kids if they ‘need to make’, she’s the head of that ‘80s show’ which didn’t fail harder than New Coke.
4. Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez)
JANE THE VIRGIN
Living a life straight out of a telenovela, Jane Villanueva is the closest thing to a modern day Immaculate Conception there is. Accidently artificially inseminated, Jane becomes pregnant with the baby of her boss (who also happens to be an ex-crush) while engaged to another man. Even though she never planned to become a mother so early, or do it in such a dramatic fashion, she’s easily become one of our favourite TV Mums. Always an incredible role model for her son, Mateo, she is also full of love for her family. Of course, there are two other mothers who deserve a massive shout out – the two women who raised her to be the incredible Mum that she is, her own Mum Xiomara and Grandmother, Alba. The three Villanueva ladies present one of the best examples of unconditional love and on TV through their strong, fiercely loyal, and kind demeanour towards those they care about.
5. Amy (America Ferrera)
While this off-the-hook comedy series takes the micky out of the likes of retails giants Walmart or Big W for us Aussie shoppers, much can be said about the show’s tireless lead character, Amy. With eleven years behind her blue Cloud 9 vest, she personifies the sprite working Mums, who sacrifice so much for their kids, in Amy’s case a promising college education after becoming pregnant in high school. She has a tendency to take care of others and takes on too much responsibility in general, often at her own expense, but it’s her die-hard level of selflessness that makes the dedicated employee a motherly force to be reckoned with.
6. Mom (Kathleen Turner)
Not many Mums can add serial murder to their domestic duties, but for the titular Mom in John Water’s satirical comedy, her apron and sponge isn’t just for spilled milk. What caused her to snap is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it was the thankless existence she endured while her self-involved kids and distracted husband carried on blindly to her sacrifice as mommy dearest. Nevertheless, she takes venting to the ultimate extreme with a butcher’s knife always on the ready for an annoying neighbour or other homicidal activities on her to-do list. While we obviously don’t condone her drastic actions, I’m sure many mothers take some secret pleasure from watching this absurdist portrayal of themselves indulging in those brief fantasies of carnage when the kids won’t stop fighting at breakfast.