Odd Mom Out

By: Andrew Guido

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Still from Modern Family, Season 3 episode 20;“The Last Walt.”

As we discuss the dynamics of the nuclear family in the 1950s, I find it fascinating at how much this ideal has changed. Personally, I find the expectations of the mother the most fascinating. Traditionally, mothers have conformed to their traditional roles in family sitcoms. They are depicted as intrinsically feminine, nurturing, and, above all, they are what society would define as “good mothers.” But, as sitcoms progress towards new gender dynamics and familial functions, I am pleased to observe that mothers are being illustrated as more and more imperfect.

Why do I think that this shift is amazing? Because mothers are being shown as who they truly are: human! For instance, there is Claire in Modern Family, whose family is constantly making fun of her for being awkward, lame, or stiff. I always loved the episode, where Claire cannot stop smiling when terrible things happen and therefore cannot console her son about the death of a neighbor, hilarious because she is so awkward and unlike our conventional definition of a mother. In addition, although it is a movie and not a sitcom, my mind wanders to the movie Bad Moms, which recently came out, because its hilarity is centered around mothers being truthful instead of traditional.

I specifically wanted to recommend the TV show Odd Mom Out, which I recently started watching with my own mom. The sitcom is situated around an “edgy” mom who most attempt to adapt to living on the Upper East Side and weaving through the popular mommy cliques. She is typically antagonized by these socialites and finds herself perpetually out of place in the upper echelons of society. My mother and I bonded over this show, because, due to living in the suburbs, she has had to socialize with the “trophy wife” type and always would come home and talk to me about how terrible they all were. Odd Mom Out is a hilarious show which has become sentimental to my mother and I. In my opinion, moms are so much funnier which they are human instead of perfect.

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6 Responses to Odd Mom Out

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Odd Mom Out sounds like a compelling show. I believe that the issues the mother’s are dealing with on the show are still relevant on a day to day basis. Much like you, I think that the transitions from the 1950’s mother to now on TV, shows that the role of the mother no longer entails being this perfect picturesque woman who knows all the answers and leaves room for mother to make mistakes. I think having shows like this help us realize that mothers are human and sometimes e forget that this is their first time for a lot of things too. They’ve only lived one life, but for some reason for us it seems like they’ve done it all before.

    Shayla

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I am also very intrigued by society’s view of women and mothers! Although I have never seen Odd Mom Out, it sounds like an incredible and humorous show. Especially in influential areas such as television shows, I find it particularly important that mothers are shown exactly as they are: imperfectly perfect. I grew up with parents that both worked full-time; often times, they would switch off cooking dinner and cleaning the house. That is something which would never have occurred in the 1950’s! It is so interesting, and disappointing, to learn about the expectations of women during that time period. Although there is still a gender gap that exists today within society, I am so thankful that I live in an age in which females are more accepted and respected.
    -Allie Kleinman

  3. mediaphiles says:

    It is truly fascinating to see how the role as a mother has shifted from the 1950s till now. “Leave it to Beaver” and “I Love Lucy” are just two examples of mothers who embody this perfect, cookie-cutter housewife role, however, as time has progressed, we have seen shows like “Modern Family” develop their female characters to take on more independent roles. I think that as a mother, I would personally enjoy seeing other mothers on television mess up at times, for my own personal comfort knowing that I wasn’t alone. In the 1950s, mothers were depicted so perfectly, that they became an ideal for housewives in real life to be exactly like them, which in turn, put even more pressure on women to conform to the passive nurturing mother role. Shows like “Modern Family” have taken the step in the right direction, slowly minimizing the gender socialization gap. I would be interested to see how “Odd Mom Out” tackles this issue.

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I loved this post especially after our reading on how much the role of women has changed in sitcoms throughout the ages. Odd Moms Out sounds like a fun show to watch and I agree that it is a step in the right direction when a mom is shown to have a life outside of the household and not confined within a domestic standard.
    – Ziba Klein

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I love this. My favorite is the “human” comment – because that is something that is not regularly taken into account. Especially when considering our readings and episodes for this week, it is interesting to think about how “mom” is portrayed and what the advantages/disadvantages are to categorizing her or placing her in a box. – Corey

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