Inching towards mediocrity.

Top Ten TV Moms. (Now with 50% more Marion Ross!)

Mother’s Day is nearly upon us, blog world. For most of us, that means last minute shopping for flowers, cards, chocolates, wine, or whatever gift you (and I’m speaking to primarily the male audience out there) think constitutes an acceptable gift for a woman. And not just any woman, either – the woman. The most important woman you’ll ever know – at least until you get married and your allegiances shift, whether you want them to or not.

And to all a good night!

Anyways, for those of you who are curious (all four and a half of you), ol’ Lu is indeed still single (at least pretend to be shocked) so my mother (also known as The Greatest Mother in the World, for those keeping score) is the most important woman in my life, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. (Though future name calling in my comments section may very well change that).

Regardless, this post is not about my mom, but rather it’s about a few moms who might be just a teensy bit more well known in larger circles.

That’s right, bloggers. In honor of Sunday’s Day of Mothers, I present the Top Ten Best TV Moms!

(Keep in mind, these are my own personal choices – should I miss one, feel free to let me know in the comment section. But keep it polite, jerks!)

Ten. Jill Taylor. (Patricia Richardson, Home Improvement).

Note the wrench in her hands. The show had a "tools" theme, as I recall

Jill Taylor from Home Improvement seems as good a place as any to start, as she adequately defines the main theme of the list. In creating a list of television’s top moms, I was tempted to add in such fan favorites as Seinfeld’s Estelle Costanza or Estelle Getty’s wise-cracking mom from The Golden Girls. However, I decided to take a more grounded approach to the list, and present ten of TV’s more realistic and down-to-earth moms. Not only would you like to be raised by these women, but you could honestly see yourself being raised by them. In fact, if you’re lucky (as I am), many of these mothers will directly reflect your own.

Back on track: Jill is that all around, down-to-earth, wholesome mom. Juggling three kids (four, if you count Tim Allen) and a husband (the aforementioned fourth kid) is never easy, but Jill always manged it without any complaints, and usually with a wry comment to throw into the mix now and then.

Nine. Beulah Carey. (Marion Ross, The Drew Carey Show).

I couldn't find any pictures of her in character. Deal.

Marion Ross is on this list twice. There. Just getting that out there, so you can be ready for her when she pops up again.

Not a lotta folks seem to remember (or ever really watched) The Drew Carey Show, but it was always a personal favorite of mine. This was mostly due to the hilarious antics of Drew’s closest friends, the drunken duo of Lewis and Oswald (played to creepy and clueless perfection by Ryan Stiles and Diedrich Bader) and the foppish antics of Drew’s boss, Nigel Wick (played by the always delightful – and foppish – Craig Ferguson).

Drew’s adorable parents also made their mark, though, in the episodes that featured them. Beulah was an old fashioned, caring mother, who put up with her sons no matter what new weirdness they would thrust upon her – Drew’s crappy job and poor luck with woman, and his brother’s cross-dressing and odd choice in women being the main weirdness. And Marion Ross played her to absolute perfection, achieving a very nice balance between old fashioned mom and a new wavey “the hell with it, they’re my kids” attitude.

Eight. Lorelai Gilmore. (Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls).

Best mom? Maybe not. HOTTEST mom? DEFINITELY.

Best mom? Maybe not. HOTTEST mom? DEFINITELY.

Sure, Lorelai Gilmore was a little more than selfish. And sure, she saw her daughter as more of a “best friend that has to hang around with me, at least until she’s eighteen no matter what.” Still, Lorelai always managed to do what’s right by her daughter, and on her own no less. Despite having wealthy parents of her own, Lorelai chose to find her own way, and raise her daughter Rory by her own personal standards, allowing her to thrive on her own.

Also, she was smokin’ hot.

Seven. Danny Tanner. (Bob Saget, Full House).

Oh, he TOTALLY counts.

Let’s face it. John Stamos’ Uncle Jesse was clearly the man around the house, and Dave Coulier’s Uncle Joey was clearly the weird, borderline creepy uncle around the house. So the mom role fell squarely on Danny Tanner’s shoulders.

The fact that he was the children’s biological father notwithstanding, just look at that argyle cardigan.

Total. Mom.

Six. Marion Cunningham. (Marion Ross, Happy Days).

Doesn't get more "mom" than this.

I warned you.

Few moms were as utterly momish as Happy Days Mrs. C. Not content to simply raise her own kids right, Mrs. Cunningham would take in whatever ragtag group of 1950’s weirdos her son Richie would drag home on a nightly basis – including Henry Winkler.

Sure, she had another kid that mysteriously disappeared somehow, never to be seen or mentioned again, but whatever. She definitely made up for it by raising the rest of the Happy Days gang.

Five. Marge Simpson. (Julie Kavner, The Simpsons).

I'm sure she's just preparing to cut some delicious brownies with that thing.

In the pantheon of “families no normal person could ever deal with,” the Simpsons reign supreme. Saddled with a mischievous son (and not adorable Dennis the Menace slingshotting butterflies mischief either, but a far more terrifying kind), a super intelligent daughter, and an oafish, boorish, bumbling husband (who also sees his fair share of terrifying mischief), Marge Simpson nevertheless manages to rise above it all to be the perfect mother and wife that she is. Always calm, collected, and ready to back her shitshow of a family no matter what horrors they’ve caused, Marge is the epitome of the caring, non-judgemental mother.

The baby is pretty normal, though.

...or not.

Four. Vivian Banks. (Janet Hubert-Whitten, Daphne Maxwell Reid, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air).

But which is the REAL Vivian? (They both are).

The only thing greater than Vivian Banks is her husband, Judge Phillip Banks. But this article isn’t about father’s, it’s about mother’s; so scratch that, and come back on Father’s Day.

Vivian is a loving woman, and, at the beginning of the series, the only thing standing in the way of Phillip severely beating the crap out of his wacky nephew, the aforementioned “Fresh Prince” (Will Smith). The main theme running through these moms seems to be patience, and Vivian had it in spades. Her son was a dork, her daughter was a ditz, and her other daughter was a pointless character that got progressively hotter throughout the series duration. But she endured it all, as well as that wacky “Fresh Prince” and stuck up for her children, her nephew, and her husband at every possible opportunity.

Also, there was two of them for some reason. Neither actress was ever heard from again, after this series ended.

Three. Kitty Forman. (Debra Jo Rupp, That 70’s Show.)

Mom stereotypes continue.

Kitty was just an out and out DELIGHT. From her odd laugh to her ability to keep her ass-kicking husband Red in check, Kitty is a fairly recent, but still important, addition to the TV moms Hall of Fame.

Like Mrs. Cunningham and Vivian Banks, Kitty wasn’t just a good mom to her kids (a stoner and a whore, for those paying attention), but also to any other momless child that would wander into her house (usually also stoned). She’d always accept them, take care of them, and laugh off whatever reasonable, but dickish, comment her husband might make about the situation.

Also, there’s a good chance that Kitty’s good naturedness was due to a drinking problem, but since her alcohol intake was played for laughs, and never for anything more serious, we were totally okay with it.

Two. Roseanne Connor. (Roseanne, Roseanne).

You are not long for this world, cake.

Roseanne is probably the most realistic mom on this list; a blue collared mom, with a blue collared husband, who were constantly struggling to make ends meet and get ahead in the world – but never at the expense of her children’s health or well being. And her kids always got their fair share of valuable lessons out of her as well – albeit through some pretty unorthodox and bizarre methods.

Still, Roseanne was the woman to have at your side during an argument or a fight – she wasn’t one to back down or sacrifice her children’s happiness for anyone, whether she was right or they were. All good qualities in a mom.

Also, this show is pretty much the only thing Roseanne Barr/Arnold/Gosselin/Woods ever did that was actually any good. So there’s that.

One. Clair Huxtable. (Phylicia Rashad, The Cosby Show).

I want a Clair Huxtable.

I was going to write up a nice entry on why Clair Huxtable tops this list.

But then I stumbled across this video of Sean SB Butler singing his song, “I’m Looking For a Clair Huxtable” and felt that it adequately described everything I was going to say, only better. And set to a nice beat. Enjoy!

I love you, Clair Huxtable.

Also you, mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

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[…] in sort of a companion piece to my earlier Mother’s Day article, we’re going to be looking at the Top Five TV Dad’s. For those of you wondering why […]

Pingback by Top Ten TV Dad’s. (Now with 150% more Uncle Phil! He was a big guy, you see). « Inching towards mediocrity.

[…] in sort of a companion piece to my earlier Mother’s Day article, we’re going to be looking at the Top Five TV Dad’s. For those of you wondering why […]

Pingback by Top Five TV Dad’s. (Now with 150% more Uncle Phil! He was a big guy, you see). « Inching towards mediocrity.

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