On Television, Mothers Are the Villains


Nice moms are over. If a writer wants to make good, timely television these days, looking to Faye Dunaway’s tour-de-force in Mommie Dearest is apropos. Long live the evil cinematic mom.

David Hinckley at the Daily News tallied up the most of the popular television shows and pointed out that most of the mommy characters are horrible people. Let’s take a look shall we?

Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones

She harvested a bastard son, the late King Joffrey, through incest with her brother Jamie, and is pinning that kid’s murder on her other brother, Tyrion.

Betty Draper, Mad Men

During Sunday night’s episode, the beautiful blonde squared up with daughter Sally, burgeoning second wave feminist, over a broken nose, prompting Sally to say “It’s a nose job, not an abortion” in response to her mother’s anger over possible beauty lost. Oh, Sally’s precious nose that Betty “gave her” and she would’ve been able to get future husbands with, had she only stayed away from dumb school pranks. Meanwhile, Sally’s younger brother Bobby is so terrorized by Betty’s love/hate relationship with her kids that he’s developing ulcers in elementary school and actually wants to return to boarding school with Sally.

Gemma Teller, Sons of Anarchy

**Spoiler Alert**

After giving up her ex-husband Clay Morrow to the Feds, she finally stuck the knife in her other arch-enemy, her son Jax’s wife Tara. Literally. She stabs Tara to death in their family kitchen just when Tara is about to take Gemma’s grandkids away from her and the club’s violent lifestyle. So much for that.

Maya Pope, Scandal

Not to be confused with Olivia’s dad, who killed President Fitzgerald Grant’s son to return to his post at the head of B613, Maya Pope blew up a plane filled with people, and was a working mercenary for the highest bidder. She tried to blow up the President during a funeral of a man she killed to attract the POTUS to the ceremony. Unfortunately, her grand play only got Vice President Sally Langston dusty and ahead in the polls. Womp.

Hinckley also mentions the Nashville “momsters” Beverly O’Connor, poor fragile Scarlett’s mom, who sends her daughter into a mental hospital and Juliette Barnes’ mom, Jolene, the meth addicted alcoholic. And of course, you can’t forget Gillian Darmody from Boardwalk Empire, who rapes her own son, then to kill some guy who looks like him for insurance money.

But the one crazy mom Hinckley forgot that’s especially evil? Victoria Grayson on Revenge, which aired it’s so-crazy-I-yelled-at-my-television finale on Sunday. Victoria has dropped off one son at an orphanage, while setting up the father of her daughter to be jailed and killed. And for her second son, she ruined every relationship he’s ever had and made sure to use her kids as patsies for her grand evil schemes at every turn, so much so that none of them trust her.

While there are a few “good” moms of the Clair Huxtable ilk left in comedies like Modern Family or The Goldbergs, the evil ones seem to be reigning supreme. What this says about our society’s view of moms, I’m not sure.

Also: An honorable mention to Fiona Goode of American Horror Story. She was the quintessential bitch but boy, she was fun to watch.

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