Sunday, May 13, 2007

TV Moms III – The Hybrid Mom

Had some Internet problems last night so here's the last, and possibly the most interesting and realistic of the classes of TV Moms, the Hybrid Mom. The Hybrid Mom mixes all the great qualities of the Motherly Mom and some of the sexiness of the Hot Mom. The Hybrid Mom tends to be in her late thirties or early forties, has kids in their teens – possibly even one in college – but is still sexually attractive to her spouse (if she has one) and maybe other men. She definitely has "MILFy" qualities. More to the point she still enjoys sex with her husband although she is frequently worried enough about conception that she'll insist that her husband have a vasectomy which he inevitably does after considerable protest. Here then are some of TV's great Hybrid Moms.

Carol Brady – The Brady Bunch: Here's the story of a lovely lady with three kids of her own who married a man with three sons. And for the life of me I can't understand why there wasn't a seventh little Brady. We never know why Carol was unattached until she married Mike Brady – producer Sherwood Schwartz wanted her to be a divorcee but that was apparently nixed by ABC – and it was generally assumed that like Mike she was widowed. Carol goes from raising three girls to managing a blended family of three girls and three boys and after a first season (well really just a few episodes) that at times is rough handles it without a noticeable hitch. One thing that is absolutely clear is that by changing Florence Henderson's hairstyle she actually gets hotter looking as she gets older.

Shirley Partridge – Partridge Family: Shirley Partridge had five kids so you have to figure that before her husband shuffled off this mortal coil she had to have had a pretty active sex life. She was also a spectacularly great mom. I mean being a single mom is never an easy job but on TV at least none of the Partridge kids smoked, drank, did drugs or had behavioural problems (off screen there was Danny Bonaduce – 'nuff said). The biggest problem a Partridge kid had was when Laurie (Susan Dey) got braces just before the boy she really really liked (played by a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill) was going to kiss her. And she did all that while the band was going on the road in that bus, usually driven by Shirley (at least until Keith got his license). Shirley dated occasionally, which with five kids at home in the early '70s was frankly amazing, but you always got the feeling that she was evaluating men based on her late husband and the guys she dated never really measured up.

Claire Huxtable – The Cosby Show: Also known as Superwoman and played by Phylicia Rashad. Let's look at Claire's qualifications for that title. She had five kids – Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy – a step granddaughter (Olivia) that she had to raise after Denise and her naval officer husband Martin Kendall were posted overseas, two other grandchildren – Sondra's twins Nelson and Winnie. And in all this she not only managed to get a law degree, keep the house spotless without any sign of a maid or housekeeper, cook gourmet meals, and manage Heathcliff's diet – whether he likes it or not. Plus she could sing. Oh yeah, by the way, still gettin' it on! Superwoman indeed!

Jill Taylor – Home Improvement: Not quite the Superwoman that Claire Huxtable was, she still had some chops in that area. Jill (played by Patricia Richardson) had to deal with three kids (but they were all boys and all a lot like their father) plus Tim Taylor. And still she managed to get a degree in Psychology. She was far more level headed than her husband – but Gracie Allen would have been more level headed than Tim – and was able to manage her sons. Over time she revealed a bit of a wild side. As a college student she engaged in a bit of rebellion against her Army officer father by getting seriously into marijuana to the point where she had a problem that time helped her to cope with. Also in college she owned a water bed where she and Tim made waves. During the series Richardson lost weight which let the producers put her in more revealing clothes including nighties. She might be frustrated by Tim at times but she was willing to try out the rumble seat of his hot rod.

Joyce Summers – Buffy: the Vampire Slayer: I thought about this one for a while but finally decided that she fit in this category. Joyce – played by Kristine Sutherland – was a huge influence on her daughter to the point where after Joyce`s death Buffy tried to replicate a Thanksgiving meal exactly as her mother would have done it. Joyce is a very protective parent, concerned about her daughter and trying hard to set limits (which by the nature of her powers Buffy sometimes has to overstep) in the period when she doesn't know that Buffy is "The Slayer." There's a certain pride there too exemplified in the way that Joyce reacts to Snyder after Spike and his vampires attack the school. In turn Joyce`s opinion meant a lot to Buffy, and she leaves home when Joyce tells her, "If you walk out of this house right now, don't even think about coming back" because Buffy takes her mother at her word. Although Joyce didn`t date much, there's still a sexual attractiveness there – she's in full MILF mode in Xander's dream at the end of season 4. And who could forget Buffy reading her mother's mind about an encounter with Giles: "Twice? On the hood of a police car?!"

And the anti-Hybrid Mom:

Peg Bundy – Married With Children: It is entirely to the credit of Katey Sagal as an actress that she made herself as believable as she did playing Peg Bundy on Married With Children. Viewed by just about any standard Peg is the worst possible wife and mother in the world – she's lazy, doesn't cook clean or actually do anything that resembles work in or out of the home. She's a fashion disaster and while she's faithful to her husband he dreads even the possibility of intercourse with her unless he sees her doing actual physical labour.

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