“Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears - but also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride.” Anonymous
Golden Globe nominated comedy series SMILF (which stands for Single Mother I’d Like to F*ck) reads as if it was created as a sort of slapstick comedy with a sexualised single mother, but it’s anything but! In an interview with Vanity Fair, creator and lead actress Frankie Shaw said, “It’s supposed to be a little bit of an ironic thing, because ‘MILF’ is a term that men use to categorise women…But this woman is nothing like the stereotype of that term.”
SMILF tells a nuanced and in-depth story about single parent Bridgette Bird (Frankie Shaw) from South Boston, trying to make a better life for her son Larry, in a way that feels both relatable and unique to the situation. The series has been brought to our shores first and only by Showmax - and it’s the gritty, dark comedy we’ve been waiting for.
For fans of the series Shameless, SMILF should immediately be added to your watchlist. The refreshingly honest take on a struggling single parent makes one of the most awfully, brilliantly bad series we’ve seen. And we’re not alone. The series debuted with the third biggest premiere week audience for a comedy ever on SHOWTIME, Forbes described it as “the show Girls wished it could be”, and it earned Frankie Shaw nominations for both Best Comedy and Best Actress at the 2018 Golden Globes.
Here’s 5 reasons to love it – even if you aren’t a single mom!
1. Gritty, crazy, messy, honest single parenting at its worst (and best)
Parenting is a difficult task for anyone, but for single mothers on low incomes – you need a level 100 in the creativity department. No childcare, sick days, or taking it in turns to get up in the middle of the night for nightmares. It’s messy. But then again, so is life. Right from episode 1 we see an overwhelmed Bridgette trying to balance parenting, dating, and work – and failing dismally – which makes us love her even more.
The hit comedy series also features multiple Emmy winner Rosie O’Donnell as Bridgette’s stubborn mom and Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Connie Britton (Nashville, Friday Night Lights) guest starring as Bridgette’s unstable boss, Ally. The perfectly authentic and gritty performances of all the cast will make you want to laugh, cry and rage with them in every episode.
Popular advice given to writers is to “write what you know” and that’s exactly what Frankie Shaw did when she wrote her 2014 short film also named SMILF, which the series is based on. It won the 2015 Short Film Jury Award for US Fiction at the Sundance Film Festival. Based on Shaw’s own struggles of being a young, single mother, it also deals with other real issues such as sexual assault, eating disorders, addiction, and dysfunctional family interactions. “I’m flawed. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve been ‘that mom’ that everyone talks about,” says Frankie. “But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m Bridgette – now get me a beer and a boyfriend!”
Bridgette’s son, Larry is played by twin girls who are seriously the most adorable children in the world. It’s easy to see how Bridgette, Tutu (Rosie O’Donnell), the dad Rafi (Miguel Gomez) and even Rafi’s girlfriend, Nelson (Samara Weaving) are all instantly turned to mush whenever they see Larry.
We are no stranger to gritty comedies, from Shameless to Girls, but even though the situations in SMILF seem hopeless and despairing, the show’s well-written characters are a band of flawed misfits who somehow manage to also remind us of the tenacity of the human spirit – and keep us rooting for them. As much as bad things happen, good fortune can also strike. It’s just like real life. Only more entertaining.
Binge-watch SMILF or catch episodes during nap-time and in between tantrums only on Showmax.
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