With Mother’s Day is this weekend — don’t forget to call your mom! — we’re looking at 10 of our favorite moms from the small screen.
10. Peggy Bundy in “Married … with Children”
Maybe Peggy (Katey Sagal) didn’t really put forth a lot of effort as a mom (or a wife), but she did epitomize the Bundy spirit. And she gets bonus points for putting up with her husband’s terrible foot odor, probably the least offensive thing about Al.
9. Lorelai Gilmore in “Gilmore Girls”
Anyone who’s watched an episode of “16 and Pregnant” knows not all teens turn out to be great moms. The protagonist of “Gilmore Girls” did, though. She had a youthful connection to daughter Rory, who inherited her mom’s smarts and tendency for fast-talking.
8. Lucille Bluth in “Arrested Development”/Malory Archer in “Archer”
Jessica Walter’s martini-draining self-involved mother was one of many, many reasons the Bluths turned out so dysfunctional. And actress Jessica Walters also voices the mother of a dysfunctional spy on “Archer,” a character clearly inspired by Lucille. Bad moms? Oh, yeah. But we love them.
7. Nancy Botwin in “Weeds”
Mary-Louise Parker’s Nancy has been a complicated mom. Struggling to provide for her middle-class family after her husband’s death, she turned to pot dealing — a decision made with her family’s best interest in mind. The slippery slope of her life of crime lead to some not-great decisions for her kids, too.
6. Vivian Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”
Will Smith’s culture shock in going from West Philly to Bel-Air was eased by his loving Aunt Viv, who treated him more like a son. Bonus points for being portrayed by two different actresses (Janet Hubert-Whitten and Daphne Maxwell Reid).
5. Tami Taylor in “Friday Night Lights”
Mrs. Coach (Connie Britton) always put family first. She made numerous sacrifices for her husband’s coaching career. Her daughter, Julie, may have had some rough patches, but she turned out pretty great. She also made the most of her maternal skills in helping out wayward and confused teenagers who weren’t her own.
4. Marge Simpson in “The Simpsons”
Marge is a great example and loving mom to Bart, Lisa and Maggie, but she places this high for her unconditional love of the biggest, dumbest kid in her household, Homer.
3. Carmela Soprano in “The Sopranos”
World’s greatest mother? Probably not, but Carmela (Edie Falco) did the best she could with a highly dysfunctional family, and that’s not even mentioning how she had to deal with the messes created by “The Family.” Still, the reason Carmela’s on this list isn’t her parenting skills. It’s how her character’s arc — from deliberately naïve mob wife to independent women to supportive, yet discerning mob wife — was one the most compelling aspects of a magnificent drama.
2. Roseanne in “Roseanne”
The best and most accurate depiction of a blue-collar mother on television, ever. “Roseanne” was a groundbreaking series thanks in large part to the feisty, funny and loving woman at its center.
1. Kitty Foreman in “That ’70s Show”
Not only did Kitty manage to keep Red from putting a foot in Eric’s ass on a daily basis, but she kept a wonderful home and put up with—and often made sandwiches for — all those moronic teenage miscreants getting stoned in her basement. Hell, she even gave Hyde a good home. It’s wonder Kitty ever found time to have a drink, but thankfully she did.