SMILF crawled under the radar so much that I hadn’t even heard of it before Frankie Shaw was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Leading Actress in a Comedy, earlier this year. That piqued my interest and with only eight episodes it took only a day to watch the season and fall in love.
SMILF isn’t funny haha in the slightest, you will laugh at uncomfortable moments, you will catch yourself in a laugh, but you will say ‘I can see that happen’ as equally as you will say ‘who can that happen to?’
It tells the story of Bridgette Bird who is an aspiring actress in South Boston trying to make ends meet with her son, Larry even though she still makes impulsive and immature decisions. We meet her tribe – like her recovering ex-addict baby daddy, her mother who is going through her own business, her ex’s new girlfriend who becomes her friend, Bridgette’s best friend, Eliza and her crazy boss, Ally.
It’s based on the Sundance-winning short film of the same name which is loosely based on Frankie Shaw’s own life experience of being a single mother and has some amazing performances – especially by Frankie Shaw and Rosie O’Donnell as Tutu, Frankie’s mom.
A lot like Shameless, it’s gritty and doesn’t shy away from real life problems. Like sexual assault, eating disorders, and dysfunctional family relationships, SMILF brings it all to the forefront and deals with it right in front of us all.
The twin girls who play Larry, Bridgette’s son are also the most adorable children to ever grace the earth, and even me in my stonehearted-ness was turned to mush whenever that child was onscreen. And when Larry spoke, oh gosh my heart.
Here’s my top reasons to add this to your list of to-watch shows:
- It’s real, it’s based on Frankie Shaw’s real life so you know it’s juicy
- The acting – namely Frankie Shaw and Rosie O’Donnell
- The guest stars – Raven Goodwin as Eliza, and Connie Britton as Ally, are especially delights
- It’s gritty – this ain’t Who’s the Boss
- It’s funny – the writing is top class
- And it’s heartwarming – even through the grit and the realness, you root for Bridgette, Larry and the rest of the crew, you want them to succeed, and the tone of the show makes you think that they will.