CW’s new summer hit “Significant Mother” deserves not just your eyeballs but some award attention. After debuting on Aug.3, it has improved with every outing. In sports, it is said you make the biggest improvement from your first game to your second. With “Significant Mother,” I’d say that leap happened after the second episode. Why?
Well because the premise, to be perfectly frank, is unbelievable: Nate (Josh Zuckerman) and Jimmy (Nathaniel Buzolic), two best friends since the sandbox, now live together. All is well till Jimmy secretly starts a fling with Nate’s mother Lydia (Krista Allen). How could one “best friend” do that to the other? Why would the other even allow for that? What the hell is the mother thinking!?! So many questions but it’s when the show decided to push that premise to the background and focus on its characters and on the strength of its performances, particularly Zuckerman and Allen, that it shines.
Zuckerman is best known for: “Sex Drive,” “Surviving Christmas,” and his critically hailed turn as the Fairview strangler on the Emmy winning series “Desperate Housewives.” Show creators Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith wrote this character with him in mind. That could be why there’s an effortless comedic sense you get when watching him roll through Nate’s daily dilemmas. In the fourth episode, “Edible Wrecks,” Zuckerman channelled his inner John Ritter and displayed an expert blend of physical comedy and comedic timing. If Emmy would ever pay attention to CW talent, this would be a winning submission.
Allen — best-known for “Days of our Lives” and “Baywatch” — had her chance to shine in the third episode, “Who’s your Daddy?” Lydia had to face a potential pregnancy from her new lover while fending off her separated-but-still-there-husband Harrison (Jonathan Silverman – who deserves some guest actor buzz himself). The way the actress reels off the quick one-liners and still makes you cheer for Lydia despite her affair is a testament to her talent.
So what does this mean on the awards side of things for “Significant Mother”? Well thanks to “Jane the Virgin,” the CW is no longer a stranger to awards. The Golden Globes embraced the first season of that show, with a Best Comedy Series bid and a win for star Gina Rodriguez. And the HFPA has not shied away from raunchy fare. Remember, “Married … with Children” received seven Golden Globe nominations throughout its run: Best Comedy Series (1991), Comedy Actor for Ed O’Neill (1992, 1993), and Comedy Actress for Katey Sagal (1991-1994).
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Photo: The cast of “Significant Mother.” Credit: CW