Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz/I Love Lucy).
Christine Baranski (Diane Lockhart/The Good Wife).
Ja’Net DuBois (Willona Woods/Good Times).
Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper (Mary and Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show).
This Wednesday, Maya Rudolph becomes the latest in a long list of TV NotMoms when Up All Night premieres on NBC. (Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC)
You’ve probably seen the commercials – hopefully the funniest lines haven’t already been revealed. Christina Applegate is the harried new mom; Will Arnett is her equally overwhelmed husband, and Maya is her boss, Ava.
Or, as the NY Times described the role, Maya is the “needy, blissfully childless boss.”
NotMom sterotyping? I started to get annoyed, but quickly realized that to Christina’s sleep-deprived character, anyone childfree must seem to be full of bliss. Especially if sleep equals bliss.
NotMoms on TV can be “Sexy and Sassy” (think Delta Burke (Suzanne Sugarbaker/Designing Women). “Deliriously Desperate” (think pre-pregnancy Kristin Davis (Charlotte York/Sex & the City or Debra Messing (Grace/Will & Grace). Or, “Sassy & Slightly Drunk” (Audra Lindley (Helen Roper/Three’s Company) and Megan Mullally (Karen Walker/Will & Grace).
I don’t think TV is comfortable with women as blatant kid-haters, at least, not as regular characters. I can only think of Kim Cattrall (Samantha/Sex & the City), and even she wasn’t overly rude, just firm.
And now we’ll have Maya Rudolph, 39, who is a Major Mom in real life…Baby #3 was born in July. I think she’ll be great. She’s certainly on the right track, describing her ”blissful” character this way:
“She’s certainly not: ‘Babies? Ewwww.’” I don’t know if I want to be that person. I don’t even know if I like that person Not everyone necessarily wants children, and she’s just not there yet.”
If Maya is able to channel the authenticity of her own NotMom memories, the show’s a hit for sure.