Now that Mother's Day is over and done with, we can move on – to making fun of a certain kind of mom.
I don't know what it's like in your neighbourhood, but they're all over mine. They don't eat. Well, they eat kale, I gather. And boy, do they exercise. There are times when, like, five out of 10 women on the street are carrying their little yoga mats to class.
They have giant strollers that are meant, I swear, to impede anyone else's progress on the sidewalk. Their brats – and some of them are totally brats – crowd up the chic little convenience store while they buy sushi. Sushi, no less.
At the bakery, they go insane, these moms. They're hyperventilating while considering purchasing their monthly pastry. I grab my cinnamon bun and run before there's an incident and their therapists have to be called in.
Sometimes the only recourse is to hide out at the Dollarama. They are never, ever in there.
Odd Mom Out (now streaming on shomi) is about such people. Well, the really wealthy version of them in particular. Practically the first thing spoken in the first episode is a tale of woe about the "weekend nanny."
The comedy, created and produced by Jill Kargman (who also stars) and based on her novel Momzillas, makes merciless fun of rich moms in Manhattan. Kargman plays Jill Weber, who has lived in Manhattan all her life and has a lawyer for a husband, but in this arena, she is a charity case. There isn't a lot of meat to the show, but it takes great pleasure in poking away at many of the fads and pretensions of well-off urbanites.
It's all about money, really. While the Jill character is far from poor, she just doesn't fit into the cliques who have untold wealth. And the emphasis is on the staggering wealth of such people. Sometimes it's sheer luck – Jill's brother-in-law invested in a company that brought bagels to China and ended up with about half-a-billion dollars. At the preschool, the kids are asked to write about their parents. One kid writes, "My dad is a plastic surgeon. He loves his Maseratis and making people's faces not ugly."
Great sport is had with the causes such people espouse and raise funds to support. Jill is inveigled into supporting "NACHO," which is New Yorkers Against Childhood Obesity. To raise money, a marathon spinning session is held. The superstar instructor screams, "Are you bitches ready to sweat?" A kid who looks mildly overweight is paraded to inspire the spinning. The aim of the charity to offer "prophylactic gastric bypasses for at-risk kids with morbidly obese parents." It is all wickedly funny.
Made for the U.S. version of Bravo, and the channel's first-ever sitcom, the series is perfectly timed to mock what is, ironically, a Bravo staple – those Real Housewives shows. It takes precise aim at the privileged and air-headed, and at times, annihilates them. Kargman has never acted before this show and displays remarkable comedic skills. Amazingly, this first-timer successfully anchors the show.
Much of the time, mind you, in the opening episode, she doesn't have to do much apart from deliver a zinger in answer to such questions as, "Where do you guys summer?" Or sit across a table from her best friend, a doctor, and declare, "A doughnut is just a gay bagel."
The doctor, Vanessa (KK Glick), meanwhile, gets to inform Jill that at the hospital, "We get eight to 10 workout injuries a week." In another moment, Vanessa tells Jill, "I'm watching some new reality show where they pair homeless people with life coaches." That is all too plausible.
At first, Odd Mom Out seems like simplified satire. There are setups and punchlines and it all seems very breezy while being funny.
But as the episodes roll along, the comedy is less obvious. Jill and her husband are Jewish and this makes her rather exotic to some of the moms she's obliged to spend time with. And she lives the rather ordinary urban life of subways, rambunctious kids and a husband (Andy Buckley from the NBC version of The Office) who struggles with a boring job. Her life is honoured while the antics of the superrich nitwits who surround her are subtly shredded.
It's a funny show and refreshing in that it makes fun of some very familiar female figures who have existed on TV – from Sex and the City to the contemporary and serious drama Billions.
I don't loathe those moms in my neighbourhood. It's just that they deserve the satiric treatment, and Odd Mom Out delivers it.
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