Smilf, similar to Shameless, seems like the type of show which will gain a loyal fan base, but not the mainstream attention it may come to deserve.
Creator: Frankie Shaw
Bridgette (Frankie Shaw) is a mother of a two-year-old she made with this man Rafi (Miguel Gomez). Someone who she no longer dates but does her best to co-parent with. Though with him being a former addict, and a bit unreliable, Bridgette doesn’t fully trust him yet to do a real 50/50 split when it comes to parenting. Thus making it where, unless her mother Tutu (Rosie O’Donnell) is watching him, Bridgette is with her son the majority of the time.
Which is fine, she loves Larry (Alexandra Mary Reimer & Anna Chanel Reimer), but her sex life pretty much ended after the kid was born. Leaving her to wonder, if she ever did find anyone, is her vagina too big? But, I should note, her focus, alongside eventually getting some, is also becoming a working actress. She has already done enough work for a SAG-AFTRA card, but Boston isn’t really leading to a big career jump off. Though, with everything and everyone she knows being there, she isn’t willing to give up just yet.
Shaw Is Very Likable and Comes Off Relatable
Though not a single mother, I know a few, my mother was one, and I can imagine people seeing Bridgette and connecting with her. She is weird but in a way which is normal – in a tomboy sense. Like her being really good at basketball, to the point she keeps up with the guys, then has a sex fantasy about being dominated by half the team. Is that sex dream weird? Much less her masturbating right next to her son, never mind trying to have sex next to him in the same episode? Yup. Yet, desperate times call for desperate measures and as much as you kind of want to judge her, maybe even say “I would never!” As you get to know Bridgette, you begin to want to make excuses for her.
With being born in the early 90s, my knowledge of O’Donnell pretty much is summarized by her showing up on Nickelodeon shows and coming out. So to see her now be a woman of a certain age, kind of crazy, notably mean, and formerly with someone who raped Bridgette (Bridgette’s biological dad raped her), it is of interest to see where she goes with this. Especially in terms of her playing what Bridgette describes as a mean person. For Bridgette comes off as a little warrior of sorts. Someone fragile but will keep getting back up, and how much of her vulnerability stems from her mom flipping out on here should be interesting to discover.
Especially since Shaw and O’Donnell have excellent chemistry and one scene in particular, when Bridgette dared to call Tutu, O’Donnell’s character, crazy, you can see fear. The kind which, you know, it probably wasn’t just Bridgette’s dad abusing her. He may have been doing it sexually, but verbally, maybe even physically, Tutu probably caused some trauma herself. Yet, being that Bridgette can’t rely on Rafi, and probably not his family as well, she deals with it.
The Complicated Relationship with Rafi
I like that Rafi and Bridgette’s relationship seems complicated. Like they don’t hate each other but something simply didn’t work in their relationship. So, at this point, they try their best to co-parent while still working on their own person. Which, for Rafi, is staying off whatever he is addicted to and for Bridgette, trying to establish who she is outside of Larry’s mommy.
On The Fence
Bridgette’s employer, played by Connie Britton, I want to assume plays the role of her best friend. At least, based off them comparing vagina circumferences after childbirth, it seems like they are best friends. However, while you have to enjoy the conversation for its rarity in mainstream media, at the same time there wasn’t much there in terms of chemistry. The conversation flowed but you aren’t given this vibe that these two would really share this type of information with each other if they weren’t acting.
To put it another way, similar to how in romantic movies they usually pair two hot people together and hope for the best? For Bridgette and her employer, it seems they just put two women together and hoped for the best.
Overall: Positive (Watch This)
I’m not going to pretend this show is going to really drive subscribers to Showtime. It isn’t that type of show. If anything, it seems more like something which belongs on Netflix vs. a show on a network which heavily relies on tentpole productions to carry it through a season. But, even with that slight insult said, Smilf comes off as a very likable show. One which could certainly grow on those who are iffy about it.
Just as long as Bridgette’s friends are a little less cringey than her and her employer. Though, who knows, maybe that is how their relationship is supposed to be. Somewhere in a weird zone because this 20 or early 30 something-year-old girl is swapping vaginal war stories with her boss. Someone lonely enough to ride with the conversation, all the way, but isn’t able to make the situation between them seem completely natural and like an everyday occurrence.