The series created by and starring Frankie Shaw is smart, sexy, frank about sexual abuse, and sharp in its depiction of a struggling single mother whose ambitions and wit try to push through the burdens, realities and confinements of her working-class Boston life. As I say in my video review, the series pops off the small screen.
A lot like Issa Rae’s excellent Insecure on HBO and Pamela Adlon’s great Better Things on FX, SMILF is a sometimes delightful, often crass and painful exploration of freedom. While obviously sharing a female perspective, what truly sets Shaw’s show and those other two shows mentioned atop the pack is a brutal and well tuned commitment to honesty.
Based on Shaw’s 2015 Sundance Film Festival Short Film jury-award winner, with Shaw directing, writing and producing as well as starring, SMILF the TV show is also something much more.
Premiering right after the Season 8 opener of Shameless on Sunday and on the same night as the debut of the wonderful and adventurous Season 2 of The Girlfriend Experience on Starz, SMILF is a real turn in Showtime’s comedy fortunes of late.
Part of that shift comes from the impressive cast of Rosie O’Donnell as the South Boston mother to Shaw’s Bridgette Bird and Connie Britton as her wealthy and self-obsessed boss of sorts. Add to that Miguel Gomez as Rafi, Bridgette’s recovering-addict ex and father to 3-year-old Larry (get it?), and a hilarious Samara Weaving as Rafi’s new girlfriend, Nelson. Showtime put the opening episode online October 23.
Click on my video review above for more of my take on SMILF and why you need to watch this bold show.