Despite the countless social media accounts to the contrary, perfection is not reality and being a parent is really, really hard. CBC’s newest comedy Workin’ Moms proves that even though it may be messy, women still can have it all. The new series, which premieres Tuesday, January 10 at 9:30 p.m. on CBC, is created by and stars Catherine Reitman and will explore the lives of four friends as they bond over kids, careers and life in their Mommy and Me classes.
Along with Reitman, the series stars Dani Kind, Juno Rinaldi and Jessalyn Wanlim and follows these women each week as they deal with challenges from identity crisis, new job opportunities and postpartum depression to even an unplanned pregnancy. After getting our hands on and sampling the first four episodes, Workin’ Moms has quickly become one of our favorite new shows here at The TV Junkies. If you tune in Tuesday night we’re pretty sure we won’t be alone in that feeling, but figured we’d offer up a few (non-spoilery!) reasons why this new comedy should be one that you don’t miss.
It’s completely relatable
Reitman and her entire writers room are parents and the result are stories that are 100 per cent relatable. In fact, as a working mom myself, I’d even go so far as to say I haven’t found myself relating to a show this much, ever. Watching the first four episodes it seemed that if I hadn’t directly experienced the situations on screen, then I certainly had friends who had. Parenting is hard work and it isn’t always perfect, so it’s nice to see others have been through similar experiences.
It’s REALLY Funny
Not only are the stories relatable on Workin’ Moms but they are really, really funny. Reitman and her team seem to have taken the approach that as parents we should all be laughing and commiserating about the tough or awkward times because everybody has been there. It feels really great to see that it’s perfectly OK to laugh instead of cry about these moments. It also helps that right out of the gate Workin’ Moms completely nails its tone. In doing that, the show proves itself deftly able at not only providing laughs, but also tackling more serious issues like postpartum depression.
Reitman’s signature is all over Workin’ Moms and that’s a very good thing. Not only is the star and a writer on the series, but she also directed a couple of episodes. This was her vision, along with husband Philip Sternberg who costars, and she sees it through the whole way. Reitman’s Kate, who has just reentered the workforce, is also a very relatable lead character who is compelling and intriguing to watch. She’s a successful businesswoman and excels at her career, but that’s not to say she’s perfect. She has the same doubts and struggles as every new mother, and I found it extremely enjoyable to watch her work her way through the dilemmas that come with going back to work.
But really the entire cast
Reitman’s Kate is a great lead, but Workin’ Moms at its core is an ensemble show, and a very talented ensemble at that. Each of Kate’s friends is fun to watch and I found myself genuinely caring for each of them, their stories and their struggles. First up is the no nonsense, tell it like it is Dani Kind (The Good Witch) as Anne, Kate’s closest friend in the group and a psychiatrist who seems like she’d actually benefit from having someone to talk to herself. Juno Rinaldi (The Killing) is charming and refreshing as Frankie, who is struggling with instability and problems in her relationship with her wife. Finally, it was great to see Jessalyn Wanlim, in a very un-Evie Cho like role, aka the character she played on Season 4 of Orphan Black. Wanlim’s Jenny is struggling with some dangerous realizations about herself and what she wants. These moms are impossible to root against and all women I could see in my own circle of friends.
It’s Unapologetic & Brave
From its very first moment Workin’ Moms sets the tone for the kind of show it’s going to be and that’s one that’s unapologetic and brave. These women, and this show, are unafraid to show that life as a parent is not always glamorous and it’s not always fun. Workin’ Moms is not afraid to speak the truth, proving that it’s always willing to say the things we’re usually afraid of saying ourselves, or asking the questions that really need asking. For example, do we really need baby yoga? With so many unrealistic portrayals of motherhood out there, it’s refreshing to see a show telling it like it is, and reiterating that just because we’re not perfect doesn’t mean we aren’t good parents and doing a great job.
It has universal appeal
Sure, at its core this show is about working mothers, but that doesn’t mean those that aren’t moms or aren’t parents can’t relate. Workin’ Moms has plenty of universal appeal and men and non-parents alike will still find lots of laughs. The struggle to define oneself as we get older, figure out who you are and what you’re going to do with your life is a universal struggle. That’s exactly what the characters on Workin’ Moms are dealing with and it’s one everyone can certainly relate to.
The Female Gaze
Here at The TV Junkies we are big champions of women, both in front of and behind the scenes, and Workin’ Moms has that in spades. The Workin’ Moms writers’ room was entirely female, two of three directors were women and for the first time on a network show in Canada there was an all female A camera team. Reitman has said she didn’t set out to have the show only written by women, but explains that she “was just looking for people, funny people and the writers that I thought were the most skilled and the funniest happened to all be women.” If you ask us, it’s impossible not to root for all that lady power!
Will you be checking out Workin’ Moms? Sound off in the comments below!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.