Ranker says best TV mom is… (and they’ve got it all wrong)
Mother's Day is this weekend so I did a quick Google search for lists of Best TV Moms. Ranker.com came up right away and normally I like them because it's user based voting, but man did people mess this one up.
Let me run down their top five and save number one for last.
The number 5 best TV mom went to Morticia Addams. Played by Carolyn Jones in the 60's creepy funny sitcom "The Addams Family", this character was far from the perfect mom. Although if modeling healthy relationships is part of a good mother then you have to admit she was still hot for Gomez after all those years.
Number 4 went to Marion Cunningham. It's a bit hard to relate to for most of us who aren't Baby Boomers because we didn't experience the typical 1950's housewife as portrayed by Marion Ross on "Happy Days", but she played it as a multi-dimensional character and not some Stepford wife.
Number 3 was Samantha Stevens. Elizabeth Montgomery played her on "Bewitched", a show that when you look back on it was like a sitcom version of "Mad Men" with some sorcery thrown in. The only thing realistic about this TV mom is that her husband hated his in-laws.
Number 2 June Cleaver. Oh give me a break! "Leave It To Beaver" is older than the hills and a completely phony portrayal of motherhood. It wasn't Barbara Billingsley's fault, she had to play the part that way.
And finally, Ranker's number 1 best TV mom of all time?
Carol Brady from "The Brady Bunch", played by Florence Henderson. Even more disturbing than June Cleaver because by the 1970's we could have had a less corny, more realistic example of motherhood. Instead they went with a stay at home mom who actually didn't do much of anything other than dole out occasional cornball advice. Who was the real mother on that show? The hired help! That's right, Alice the housekeeper did all the cooking, all the laundry, all the work, and even a lot of the tlc and advice. How could America get it so wrong?
The real best TV mom of all time was the mom from "The Wonder Years", Norma Arnold. Played by Alley Mills, she was completely believable as the mother of 3 kids trying to run a household in the turbulent time of the Vietnam War. She was at times tough, at times gentle, and always trying to keep the family together amidst a changing social scene. If you weren't already sold on her as the best TV mom ever, the final episode seals the deal. We learned her husband Jack dies young, leaving her to establish a career to support what's left of her family. Norma Arnold embodied love and strength.