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Fictional “historical” characters are celebrated over several U.S. holidays—Christmas, Easter, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Presidents Day, etc. Meanwhile, the very real creators of life, moms, receive only one annual nod: Mother’s Day, this year taking place on Sunday, May 12.

Fortunately, there’s television, the great equalizer. TV is where moms get their proper due, much more so than in movies. (The best-ever film about “motherhood” is 1983’s Mr. Mom—let that patriarchal shit sink in.)

Here are seven streaming TV series that showcase wildly different mothers at their best, worst and straight-up weirdest. And no, forwarding this article to your mom’s Hotmail doesn’t count as a Mother’s Day gift.

Better Things (Seasons 1-2 on Hulu): Is Pamela Adlon’s Better Things a comedy or a drama? Yes. Adlon herself simply says it’s an “incredible feelings show,” which fits like a fresh pair of Spanx. It’s also about motherhood; Better Things will make you laugh, cry and scream along with single mom Sam (Adlon) and her three daughters, the most complex kids on TV. Above all, Better Things is capital-A Art.

Workin’ Moms (Season 1 on Netflix): Like Schitt’s Creek and Letterkenny, dark-com Workin’ Moms is covertly Canadian. The struggles of these Toronto mothers (including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms’ creator), unfortunately, are universal: post-partum depression, workplace sexism, inconvenient lactation and everything else men deny. Too real, but still funny.

Jane the Virgin (Seasons 1-4 on Netflix): In this gringo-ized 2014-2019 CW telenovela, engaged 23-year-old virgin Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is inadvertently inseminated with a sperm sample meant for another patient—and even worse, the sample is from her handsome boss crush! Jane the Virgin is ridiculous, fizzy fun that detours into The Feels seamlessly. Best of all, Christian groups lost their shit over Jane before it even aired.

Odd Mom Out (Seasons 1-3 on Vudu): Momzillas author Jill Kargman stars as a manically exaggerated version of herself in this 2015-2017 comedy about uber-rich Manhattan mothers—the smartest series Bravo ever produced. Naturally, Odd Mom Out was canceled to make room for more Real Housewives dreck, but at least Kargman and scene-stealing Abby Elliott cranked out 30 near-perfect episodes.

I’m Sorry (Season 1 on Netflix): Andrea Savage’s all-about-me comedy doesn’t care to differentiate itself from other Comics Play Themselves half-hours—it’s all about the jokes. I’m Sorry, referring to mom/comedy writer “Andrea’s” tendency to say the most hilariously wrong things, is a white-wine spritzer of a sitcom: not too heavy, not too sweet, nice buzz. MVP: Bemused “husband” Tom Everett Scott.

Good Girls (Season 1 on Hulu and Netflix): Three straight-arrow suburban moms (Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman) turn to robbery to pay the bills—and, more importantly, score some thrills. Soon, they’re in too deep (in every sense) with a local money launderer, and the crimes and bodies start piling up. Good Girls plays like Breaking Bad meets, well, Workin’ Moms, but the dead-solid cast sells it perfectly.

SMILF (Season 1 on Vudu): The “S” in SMILF stands for “Single”; you probably know the rest. Twentysomething mom Bridgette (Frankie Shaw) juggles parenting, an acting career and relationships in Los Angeles. Alongside the mom stuff, SMILF indulges in all kinds of raw sex and drugs (it’s a Showtime series, after all), but “Bridge” remains a fiercely devoted parent who’ll gladly discuss her vagina.

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The first season of Better Things (Season 2 premiere Thursday, Sept. 14, FX) debuted quietly and closed to a deafening chorus of critical huzzahs, but no one had an answer for the question: “Is it a comedy, or is it a drama?” Creator/star Pamela Adlon has summed it up best as an “incredible feelings show,” so there. Better Things is a different animal than other Comics Kinda Play Themselves series; thanks to the influence of Adlon’s creative partner, Louis C.K., the closest comparison is Louie. Adlon’s a far better actor than C.K., and she can make you laugh, cry and scream along with single mom Sam and her three daughters—the most layered, interesting kids on TV, BTW—with uncanny ease. Catch up, noncritics.

Eastbound and Down Goes to School is back in session! Vice Principals (Season 2 premiere Sunday, Sept. 17, HBO), which reunites E&D creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill, is a study in hysterical vulgarity second only to Veep; the heated exchanges between McBride and brilliantly cast co-star Walton Goggins take it to whole ’nother level above Kenny Powers. Season 1 ended with frenemy vice principals Gamby (McBride) and Russell (Goggins) becoming “co-interim principals,” a dirty, dubious victory dampened by Gamby being gunned down in the high school’s parking lot. Nonspoiler: He’s alive, and things are going to get even weirder and darker in Vice Principals’ final (yes, final) nine episodes.

There are very few nominations to complain about in the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards (Sunday, Sept. 17, CBS); the quality is so high, I can let a few Stranger Things nods slide, if not the unbelievable snub of BoJack Horseman (seriously—WT fuck?). And I’ve already decided who’s going to win: Veep (Comedy Series), Better Call Saul (Drama Series), Shameless’ William H. Macy (Lead Actor, Comedy), Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Lead Actress, Comedy), Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk (Lead Actor, Drama), The Handmaid’s Tale’s Elisabeth Moss (Lead Actress, Drama), Baskets’ Louie Anderson (Supporting Actor, Comedy), and Westworld’s Thandie Newton (Supporting Actress, Drama). Now you don’t have to watch the Emmys.

The first season of creepypasta (user-generated Internet stories and urban legends) weirdness turned out to be more hype than horror, but Channel Zero: No-End House (Season 2 premiere Wednesday, Sept. 20, Syfy) looks more like the one that will kick the anthology series into high gear. The setup for No-End House is familiar: A young woman (Amy Forsyth) and her friends trip through “a bizarre house of horrors consisting of a series of increasingly disturbing rooms,” but then throws in the twist that her perceived “reality” might be just another room. Like the current season of American Horror Story (how ’bout them clowns?), Channel Zero: No-End House is the stuff of mind-melting nightmares. Yay!

The funniest aspect of afterlife sitcom The Good Place (Season 2 premiere Wednesday, Sept. 20, NBC) could very well be Concerned Christians breathlessly exclaiming, “That’s not the real Heaven!” How could it be? What with the nonjudgmental fun and the presence of brown people? After the big reveals that closed Season 1 (spoilers: The Good Place is actually the Bad Place; Ted Danson’s Michael is a lying liarface; and Kristen Bell’s Eleanor is, well, still a terrible person), The Good Place is open to more possibilities now: Could Michael be pulling a double fake-out as a worthiness test? Is the Bad Place the better place? Is Eleanor actually in Twin Peaks?

CBS has defined Stoopid Summer TV for the last several years—not even counting Big Brother—with hilariously obtuse shows like Under the Dome, Extant, BrainDead and Zoo, but Salvation (Season 1 finale Wednesday, Sept. 20, CBS) is the best/worst yet. For 11 weeks now, an MIT student, a maverick tech billionaire and a woman who does … something? … at the Pentagon have been postulating, posing and occasionally even working to find a way to stop an asteroid from wiping out the planet. The title implies they’ll figure it out, but I’ve been rooting for the mass extinction event since the first episode wherein the phrase “gravity tractor” was uttered. Bring on oblivion! We’ve more than earned it.

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No, not all of the great shows are here; 2016 served up too much quality TV to contain in this space, while not all of the great shows rise to the level of year-end best lists. (Too many other critical lists are surrendering space to Stranger Things; just sayin’.)

These 16 shows are binge-worthy alternatives to holiday family time—Merry Xmas!

Westworld (HBO): This Westworld was smarter, sleeker and more terrifying than its 1973 origin flick, but it also imbued the Wild West park’s androids with a tragic “humanity.” (Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton for all of the awards.) It also reminded us that actual flesh-and-blood humans are just the worst.

Veep (HBO): Now more than ever, huh? Vice president-turned-president-turned-footnote Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) suffered an exhausting political beating months before the rest of us did in 2016, but at least hers was funny (and slightly more F-bomb-heavy). Forget IdiocracyVeep is our republic’s true guide.

BoJack Horseman (Netflix): Animated series BoJack Horseman has always been about the aggressive shallowness of Hollywood and celebrity, but Season 3 went deeper and darker (and more experimental, including a dialogue-free underwater episode) than ever before. It’s also funny as hell. OK, it’s everything as hell.

Lady Dynamite (Netflix): Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite was a meta-comedy that did for bipolar disorder what BoJack Horseman did for depression and Jessica Jones did for PTSD: It made entertaining, thoughtful art out of the usually “too heavy” to talk about. Both way surreal and way real … sounds good, feels right.

Quarry (Cinemax): This overlooked, 1972-set crime-noir series is grittily crafted down to the most minute details, spun with jarring twists, and anchored by Logan Marshall-Green’s intense, mercurial performance as a reluctant hit man. It’s the Memphis-barbecued second season of True Detective you really wanted.

Better Call Saul (AMC): The debut of Better Call Saul was a fantastic surprise that expanded upon Breaking Bad, building its own pre-Heisenberg world. From hilarious to heartbreaking, Season 2 further transformed small-time Albuquerque lawyer Slippin’ Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) into future legal shark Saul Goodman.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC): Behind Saul, Halt and Catch Fire is AMC’s best drama, even if it doesn’t generate Walking Dead numbers. The ’80s-set computer-revolution saga moved to Silicon Valley in Season 3, amping the startup fireworks between Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishé, who overshadowed even Lee Pace (!).

Mr. Robot (USA): Elliot (Rami Malek) and hacker group fsociety brought down E(vil) Corp at conclusion of Season 1, but it just caused more problems than it solved. Mr. Robot 2.0 was less buzzy, and trickier to follow, but it gave Elliot’s circle (especially Carly Chaikin and Portia Doubleday) space to shine.

Goliath (Amazon Prime): David E. Kelley and Billy Bob Thornton streamed a classic Los Angeles legal-noir drama that overcame a middling plot with killer performances from Maria Bello, Molly Parker, Nina Arianda, Tania Raymonde, William Hurt and, of course, Thornton himself. Binge with a stiff drink—or eight.

Atlanta (FX): Donald Glover’s Atlanta wasn’t what anyone expected. Something far more than a comedy (though there are hilarious moments) or a drama (ditto, heavy moments), it unfolded like an indie flick in no hurry to get any Big Moments, and depicted the flat-broke-and-black experience with unflinching detail.

Better Things (FX): One of the rawest comedic TV portrayals of single motherhood ever, Pamela Adlon’s Better Things swung from sweet to sad to snarky with an assured precision that her creative partner, Louis C.K., never quite nailed with Louie. Subtle jabs at Hollywood’s treatment of women are just a bonus.

You’re the Worst (FXX): The Only Anti-Rom-Com That Matters got back on track after some downer detours last year—which isn’t to say You’re the Worst didn’t take chances in Season 3. Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) may never work out, but it’s sweet (and profanely hilarious) to watch them fail.

Shameless (Showtime): Emmy Rossum, who’s played Shameless’ surrogate Gallagher mom Fiona for seven seasons now, recently got a pay bump to at least equal co-star William H. Macy’s salary. Coincidentally, she also turned in her best, most heartbreaking work this year. ’Merica isn’t Modern Family; it’s Shameless.

The Good Place (NBC): Kristen Bell and Ted Danson are an unbeatable comic combo, and fears that afterlife sitcom The Good Place would be too weird for broadcast TV were apparently unfounded: It’s a (relative) NBC hit and, even better, the Jesus people are mightily offended by this inclusive version of “Heaven.”

Wynonna Earp (Syfy): If you were somewhat disappointed with Syfy’s recent zero-fun heroine epic Van Helsing—I know I was was—look back a little further in 2016 for Wynonna Earp, a Buffy the Gunslinger supernatural series that star Melanie Scrofano tore up with quippy glee. Also: hot Doc Holliday!

Not Safe With Nikki Glaser (Comedy Central): Nikki Glaser’s Not Safe was a sex-and-relationships talk show that combined intelligence, real information and filthy comedy that more than lived up to the show’s title. So, of course, Comedy Central canceled it after 20 episodes to make room for more Tosh.0. For shame.

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Better Things (Thursday, Nov. 10, FX), season finale: Like the just-wrapped Atlanta, Better Things is a comedy like no other—on FX or elsewhere. Pamela Adlon’s semi-autobiographical story of a B-level actress/saint-level mom (her daughters are the worst) delivers no overly grand statements or sitcom-wacky situations; it just makes it through another day and drops subtle, been-there wisdoms. Better Things swings from sweet to sad to snarky with an assured precision that her creative partner Louis C.K.’s Louie never quite nailed, and Adlon subverts the first impressions of her co-stars beautifully. (OK, her daughters aren’t that bad.) Hell, FX aired the 10 episodes in random order—a note to future on-demanders—and it still worked. Thank goodness the show has been renewed for a second season.

People of Earth (Mondays, TBS), new series: It’s not as instantly defined as recent TBS comedies like The Detour or Angie Tribeca (you know, as Vacation and The Naked Gun clones, respectively), but People of Earth at least has ex-Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac, which is a hell of a start. Cenac plays a New York City journalist dispatched to a small upstate town to interview an alien-abductee support group, and investigate “extraterrestrial activity” in the area. It’s a quirky enough setting—like Parks and Recreation with Lexapro dumped in the water supply—but People of Earth leans more weird than funny, and the characters are even less fleshed out than those of TBS’ weakest new sitcom, Wrecked. But, as I always say about TBS: At least it’s not another King of Queens rerun.

Good Behavior (Tuesday, Nov. 15, TNT), series debut: Whereas Animal Kingdom, TNT’s first bid for grit-drama cred, was mostly bark and little bite, the rebranding network’s new Good Behavior has teeth. Not-so-lovable loser Letty Dobesh (Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey) is fresh out of prison and low on prospects when she hooks up with a magnetic hit man (Juan Diego Botto) who’ll most likely derail her already-shaky plans for getting straight (well, him and the drugs). Like Cinemax’s fantastic (and novel-based—writing matters, people) Quarry, Good Behavior takes a boilerplate crime-noir setup and twists it into unexpected shapes, going deeper than usual TNT fare. Dockery and Botto are transfixing to watch, and director Charlotte Sieling (who also helmed Queen of the South’s similarly impressive pilot) brings the sweat of the South alive. Yes, now there’s another show you need to watch.

Sweet/Vicious (Tuesday, Nov. 15, MTV), series debut: Intentions were good-ish: Sorority girl Jules (Eliza Bennett) and outcast computer-punk Ophelia (Taylor Dearden) team up to beat down sexual predators on their college campus; think Kick-Ass filtered through Jezebel. It’s a heavy balance to strike, avenging rape survivors and dropping post-feminist snark (not to mention keeping up on classwork—vigilantes should be sponsored by Red Bull), and Sweet/Vicious’ Serious Issues half isn’t yet as compelling as its Violent Fun half. Still, credit first-time creator/writer Jennifer Robinson and MTV for hitting on a hot topic while it’s timely, instead of five years from now in a tossed-off Law and Order: SVU episode. Of course the soundtrack rocks—MTV hasn’t completely lost its touch.

Ice (Wednesday, Nov. 16, Audience/DirecTV), series debut: Crackle’s The Art of More, a star-studded drama about high-end art crime, streams its second season today, and now DirecTV’s Audience network is debuting Ice, a star-studded drama about diamond thieves. Is there a new 1 Percenter TV trend that I missed? Anyway: Freddy (Jeremy Sisto) puts his family diamond business—and his family—in jeopardy when he kills a connected rival gem dealer; now it’s up to his half-brother Jake (Cam Gigandet) to save his ass from a ruthless diamond-cartel crime boss (Donald Sutherland). Violence, sex and shiny-object fondling ensue, but who needs to add this “meh” trinket to an already overstuffed Too Much TV cue? And why wasn’t it titled On the Rocks?

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