Our real mothers are of course, awesome. They gave us life, and raised us to become (mostly) respectable adults. They cooked our meals, cleaned our clothes and were always there when we needed them. But sometimes you’ll see a mother character in a film or TV show and wonder just what life would have been like if they had raised us instead…
Ripley wasn’t really a mother figure in the first Alien film; she was just a hapless crewmember on a deep space mining vessel that encountered the titular alien creature, somehow managing to survive as the rest of the crew were killed in a variety of gruesome ways. In the 1986 sequel Aliens, she was reluctantly convinced to go back into space to assist a group of space marines who needed to investigate a mining colony whose inhabitants might have come across the murderous aliens, and seem to have all disappeared. Sure enough, everyone is dead except for a young girl called Newt. Ripley then turns into a protective surrogate mother to the young survivor, not hesitating to pick up a machine gun (and grenades, and a flame thrower) when young Newt is threatened.
Often seen as Marge Simpsons’ infinitely more cynical counterpart, the matriarch from the hugely popular animated Family Guy has really come into her own over the shows multiple seasons. She’s certainly not the ideal mother- her baby Stewie is a sociopath bent on world domination, and she regularly joins the rest of her family in making fun of her daughter Meg. In an amusing scene, Meg tells her mother that she loves her, and Lois responds with an unenthusiastic “I meh you too.” Life wouldn’t be perfect if you grew up in the Griffin household, but it certainly wouldn’t be boring!
In Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films, Thurman is perfectly cast as The Bride, whose name we later learn is Beatrix Kiddo. The pregnant Beatrix is a former assassin who’s trying to go straight, although this doesn’t work so well when her former colleagues almost kill her on her wedding day. She wakes up in hospital some years later, she’s no longer pregnant and thinks she’s lost the baby in the attack. What follows next is two films worth of a violent bloodbath as she wreaks revenge on those who attacked her and killed her baby. In Kill Bill 2, she discovers (spoiler alert!) that her baby survived and was raised by Bill, her former lover and mentor. Thurman’s face when she sees that her daughter is actually alive, is simply perfect.
In the 1970’s sitcom The Brady Bunch, Carol was the quintessential American mom, to both her own daughters and her stepsons. With their unendingly sunny dispositions, Astroturf lawn and a maid that works for free, things were so cheery in the Brady household that they almost seemed a little strange (which was brilliantly parodied in the 1995 The Brady Bunch Movie, with Shelley Long playing Carol). Always there with a few words of wisdom and to help her extended brood out of a jam, Carol Brady was the ultimate TV mom for a generation.
The Golden Girls was a revelation when it first appeared on TV screens in the 1980’s. Never before had a US network produced a show that detailed the lives and loves of a more mature group of women, showing that women can still have an exciting life when they’re in their 50’s and 60’s, and still single. Holding the group together was Estelle Getty as Sofia, who came to live with the others after she escaped from the Shady Pines Retirement Home. A cranky yet loveable Sicilian woman, Sofia was the mother of Bea Arthur’s character of Dorothy (although Getty was in fact several months younger than Arthur- a wig and make up made her look older). A stroke had affected Sofia’s ability to control what she said (something that really only happens on TV), so she was always quick with a withering put down, followed by some Sicilian food and a rambling story to help the other girls with their problems.
This is a guest post by freelance writer Claire Wilson for Worldmarket.com, where you can find all kind of gifts from the world market for Mother’s Day or other occasions. Claire is a lifestyle and self-improvement enthusiast and whenever she’s not writing she loves to travel and practice yoga.