How the TV mom has evolved to tackle today's real-world challenges
"Often defined by the parameters of domestic life, these mothers, while vastly different women in many regards, were all in pursuit of an ideal family life," Jason Parham says of iconic TV moms like Carol Brady and Claire Huxtable. "They exuded, or attempted to exude, a kind of imperviousness. They were tough and loving, rarely vulnerable. That's changing." Pointing to Jessica Huang on Fresh off the Boat and Grace and Frankie, he adds: "In recent years, the archetype has taken on a more evolved nature: The TV mom has become more intricately layered; she navigates the world with a kind of naked vulnerability. It's not that she is broken, but she is someone who struggles openly. These are stories told at full scale, fresh wounds and all. Stories that juggle the ugly, the beautiful, the unremarkable. There are no illusions to an ideal life, only a life that has been lived—one that is turbulent and unpredictable and littered with small, hard-won dignities."
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