IT’S DIFFICULT TO mine heartfelt laughs from a topic like addiction recovery, but CBS’s long-running hit Mom had fans hooked from the start. Created by sitcom king Chuck Lorre (who counts Young Sheldon and The Kominsky Method among his many successes), Gemma Baker and Eddie Gorodetsky, the series ends an eightseason run May 13. That finale gives one last look at a 12-step group of courageous, flawed, fabulous women, centered, appropriately enough, on self-centered Bonnie Plunkett (Allison Janney, who won two Emmys for the role). But it is the chemistry of these characters—and how they have grown, thanks to one another’s help—that explains the series’ warm appeal. “One of the biggest messages in Mom is you don’t have to go through anything alone,” Janney says in a freewheeling discussion with her main costars, Jaime Pressly (who plays socialite Jill Kendall), Mimi Kennedy (wise AA vet Marjorie Armstrong-Perugian), Beth Hall (introverted Wendy Harris) and Kristen Johnston (contractor Tammy Diffendorf). Before the women fold up the community center chairs forever, the cast share their favorite series moments.
Valentine’s Day Mess-acre
“When we first met Bonnie, she was a hot mess and a narcissist, getting sober by a ‘nudge from the judge’ to get close to her daughter,” says Janney of the onetime coke-snorting con artist. (The daughter, of course, was fellow addict Christy, played by Anna Faris, who departed the series unexpectedly before the final season.) “Bonnie’s become someone who has a better relationship to herself and, because of that, better relationships.” Oneis with her husband, ex-stuntman Adam Janikowski (played by William Fichtner), who “accepts her, warts and all.”
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