Being a mom is never easy. Not that I have any experience in this matter, but, you know, I’ve heard stories. There’s diaper changings, school plays, soccer games, family meals to plan, and, of course, the actual birth itself, which definitely does not look like fun.
Moms do all of this and so much more, so as a way to commemorate this year’s Mother’s Day, I’ve decided to round up all of the TV matriarchs who still need a few lessons in the ways of proper mothering. Regardless of how much we love them (or at least love to hate them), these ladies prove that sometimes mother doesn’t always know best.
Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), 'Revenge'
If secrets and lies could grow on trees, then Victoria would own an actual forest at this point. Adultery, murder, framing an innocent man for a terrorist attack — you name it, this Hampton’s socialite has done it. Not the greatest example to set for anyone — let alone your own children. Plus, she’s the epitome of manipulation and tries to control everyone around her. Mother darling? More like, Mommie Dearest.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), 'Game of Thrones'
When your son turns out to be someone like Joffrey Baratheon, obviously you’re doing something wrong. (Like having sex with your twin brother, maybe? I don’t know, just a thought!) Add that to her already narcissistic and cruel nature, and you’ve got all the ingredients you need for a parental nightmare.
Fiona Goode/Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange), 'American Horror Story'
No matter what season of ‘American Horror Story’ we’re in, Lange’s character will undoubtedly be lacking in the motherly department. Oh, she may love her children deep down, but the way she goes about showing them leaves very little to be desired. (Like when Constance locked her Down syndrome daughter, Addie, in a closet full of mirrors.) Child services would have a field day with this one.
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Betty Draper Francis (January Jones), 'Mad Men'
This is a woman who could make a career out of passive aggressive behavior. Acting much like a child herself most of the time, Betty’s go-to parenting strategy usually consists of her telling the kids to go watch TV. She may be beautiful on the outside, but on the inside she’s icy cold, and continues to let herself be defined by the men she marries. Oh, and remember the time she told her son Bobby to go "bang his head on the wall" when he complained of boredom? Oh Betty, what are we going to do with you?
Regina/Evil Queen (Lana Parilla), 'Once Upon a Time'
Though she seems to be turning over a new leaf these days, Regina has always had a tendency to side with power and revenge over doing the right thing. I mean, she’s called the Evil Queen for Pete’s sake! So being a bad influence kinda comes with the territory. And now that a certain Wicked Witch from the West is (at least temporarily) out of the picture, some other baddie is going to have to step in. Why not Regina? She is Cora’s daughter after all, and the (poisoned) apple never falls far from the tree.
Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga), 'Bates Motel'
Taking the concept of mother-son bonding to a whole new (and twisted) level, Norma offers up a prime example of the side effects of too much smothering. Due to her deep-rooted fear of abandonment, this "Mother" does everything she can to keep Norman all to her self, practically forbidding him to have a life away from her. Too much of that could make anyone go a little crazy…or should I say, ‘Psycho’?
Maya Lewis/Pope (Khandi Alexander), 'Scandal'
You’d think the woman responsible for bringing someone like Olivia Pope into the world would be a cut above the rest. When really, she’s a trained gun for hire. Seriously, she’s been on this show for less than a full season and she’s already killed so many people. Sorry lady, but that is NOT the way we handle things at Pope & Associates. Who would’ve thought having an affair with the President would become one of the least scandalous things to happen on this show. Thanks, Mama Pope!
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Queen Catherine (Megan Follows), 'Reign'
She’s a powerful, resourceful woman who does whatever she can to survive — by any means necessary. Innocent victims are nothing but expendable to her. She even made numerous attempts on her daughter-in-law’s life when she thought Mary posed a threat to Francis’ well-being. (She’s more of a poison first, ask questions later type of ruler.) Granted, wanting to protect your own flesh and blood is totally normal, but at what cost? Catherine always manages to take things to the extreme. Is it fun to watch? Yes. Would I consider her one of my favorite characters? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean her royal highness is the best role model for impressionable young minds, especially when those minds will rule the country some day.
Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walters), 'Arrested Development'
Looking for a cheerful pep talk or a loving shoulder to cry on? Then this Bluth matriarch is definitely not your gal. Cocktails and criticism, on the other hand, are right up her alley. Sure, she loves all of her children equally (well, except for Gob, of course), but her way of showing it can be a little lax at times. Or…you know…non-existent. Don’t get me wrong, she’d make a fantastic bar-hopping partner. But a mother? Not so much.
Olivia Foxworth (Ellen Burstyn), 'Flowers in the Attic'
This is a woman who insists on keeping her own grandchildren locked in an attic, where she periodically beats them, starves them, and refers to them as the "devils’ spawn." So yeah, it’s fair to say she won’t be winning grandmother of the year anytime soon. Not that her daughter, Corrine, is much better, having practically abandoned her children the first chance she got. (Can you imagine the size of this family’s therapy bill?) And that’s not even mentioning the whole poisoned-doughnuts thing.