TV Review: SMILF (Season 1, Episode 1)
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With a promising debut episode, SMILF combines a single mother’s sexual dysfunction with class commentary in A Box of Dunkies and Two Squirts of Maple Syrup. SMILF is a semi-autobiographical comedy from Frankie Shaw, adapted from the award-winning short film of the same name she took to Sundance in 2014. Shaw plays Bridgette Bird, a single mother from South Boston who’s trying to make ends meet whilst still maintaining her personal life. In A Box of Dunkies and Two Squirts of Maple Syrup, the “Single Mother I’d Like To Fuck” is going through a serious dry spell. Whilst she’s on good terms with the father of her son Larry (who, by the way, is played by the cutest child actor I’ve ever seen), Bridgette shoulders much of the burden of raising him. Meanwhile, ‘Rafi the Relapser’ is able to meet as many women as he likes, including new girlfriend Nelson Rose. Bridgette’s territorial instinct to protect her son is familiar comic ground; what’s interesting is how genuinely respectful Bridgette and Rafi’s friendship seems to be. In its opening episode, SMILF has taken the conventions of TV comedy and subverted them just enough to be interesting. SMILF’s much maligned title has put many viewers off the series; the appellation projects an image of crude, sexual humour, which is at least partially representative of SMILF’s tone. The first episode frankly explores sexual topics, like Bridgette’s masturbation habits and her fear that childbirth has, er, “blown out” her vagina.
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