Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Trending that caught Doug's eye... Top TV moms

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Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I think we all know what that means.

It means it's time to open our hearts and tell our moms exactly how we feel about them.

Are you ready to do that? You are? Ha! The mere fact you think you're ready is proof you couldn't be less ready to pay tribute to that most noble of women.

Hey, it's not like she's done anything important, is it? I mean, all she did is bring you into the world, keep you safe, put those little heart-shaped cookies in your lunch bag, sit up with you all night when you were burning up with fever, and make you feel like the most important, most loved person in the world.

So maybe we could all use a few tips on the proper way to say thanks to our moms. We could do a lot worse than follow the lead of Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who on Tuesday was named MVP of the NBA and delivered a speech that was an awe-inspiring mix of humility and raw emotion.

When it came time to thank his mother, a tearful Durant brought down the house when he looked at his mom, Wanda Pratt, and choked out the following words:

"We weren't supposed to be here. You made us believe. You kept us off the street. You put clothes on our backs. You put food on the table. When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate and (you) went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You're the real MVP!"

Sniff! OK, in honour of all our moms on the eve of their special day, let's take a look back at some superstar mothers, specifically Doug's Top TV Moms of All Time:


5) The mom: Lorelai Gilmore (2000-2007)

The show: Gilmore Girls

The actor: Lauren Graham

Why she's tops: The passion viewers had for this show rivalled the over-the-top loyalty many female consumers have for IKEA. In our house, if you made a noise when this show was on -- for instance, digging around for the last potato chip at the bottom of the bag -- you would be physically thrown out of the den. A constant source of grief for her own overbearing mother, Lorelai was the hip, cool, beautiful, stand-on-your-own-two-feet mom that all teenage girls wish they'd had growing up. The daughter of wealthy parents, Lorelai got pregnant early and went out in the world to raise her daughter, Rory, on her own in the quirky but tranquil community of Stars Hollow. If the show was about anything, it was about this mother-daughter twosome swapping endless pop culture references and nurturing a bond that shielded them from the hardships of the world. Gushed Us Weekly magazine: "Lorelai Gilmore is the ultimate cool mom. The one you can tell anything to -- then raid her closet."


4) The mom: Marge Simpson

The show: The Simpsons (1989-)

The actor: Voiced by Julie Kavner

Why she's tops: Given the number of years this animated icon has been playing on the small screen, some of you younger readers have known Marge and her scratchy voice and big blue beehive for almost as long as your real-life moms. But it's unlikely your mom had to deal with the zany antics of Marge's unruly brood -- Bart, Lisa and Maggie -- as well as her tubby hubby, Homer. Loving, thoughtful and endlessly patient, Marge is the moral touchstone and grounding force of this wildly eccentric family, the sole voice of reason in a cartoon world gone mad. Marge appears on almost every list of the top TV moms of all time. She was rated No. 9 by, No. 6 by the readers of People magazine and, in 2010, a survey selected her as Britain's favourite TV mother, citing her long-suffering patience with Homer's failings. In 2010, Inside TV magazine picked her as the best TV mom, "a modern day June Cleaver." How can you not love a mom who, without a hint of irony, can blurt: "I don't hate you for failing; I love you for trying." Awww, thanks, Marge.


3) The mom: June Cleaver

The show: Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963)

The actor: Barbara Billingsley

Why she's tops: When you think of supermom, you think of soft-spoken June Cleaver, the matriarch of the Cleaver clan -- Ward, Wally "and Jerry Mathers as The Beaver" -- the idealized suburban family of the mid-20th century. When Wally and Beaver came home from school, there was June decked out in pearls and high heels baking cookies or vacuuming the carpet. She was the quintessential stay-at-home '50s mom, always around to gently but firmly guide her cute but troublemaking kids through the minefield of childhood. According to a Harris poll conducted in 2012, June was the ultimate TV mom, the one we all wished we had while growing up. Here's what the Christian Science Monitor had to say: "Yes, June wore pearls around the house. And high heels. But her real trademark was her loving but no-nonsense approach to rambunctious sons Wally and Beaver. She met misbehaviour with a knowing look and even tone, making surrender the only option."


2) The mom: Clair Huxtable

The show: The Cosby Show (1984-1992)

The actor: Phylicia Rashad

Why she's tops: In a TV universe populated by dysfunctional families, Clair Huxtable was one of a kind, one of the classiest and loveliest women to ever grace a sitcom. She raised five kids while juggling the pressures of a career as a New York City attorney and keeping an eye on her goofy husband, Dr. Cliff Huxtable (TV's No. 1 dad, as played by Bill Cosby), he of the wisecracking sense of humour and sweaters so bright and gaudy they could be seen from outer space. Wise and beautiful, with her own unique sense of humour, Clair was TV's iconic strong working mother and caring disciplinarian. In an open letter to the character, Dana Oliver of The Huffington Post gushed: "Clair Huxtable, no other TV mom has lived up to your iconic beauty or brains... As a firm yet fabulous wife, mother of five and attorney, you introduced America to an image of a black woman that shattered racial stereotypes -- long before Michelle Obama moved onto Pennsylvania Avenue."


1) The mom: Carol Brady

The show: The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)

The actor: Florence Henderson

Why she's tops: You all know the lyrics, so let's sing loud and proud: "Here's the story/Of a lovely lady/Who was bringing up three very lovely girls/All of them had hair of gold/Like their mother..." You know the rest: Carol, the mother of Marcia, Jan and Cindy, married Mike, father of Greg, Peter and Bobby, "and that's the way we all became the Brady Bunch, the Brady Bunch!" Despite that earworm of a theme song, which most of us can't get out of our heads, Carol Brady is arguably TV's most memorable mom. She started as a stay-at-home mother but ended up a Renaissance woman -- sculptor, singer, freelance writer, real estate agent and political activist. With her trademark shag hairstyle, permanent smile and sunny disposition, Carol was the iconic mom to an entire generation. Did Barry Williams, who played her eldest stepson, Greg Brady, love her a bit too much off-screen? Florence dismisses that rumour: "Barry did have a serious crush on me... Let us just say that if he had entertained a roll in the hay with me, I would never have done it." Thanks, Carol, we needed to hear that.


In conclusion, with a nod to Kevin Durant, we'd like to end with this heartfelt message to all you moms out there: You're the real MVPs! Now can we have a cookie? Pretty please!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2014 D2

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