SIGNIFICANT MOTHER episode 5: Suffering & Succotash

Krista and Linda
Written by Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith
Directed by Tripp Reed

Well, I’ve already been enjoying this show, but tonight’s episode gave me an extra-special reason to watch: the legendary Linda Gray guest-starred tonight, playing Lydia’s mother. I’ve written before about how my all-time favorite TV show was the soap opera DALLAS, and in particular the impact that the Late Larry Hagman had on my life, thanks to his portrayal of J.R. Ewing. But of course many of Mr. Hagman’s best scenes over the course of that series where the ones he shared with Linda Gray, who played his first (and second) wife, Sue Ellen. Over the course of the original series we saw Sue Ellen evolve from a mousy little society wife, to a drunken wino, to a scheming vixen, and finally to a powerful businesswoman on her own. I think it’s safe to say that J.R. Ewing may not have become the iconic character that he was, if Mr. Hagman hadn’t had Ms. Gray by his side for most of his tenure (the show foolishly wrote her out of the series at the end of it’s 11th season, and it never recovered, IMO). But she returned to the role in TNT’s 2012 revival of the series, proving that she hadn’t lost a step. Her scene where Sue Ellen breaks down at J.R.’s funeral still brings me to tears…

But I digress. Back to Significant Mother.

So, as I said, Linda plays Lydia’s mother, whom Nate and everyone else calls “Gammy” (she’s never referred to by her actual name, so we don’t know what it is), who unexpectedly comes to town for a visit. But Lydia (Krista Allen) is unsure about how her mother will react to Lydia and Jimmy’s relationship and therefor tries to hide it from her. This involves not only swearing Jimmy (Nathanial Buzolic), Nate (Josh Zuckerman), and Harrison (Jonathan Silverman) to silence, but also getting them to go along with the charade that Lydia and Harrison have called off their separation and are moving back in together. Not only that, but Gammy insists that Nate move back in for the weekend, so that the four of them can spend some quality family time together. This of course does not go smoothly and results in several humorous shenanigans until the truth finally comes out at a big Sunday brunch and Gammy reveals that she has a little secret of her own…(no spoilers)

Highlights include when Gammy visits Nate’s restaurant and encounters Sam (Emma Fitzpatrick):
Gammy: (referring to Sam’s outfit) I wish I was as flat as you, so I could pull that off.
Sam: I wish I was as old as you, so I could remember the Korean War.

Gammy then refers to Atticus (Jay Ali) as looking like a brown Indiana Jones (which he, of course, takes as a compliment).

And there’s also a really touching scene between Krista and Nathanial where Lydia and Jimmy finally say the L-word to each other for the first time.

And the show’s knack for racy and biting dialog continues…

“Once a man has been inside you, you can never truly get him out.”

“I’m in your mom’s bush, and I’m naked and afraid.”

“Welcome to adulthood, Nate. The people you love are monsters.”

Once again a very enjoyable episode of this series. The cast continues to work well together, all of their interplay feels natural, and they even feel like they getting more comfortable with each other as the season progresses. But I must single out Linda Gray for the way she fit right into this show. I was thinking, I’ve seen her in several other shows in the years after the original Dallas series end, but they were all dramas. This is my first time seeing her in a comedic role, and she pulled it off perfectly, and fit right in. I’ve noticed certain mannerisms that Krista Allen has when she acts really shocked or scared on this show, and Linda Gray showed very similar mannerisms tonight. I could actually believe that these two are mother and daughter. And the chance to see them acting together again in the future is all the more reason that I hope Significant Mother gets a 2nd season.



Significant Mother airs Mondays at 9:30pm on The CW

P.S. Dallas Decoder has a great new interview with Linda Gray which you can read HERE and TV Fanatic has a great new interview with Krista Allen which you can read HERE

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