Best TV moms: From here to maternity

This week, as you’d expect, the internets have been filled with Mother’s Day gift suggestions, e-cards (and more e-cards) and, yes, lists. This year’s best mothers lists include the usual suspects, plus a few surprises. So, if your homework is done and your room is clean, let’s take a look at our favorite TV moms. (Don’t sit too close to the screen; it’ll ruin your eyes.)

TiVo released one of the more traditional lists, topped by Cosby mom Clair Huxtable.

Clair won by a landslide, with a cool 58 percent of the votes. Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair, attributes her lasting appeal to the character’s humanity. “First of all, she was a real human being,” said Rashad. “She was a devoted wife and mother with a great sense of humor and a definite awareness of her own self.” Plus, Clair is hot.

Tying for second place on TiVo’s list are Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) and Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross). Mrs. C. is No. 1, though, over at Mother’s Day Central (thanks for the link, Ms. Snarker) and MSNBC.

According to MSNBC, Richie’s mom is head and shoulders above Carol Brady because her kids are more fun. “Come on — who would you rather go out with: Richie or Greg? Richie would never let a frog jump on your pizza at the movies. Furthermore, Carol would never have let Fonzie live over the garage.”

True enough, but on the hotness scale, I’d have to give Mrs. Brady the edge. Because calling Mrs. C. hot would just be wrong.

Photo credit:

Hulton Archive/Stringer

At the other end of the maternal style spectrum is No.1 on the Best TV Moms list: Bree Hodge of Desperate Housewives. While Marcia Cross certainly tips the hotness scale, I sure wouldn’t want to be one of her scary spawn (or grand-spawn, as the case may be). True, Bree has softened a bit over the past season, but seriously, Best Mom?’s No.2 is a bit better: another gorgeous Housewife, Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman). Lynette probably is closer to a real mom than anyone else on the list so far. When she thought her family was buried under the post-tornado rubble, she let out a primal scream that says more about the essence of motherhood than most anything I’ve seen on television.

The voting is still in progress at, and the choices are anything but traditional. If the category were Top MILF (don’t ask, Mrs. C), I’d vote for Nancy Botwin, no contest. What can I say? I’m high on Mary-Louise Parker.

However, since the vote was for the mother who represents “the best of small-screen motherhood,” I went with Allison DuBois (Patricia Arquette). I mean, any mom who has kids like hers has to be one of the best. Bridgette rocks.

We interrupt this post for a personal note. Have you sent your mother a card? I know that sometimes we don’t like our moms very much. Or we think Mother’s Day is just a greeting card holiday without real meaning (not the case, btw). I relate. My mother and I weren’t at all close — much of the time we didn’t even like each other. But when she died, I found a box full of every card, letter and sticky note I’d ever given her. So send a card; call her; go see her. And be sure to wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.

OK, now it’s your turn. Who’s on your list of best TV moms?