http://www.tvguide.com/news/whats-the-most-accurate-tv-show-about-recovery-mom-recovery-road-flaked/

 

Mom

On a lot of shows, alcoholism is a plot device. There’s a built-in dramatic tension when someone is on the wagon, so the push-and-pull of drunkenness and sobriety is the story and it doesn’t go any deeper than that. Mom is different, because it recognizes that there are many more stories about alcoholism to tell, and it goes all the way in on exploring all the myriad issues and minute details of recovery. There’s “will she relapse or will she stay sober?” but there’s also “how do you get your nonalcoholic boyfriend to understand why you have to go to meetings every day?” That’s a topic addressed in Season 3 episode “Beast Mode and Old People Kissing,” as is the heavier topic of “how do I get over the anger I feel and come to terms with the fact that the man who gave my friend the drugs when she relapsed and died deserves a chance to get sober, too?” Mom is aboutrecovery in a way no other show is, and therefore is the panel’s consensus choice for most accurate depiction of recovery.

“I would feel comfortable saying ‘Yeah, it’s like that’ to somebody who is not in recovery but watches this show,” says Kevin.

“You show this to anyone in recovery, and they’ll be able to relate,” says Zack.

The panel members appreciate how the show has a sense of humor about alcoholism and recovery, but takes it seriously, too. Bonnie (Allison Janney) resolves the issue of her boyfriend Adam (William Fichtner) not understanding AA by showing him the tape of her daughter Christy’s (Anna Faris) wedding, which she ruined by getting trashed and making a scene. Her drunken antics are played for laughs until the end, when Christy is crying and apologizing for her mother’s behavior.

“It’s important that they show the part with the daughter, where you realize it’s not just some funny bits,” says Zack. “There are actual consequences. She ruined her daughter’s wedding, and it’s not ‘Ha ha.'” And yet, it still manages to end on a laugh, when Adam quips that he’ll take her to a meeting right now if it ensures that never happens again.

Panel members ranked Mom as most accurate, followed by Recovery Road, then Flaked, thoughFlaked is accurate in a very specific way. They respect each show’s depiction of recovery as different, because every recovering alcoholic’s experience is different. And they think it’s a good thing that these shows exist, because representation builds understanding.

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