One Day at a Time (Netflix)
If you only remember the 1970s version of this sitcom about a single mom raising two kids, get thee to Netflix right away. In this Cuban-American update, Justina Machado plays Penelope, a former army nurse dealing with PTSD while raising a smart and prickly teen daughter and 12-year-old son, with the help of her meddling mom (the ageless and hilarious Rita Moreno). Machado balances strength and sadness with a warmth and humor that keeps you rooting for her.
Catastrophe (Amazon Prime)
In this British import about a couple who decides to get hitched after a one-week fling results in a baby, Irish comedian Sharon Horgan plays one half of the extremely dysfunctional couple (American Rob Delaney plays her husband). Despite their messed-up personal lives, though, these two love their kids like crazy. You may be shocked at how far the humor goes, but you will laugh your head off at Horgan’s deadpan delivery.
Odd Mom Out (Bravo/Amazon)
You can watch new episodes of this outrageously funny series right now on Bravo (season three premiered in July), or catch up on the first couple of seasons on Amazon. Jill Kargman plays Jill, an artsy, all-black-wearing, cynical downtown mom caught up in the uber-wealthy world of her husband’s uptown family. You’ll cheer along in recognition as Jill tries to keep her three kids from turning into the materialistic brats they rub tiny shoulders with.
Now going on its fourth season, Black-ish is on summer break—but it’s a perfect time to catch up with the first three seasons if you haven’t already fallen in love with the smartest, funniest, and most stylish mom on TV, Tracee Ellis Ross’s Dr. Rainbow Johnson. Somehow Rainbow manages to balance her demanding career as an anesthesiologist, while dealing with her constantly bickering in-laws and teaching her four very different kids (a fifth arrived at the end of last season) about the real world outside their sheltered Los Angeles neighborhood. She makes us smile every time.
Remember Jennifer Jason Leigh from Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Fast-forward several decades and she plays the mom of an 18-year-old boy on the autism spectrum in this blisteringly honest comedy about raising a special-needs kid. When she finally gets some time to herself and flirts with a cute bartender after blowing off steam at a dance class, you’ll raise a glass and forgive her all her faults.