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September 1, 2014

TV's Most Memorable Mothers and Daughters

by David Hofstede, posted Jan 29th 2010 3:00PM
The new CW series 'Life Unexpected' explores the unique relationship between Lux (Brittany Robertson), a teenager raised in a succession of foster homes, and her birth mother, radio talk show host Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby).

It's the latest in a tradition of TV series featuring memorable mothers and daughters, a formula that has inspired both great shows ('The Gilmore Girls') and disasters ('Kath and Kim'). If 'Life Unexpected' becomes a hit, perhaps we'll have one more duo to add to this list of TV's most memorable moms and the girls they love.

Check out the top 10 list after the jump.The new CW series 'Life Unexpected' explores the unique relationship between Lux (Brittany Robertson), a teenager raised in a succession of foster homes, and her birth mother, radio talk show host Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby).

It's the latest in a tradition of TV series featuring memorable mothers and daughters, a formula that has inspired both great shows ('The Gilmore Girls') and disasters ('Kath and Kim.') If 'Life Unexpected' becomes a hit, perhaps we'll have one more duo to add to this list of TV's most memorable moms and the girls they love.

1. Lorelei Gilmore and Rory: 'The Gilmore Girls'
They looked more like gorgeous sisters, and shared the same bemused outlook on their eccentric hometown of Stars Hollow. The bond shared by motormouth Lorelei and brainiac Rory set the standard for smart, loving mothers and daughters on TV. As an added bonus, 'The Gilmore Girls' also served up a dysfunctional variation on the same theme, as Lorelei struggled to find common ground with her own conservative, upper-class parents.



2. Ida Morgenstern and Rhoda: 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'Rhoda'
Look up 'Jewish mother' in the dictionary, and there should be a picture of Nancy Walker as Ida Morgenstern. On both 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'Rhoda,' Walker personified the stereotype of an overbearing, doting but loving parent that drove her daughter crazy by reminding her, at every possible opportunity, that she was still single.



3. Donna Stone and Mary: 'The Donna Reed Show'
Donna Reed defined motherhood on TV the way Perry Mason defined the legal profession. As practically perfect as Mary Poppins, Donna gently guided her boy-crazy teenage daughter Mary through the perils of adolescence, setting an example of grace and kindness that any young woman would be wise to follow.

4. Joyce Summers and Buffy: 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
When your daughter spends her evenings killing vampires (or sleeping with them), that's a lot for a mother to handle. But once Joyce Summers discovered her daughter was the Slayer, she coped as well as possible with the demons and witches and bloodsuckers that invaded her home. When she died, Buffy was faced with a hardship even her supernatural powers could not overcome.

5. Edina Monsoon and Saffron: 'Absolutely Fabulous'
Okay, Edina once did try to sell her daughter into slavery in Morocco, but that doesn't mean she doesn't love her on some level. What other mother would express her concern over her daughter's struggling social life by observing, "I'm sorry, darling, but I don't want a little mustached virgin for a daughter, so do something about it!"



6. Samantha Stevens and Tabitha: 'Bewitched'
Poor Darrin thought he had his hands full with one witch in the family, until his daughter started causing havoc with a few nose-twitches as well. As often as Samantha tried to get little Tabitha to observe the 'no witchcraft' rule at home, she also couldn't conceal her pride over her little girl carrying on the family legacy.



7. Erica Kane and Kendall: 'All My Children'
On the soaps, no relationship is immune to a large combo platter of troubles, but Kendall, played by a pre-Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar, demonstrated a virtuoso talent for putting her mother through hell. Whether it was locking her little sister in a crypt, trying to seduce her stepfather, or trading punches with Erica at her grandmother's funeral, Kendall was a passionate, indomitable force of nature -- just like her mother.



8. Lucy Carter and Kim: 'Here's Lucy'
Kim Carter could be as embarrassed by her mother as any teenager, especially given the fantastic situations that any character played by Lucille Ball would create. But most of the time, she became a co-conspirator in her antics, from filming a TV commercial as a singing pickle to dancing in their living room with the legendary Ginger Rogers.



9. Roseanne Connor and Darlene: 'Roseanne'
Falling somewhere between the idyllic existence on 'The Donna Reed Show' and the insanity of 'Absolutely Fabulous,' the abrasive but affectionate rapport between Roseanne and Darlene on 'Roseanne' had an authenticity rarely approached on most situation comedies.



10. Kate Lawrence and Buddy: 'Family'
Even with the release of its first season on DVD, 'Family' has not had the lingering pop culture impact of the other shows on this list. But in its 1970s heyday the series was a revelation in its depiction of an American family, and as Buddy, Emmy-winner Kristy McNichol was as popular with TV fans as all of Charlie's Angels put together.

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