Stop if this sounds familiar: A twentysomething guy — who has somehow gone his whole life without realizing his mother looks like a supermodel — is aghast when he discovers his recently separated mom is (drum roll, please) sleeping with his best friend and roommate. Enter “Significant Mother,” and if that sounds like a cheap double entendre, it’s certainly not alone in this CW comedy, which began as a digital CW Seed series before its promotion to summer primetime filler. Krista Allen plays the mom, which, if nothing else, should make anyone over 30 feel really, really old.
Nate (Josh Zuckerman) has his own Portland restaurant (OK, with some financial help from his dad, played by Jonathan Silverman) when he walks in on mom with his ladies-man roommate and lifelong pal Jimmy (“The Originals’” Nathaniel Buzolic). As is so often the case in these CW offerings, the actual age gap between Allen (whose pin-up-worthy credits include “Baywatch” and the “Emmanuelle” series) and Buzolic is only 13 years, although it’s treated like he’s sleeping with Methuselah.
Created by Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith, “Significant Mother” certainly doesn’t shy away from the obvious in the set-up/joke department. Nate, for example, grouses that his buddy’s sexual appetite (he uses a more clinical word) “is like Anthony Bourdain. It has no reservations!” And when Jimmy asks Nate for help in planning a date with mom in a subsequent episode, Nate replies, “You know how to please my mom way better than I do,” before the obligatory grimace.
Of the four episodes previewed, the second is the best, with Nate taking out a cougar (guest star Denise Richards) who clearly makes his mother and Jimmy uncomfortable. Another installment also features a fleeting “Weekend at Bernie’s” spoof, which is a nice nod to Silverman, who otherwise spends most of his time fuming about his wife having sex with, in his eyes, a zygote.
While the show does possess some energy thanks to the cast, there’s such a numbing sameness to the gags — ew, mom and Jimmy are engaging in another public display of affection! — that when Nate yells, “Get off my mom!” it’s actually the second time he’s interrupted the two canoodling, with many more to follow.
CW is smart for using digital series as what amounts to a farm system for the drama-heavy network. That said, it’s difficult to see anything substantial or lasting growing from this Seed.