And you thought your mom was bad


Ellen Burstyn has come a long way, baby. In 2000, she was popping pills in Requiem for a Dream, and now she’ll be pushing pills in Tim RobbinsPossible Side Effects on Showtime.

According to Variety, Burstyn will play the matriarch of the Hunt family, a powerful but dysfunctional brood that runs a drug company that gets in a heap of trouble.

If this series is anything less than fantastic, I’ll be shocked. It’s possible that my expectations are high because the pharmaceutical industry is such an easy target or because Ellen Burstyn and Tim Robbins are incredibly gifted. As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t get enough of evil mothers — big screen and small. Save your two-bit psychoanalysis for someone who cares. Yes, yes, my relationship with my own mother is far from perfect. There, I’ve let you in. Can we move on?

It can’t just be my own warped relationship with my mother that disturbs and thrills when I watch Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate or Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People.

These chilling portrayals of mothers are so disturbing because mothers are the ultimate nurturers. Their love is unconditional and boundless, right? And when we see mothers who supposedly defy nature, we wonder how this could be. Is nothing sacred? Yet, some of the most memorable characters in film on television have involved mothers gone wrong.

I can’t be the only one who has a list of mean mommies at the ready. Who are your favorite evil-doing mothers of the screen?

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