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Western Animation: Mother Up

Mother Up is a Hulu Original animated series. The first season of thirteen episodes ran in late 2013 to February 2014.

Rudi Wilson (Eva Longoria) is a high-flying, hard-partying executive for a major music label. She's living in the fast lane until a scandal erupts. Rather than take the fall for it and get fired, Rudi publicly resigns to "spend more time with [her] family." She then takes her children Dick and Apple to their new home in Willowdale, a suburb somewhere in Canada.

The self-absorbed Rudi fails to notice that her husband Jeffrey has left her until they actually get to the new house. Rudi also discovers that she doesn’t know how to manage a household or take care of children without servants. Rudi’s also initially unprepared to interact with suburban culture like soccer moms and neighbors who actually talk to each other.

With the sometimes dubious aid of Sarah (traditional housewife), Greg (air-headed “life coach”) and 2bit (rapper and Rudi’s biggest cash cow), Rudi slowly learns to be a slightly better mother.


This Hulu original provides examples of:

  • All Women Love Shoes: Rudi has a special display room for her designer shoes, which she admits she loves more than her children. There's also a man who loves shoes, but in a different sense.
  • Alpha Bitch: Jenny is a grown-up version of this, bossing around her fellow moms and trying to belittle Rudi at every opportunity.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sarah may normally be an Extreme Doormat, but get her liquored up and she proves to be a superior snake-fighter (that is, using snakes as weapons.)
  • A Boy and His X: Dick has two instances:
  • Broke Episode: Rudi's income is residuals from the artists she signed during her career, which normally allows her to buy whatever ludicrous object the plot demands. In one episode she managed to run out of money before she ran out of month, and resorted to selling blood plasma and being a drug trial subject.
  • Butt Monkey: Dick's subplot in most of the episodes involves terrible things happening to him.
  • Canada, Eh?: The series at least takes place there.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Greg often goes off on tangents that make little sense. "If there's one thing Charles Darwin taught us, it's that humans are incapable of growth or change!"
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Rudi often does horrible things to people for the sake of comedy. Some of the other characters will dip into this from time to time.
  • Companion Cube: Apple forms an emotional attachment to the school's vending machine as a replacement mother.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rudi is the unofficial queen of this trope.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jeffrey bails on the family early in the first episode. He returns in the first season finale, but only because his current fiancee is interested in having children. When she is offered other kids, Jeffrey drops his interest in Dick and Apple.
  • Emo Teen: Joel.
  • G-Rated Drug: Dick becomes addicted to sugar, much the same way a drug lord might become addicted to his own product. Apple even tries to pull him back from his decline.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The other neighbors' kids can be quite nasty towards poor Dick and Apple.
  • Housewife: While several of the characters seem to have this role, Sarah is the one that comes closest to the traditional "homemaker dedicated to her husband and child" role.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Many of Rudi's neighbors may be jerkasses, but their accusations of Rudi being a terrible mother are pretty accurate.
  • Large Ham: The school nurse is also president of the local community theater. She loves dressing up in costumes and overacting to give information, and turns drama queen when she's replaced as director of the kindergarten play.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Most of the characters wear the same thing in every episode, unless there is a specific plot reason for them not to.
  • Mama Bear: Sarah is meek and mild normally, but endanger her son Fergus and she will end you.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: One of 2bit's pets is a leopard shark. "A shark with actual leopard legs, the way God intended!"
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: 2bit seems to be based on rapper 2 Chainz.
  • Pet the Dog: A criminal on a prison work gang impulsively saves Dick from being run over by a car. One of the guards notes "On the take a life/save a life scale, he's still at minus three."
    • Rudi gets these for her kids when her maternal instincts do kick in.
  • Parental Neglect/Abusive Mom/Parents as People: Rudi zigzags between these three tropes constantly.
  • The Prima Donna: 2bit has tendencies towards megalomania and making absurd demands to feed his musical genius. He's friends with Rudi because she's the only one who will call him on this and set boundaries.
  • Spoiled Sweet/Spoiled Brat: Apple is normally very polite and sweet, given her overindulgent upbringing. But let her get too much sugar or performance enhancing drugs in her system, and she turns into a demanding monster.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Joel hates everyone, especially his stepfather Greg, who he regularly tries to maim, listens to music with violent lyrics, vandalizes things, and plays ultraviolent video games.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: In "Everybody Sees 2bit's Wang" Rudi sells too much blood and ends up looking emaciated. By the next day she's back to normal.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Rudi is not a good person. She loves her kids in her own way, but will frequently neglect them to indulge her whims.
  • Younger than They Look: A terminal patient Dick is required to care for looks about ninety, but is actually only twenty-eight. "He made some bad life choices."

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