Recap of the CBS premiere of ‘So Help Me Todd’: Skylar Astin & Marcia Gay Harden

CBS’ So help me Toddmaybe better thought than Take your hot son to workis the story of a private detective who is forced to investigate the most private thing of all – his relationship with his mother.

When we meet Skylar Astin’s titular detective in Thursday’s premiere, he’s in the middle of a grocery store arresting a woman for picking up a disability, even though she’s healed from an injury sustained while working at an airport. The sight of her children is too much for Todd, so he agrees to delete his evidence if she promises to go back to work. I’m no cardiologist, but I guess our boy Todd has a heart of gold.

Todd’s mother, on the other hand, has a very hard heart. Played to self-conscious perfection by Marcia Gay Harden, Margaret never misses an opportunity to remind her son of how dissatisfied she is with his life choices, particularly those that led to his having his private investigator license revoked. (Anything about a corrupt mentor who tricked Todd into being charged with wiretapping and forgery? To be honest, there was a lot of backstory in that first hour.)

In addition to being a high-profile attorney, Margaret is also a mom with a capital M. She accidentally FaceTimes her kids, mixes up celebrity names, and specifically asks people to email her phone — even Like Todd, however If you can’t resist, you don’t have to tell anyone Where send an email. You can access it from pretty much anywhere.

Anyway, these polar opposites are suddenly forced to spend a lot more time together when Margaret’s husband, Harry, disappears, promptly putting Todd back into PI mode. Using every tool in his arsenal (mainly social media stalking), Todd eventually catches Harry on a flight to Iceland. He’s not dying of Parkinson’s like he led Margaret to believe – he just doesn’t want to be with her anymore. He says she’s being too critical and she won’t let him be himself, two complaints Todd is all too familiar with.

But Todd doesn’t just track down Margaret’s husband in that first hour. He also helps her in a murder trial, which she eventually wins by forcing the accused’s mother to come out as the real murderer. It’s one of those extremely flashy situations where the outcome of a case also teaches the attorney an important life lesson, but this show is cute, so let’s let it happen.

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Lindsay Lowe

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