The only people surprised when Allison Janney won an Emmy last fall for "Mom" were people who haven't been watching "Mom."
In the first season of the Chuck Lorre-produced sitcom, Janney's Bonnie battled a relapse of her alcoholism, had manic sexual misadventures with daughter Christy's chef boss and went through menopause.
Paired with the "West Wing" favorite's very different Emmy-winning turn in Showtime's "Masters of Sex," it was a pretty terrific year for Janney.
As much emotional heavy-lifting as the "Mom" writers gave Janney last year, Season 2 has been even darker, as Bonnie has had to cope with the death, under very risqué circumstances, of Alvin (Kevin Pollak), the love of her life and Christy's father.
Rather than writing Alvin's death, dealing with it for an episode and then moving along with hilarious hijinks, the "Mom" team has taken Bonnie on a sad and often lonely spiral, only sometimes peppering the grief with humor. Don't be surprised when Janney is back in the Emmy field again this fall. [And despite a reduced profile on "Masters of Sex," Janney's work in the Season 2 premiere will almost certainly have her up for Guest Actress in a Drama for a second time.]
Last month, I dropped by the "Mom" set on the Warner Brothers lot to talk about the different processes of doing big emotions on a sitcom versus a drama and her initial experience doing multi-cam comedy. We also discussed the periodic appearances by Bad Bonnie, who had just blackmailed her entire condo board in the previous episode.
Click through for the full Q&A and remember that "Mom" airs on Thursdays at 9:30 on CBS and could always use a bigger audience.