The must-watch TV series that combines sex and single motherhood like never before.

The TV series SMILF is a reminder of how blessed we are to be living in the age of TV streaming services.

The dramedy is directed and produced by Frankie Shaw, 32, who also pulls off a creative trifecta by doing double time as the show’s leading lady. The series depicts a gritty, real, hilarious yet brutal world that many years ago would surely have been deemed not nearly pretty or prestige enough to appeal to a mainstream audience.

But thanks to the golden age of TV we’re currently living in, SMILF (which stands for Single Mother I’d Like To F*ck) is available to watch exclusively in Australia via streaming service Stan and boy is it worth your time.

In the series, Shaw plays a slightly dysfunctional and scrappy single mother of one named Bridgette Bird, a 20-something woman who once dreamed of building a life outside of the gritty and gloomy South Boston suburb she was born in. We learn through the series that Bridgette was a whip-smart student who earned a scholarship to a private school and then planned to become an actress, but an unexpected pregnancy derailed her plans.

She now lives in a dingy one-room apartment with her gorgeous little toddler Larry, attempts to make it to auditions to continue her acting career but in reality spends most of her time tutoring the children of an obscenely wealthy and affluent woman named Ally (played by Connie Britton) who has a few problems of her own.

Since Frankie has loosely based the plot of SMILF on her own life, pregnancy and motherhood, much of the storyline rings very true and the overall production pulses with relatability and gritty realism.

Much of the first season follows Bridgette’s attempt to navigate life as a single mother following one disaster after another, a story that is cleverly punctuated with her attempts to fall back into the world of dating and casual sex now that Larry is a toddler.

The beauty of SMILF, along with its humour and uniqueness, is in the revolutionary way it depicts single motherhood.

Bridgette’s life may be tough and she makes a myriad of mistakes in every episode, but her fierce love for her son shines through and you are never left thinking that she is a bad mother for doing whatever she needs to do to get through the day. Even if it’s leaving her son asleep at home alone a while she dashes down the road to grab some snacks from a convenience store or having sex in the same bed her son is asleep in, because they live in one room and there’s just no other alternative.

Frankie Shaw as Bridgette Bird in SMILF. Source: Stan.

Unlike other shows that may have glossed over the gritty, and sometimes even ugly, sides of single motherhood (ahem Gilmore Girls...)  SMILF rarely plays out like a neatly wrapped up, picture perfect TV series.

Rounding out the cast is Rosie O’Donnell as Bridgette's mother Tutu, a gruff retiree with mental health issues who is just as critical of Bridgette's parenting style as she is eager to help her daughter with Larry's care, and the dynamics of their relationship are a stand-out element of the series.

Season two of SMILF, which is based on Frankie Shaw's Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short film of the same name, has just kicked off on Stan and from what we've seen so far the series has truly bee able to build on the strongest story elements it offered fans the first time around.

SMILF also made headlines in December 2018 when Australian actress and former Home and Away star Samara Weaving left the series after alleging that two sex scenes she was tasked to appear in were mishandled by Shaw and complaints were made  Weaving is believed to have complained to the screen actors union and Showtime, and her complaints were investigated. The investigation found Shaw innocent of wrongdoing, Variety reports, but Weaving was released from her contract after requesting not to return if the show continues with the third season.

The first season of SMILF is available to watch now on Stan, new episodes of season two will be dropping the weekly same time as the US.

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