Jessica Tovey stars as Danielle Hicks in the new TV series Bad Mothers.
Jessica Tovey stars as Danielle Hicks in the new TV series Bad Mothers. Scott McAulay

All's fair in love and motherhood

THE dramas in the school pick-up and drop-off zone go way beyond double parking in the new Aussie drama Bad Mothers.

The show centres around five women as they deal with everything from careers and romance to play dates and murder.

Sarah's seeminlgy perfect life as a GP, wife and mother is shattered when she discovers her husband is having an affair. Then her best friend (Melissa George) is found murdered and Sarah's husband, Anton (Daniel MacPherson), is arrested.

Melissa George and Tess Haubrich in a scene from Bad Mothers.
Melissa George and Tess Haubrich in a scene from Bad Mothers. Greg Noakes

She finds unlikely sisterhood in a ragtag group of outsiders. Buoyed by their support, Sarah is drawn into the chaotic worlds of her new friends: Danielle, Bindy and Maddie.

"What I love about this show is that it is not about the love between men and women. It's about the love between women and the support they offer each other," Jess Tovey, who plays Danielle, says during a visit to the show's chilly Melbourne set.

"The title is this tongue-in-cheek joke on the way women put themselves down because they're not perfect. They're trying to be mothers, have careers, be good friends and good partners and be healthy. When they feel like they're failing they refer to themselves as the 'terrible' mothers, but the ability to joke about that means they don't take themselves so seriously and they're able to support each other... It's a really beautiful thing to make a show about."

Jessica Tovey and Mandy McElhinney in a scene from Bad Mothers.
Jessica Tovey and Mandy McElhinney in a scene from Bad Mothers. Greg Noakes

Danielle is an outgoing mum who's married to fire fighter Tom (Steve Bastoni) and has a close relationship with her sister-in-law Maddie (Mandy McElhinney) and hot young mum Bindy (Shalom Brune-Franklin).

"At the beginning Danielle is the apex they met through. She and Maddie would have been pregnant together and, having watched two of my friends who were pregnant at the same time, it's an incredibly bonding experience," she says. "They have a very close relationship, much more sisters than sisters-in-law.

"Danielle met Bindy through the gym and then of course there's Sarah. Danielle's a sucker for someone who's in need of help. Some people would find that kind of nosy, but it's not ever in a gossipy way for Danielle. She's a very warm person and whey they see how distressed Sarah is they really welcome her into the group."

Shalom Brune-Franklin, Tess Haubirich, Mandy McElhinney and Jessica Tovey in a scene from Bad Mothers.
Shalom Brune-Franklin, Tess Haubirich, Mandy McElhinney and Jessica Tovey in a scene from Bad Mothers. Greg Noakes

With more light-hearted moments than Big Little Lies, viewers can expect a heightened but relatable suburban drama.

"It's television, so you still have to have drama, The show starts with a particularly dramatic twist in their lives, but they're still real people," Tovey says. "There were some lines I was reading the other day and I thought 'I have literally said that'."

Bad Mothers premieres on Monday at 9pm on Nine.



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