Everyone would probably agree that the summer and fall TV seasons have been anything but stable and predictable in 2020, given just about every high-profile series faced a variety of setbacks, delays and production changes. Beyond all that, arguably the most shocking news to hit primetime was Anna Faris' quick and seemingly sudden AF decision to bow out of renewing her contract for more Mom, which happened a month or so before Season 8 was set to start filming. With that season premiere coming in November, fans now have a better idea of what to expect from Christy's absence.
Without any signs of Christy returning in the near or far future, it sounds like Bonnie will specifically be dealing with the absence of her daughter when Season 8 kicks off. (I mean, it would be weird for the premiere to be a standard installment, only to go heavy on addressing Christy being gone in the third episode.) Here's how co-creator Gemma Baker explained it to TVLine:
Christy’s absence will have a ripple effect on Bonnie throughout the season. Part of Bonnie’s journey this year will be to figure out what she wants to do now that she’s actually grown up. . . . With all the alone time, [Bonnie and Adam] discover that they actually really like each other. So much so that they try to help another couple achieve their level of happiness to mixed results.
It sounds like Allison Janney's Bonnie will have Christy on her mind a lot as the season goes on, which obviously makes sense for any mother in that kind of situation. But it could be particularly hard for Bonnie, considering the entire series has largely focused on her and Christy building the kind of strong relationship that wasn't capable of happening earlier in their lives. Thankfully, though, it doesn't sound like the showrunners are interested in taking Bonnie to dark emotional places that could potentially spark a relapse.
Instead, Bonnie seems to be aligning herself with all things happy and romantic. Her marriage with William Fichtner's Adam seems to be going smoothly, to the point where they're attempting to play couples counseling with others, which I cannot imagine will go all that smoothly. Gemma Baker did reveal that Jaime Pressly's Jill and Will Sasso's Andy are experiencing relationship problems in the early days of Season 8, with Jill wanting to move things forward, while Andy might not be so open to the concept. However, it wasn't made clear whether or not they will be the couple that Bonnie aims to help out.
With all of that said, viewers should not need to prepare themselves for anything too dark when it comes to Christy not being around anymore. Gemma Baker spoke quite optimistically about what's happening with Anna Faris' character off-screen.
One of the beautiful things about recovery is that quite often people’s lives get bigger and better than they could have imagined. And that will be Christy’s experience. We are pretty sure that our audience, many of whom have been rooting for Christy since the pilot, will be happy for her and satisfied by her new path.
By and large, Mom sounds as if it will keep doing what it does well without going overboard with making changes simply because a major cast member won't be around anymore. Will that be enough to keep fans around without Anna Faris? We'll have to wait and see.