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Critic’s corner: What’s on TV Monday night

Monty Brinton/CBS

Mom 9:30 p.m., CBS

When does Alcoholics Anonymous become a little less anonymous? When you run into your estranged mother at a meeting. In this new series from the prolific Chuck Lorre (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men”) Anna Faris plays single mom Christy, a waitress in recovery juggling work, a problematic romantic life, and her teen daughter’s attitude. Allison Janney is her mom, Bonnie, who distressingly is better remembered by Christy for cooking meth as opposed to dinner. Family dysfunction with a side of substance abuse is a tricky line for a sitcom to walk. While the pilot isn’t exactly uproarious, along with a gifted supporting cast, Faris and Janney pull several solid laughs out of the wreckage of their relationship, giving “Mom” potential. (Pictured: Janney, left, and Faris.)

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Hostages 10 p.m., CBS

In this new limited drama series, renowned surgeon Dr. Ellen Duncan (Toni Collette) is faced with a dilemma: She can either assassinate the president of the United States on her operating room table or risk the possibility that a group of operatives led by FBI agent Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott) will make good on the threat to kill her husband and two children, who have been taken hostage in their home. Monday’s pilot is uneven, with the children’s story lines feeling particularly rife for a high irritation quotient. Additionally, it’s hard to see how they’re going to stretch this over 15 episodes, but Collette and McDermott are solid players, and the way Collette plays the slight twist at the end of the pilot makes this one worthy of a second episode chance.

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