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What's up with all the bad mothers on TV?

What’s up with all the bad mothers on TV? ”Nip/Tuck”’s Vanessa Redgrave and ”Six Feet Under”’s Joanna Cassidy both play eerily similar characters: self-absorbed, daughter-tormenting mothers

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…Or do the monstrously self-absorbed, insanely passive-aggressive, youth-obsessed, daughter-tormenting psychiatrist mothers on FX’s ”Nip/Tuck” (the deliciously malevolent Erica Noughton, as played by Vanessa Redgrave) and HBO’s ”Six Feet Under” (the deliciously malevolent Margaret Chenowith, as played by Joanna Cassidy) strike you as remarkably similar? Heck, a little nip and tuck and they could be sisters.