I’m probably one of the few people on the planet who doesn’t watch Dance Moms. It’s because I grew up dancing and spent time in the competition scene, and the show is nowhere close to my reality. But if it wasn’t so extreme no one would watch it. That’s what makes great reality TV… drama.
When I heard about the new Bravo series, There Goes the Motherhood, my first thought was, “A reality series about motherhood? A reality show about MY reality?” Really, who would want to watch that? How can someone even make a reality series about moms? There’s nothing glamorous about what we mamas do. A few minutes later I was on Bravo’s website, glued to the preview clip and studying the bios of the “six fabulous Los Angeles-based moms” who make motherhood “look good.” Boom. “Fabulous” and making motherhood “look good” meant they’re going to glamorize my reality! But just how amazing can they make it? I skimmed through the synopsis and saw everyday motherhood hardships like working, staying at home, divorce, keeping the marriage together, and of course, kids behaving badly. All moms go through at least one of those things at one time or another, but it looks like these moms take it over-the-top. Luckily for the stars of the series, they’ve got their village in the form of “the most exclusive mommy group in L.A.” moderated by a parenting expert. So maybe this will be Super Nanny meets Real Housewives!
What is 100% real and not scripted to be over-the-top are the kids. All kids just naturally go there! A toddler can turn on a tantrum instantaneously over something as innocent as getting the blue cup instead of the red cup (omg, the drama of it!). A room can go from spotless to looking like the aftermath of a tornado in span of two minutes, and I’ve got the pics on my iPhone to prove it! Face painting with mom’s make-up, making it “snow” with flour, I could go on and on. That is reality and I’m looking forward to getting some validation that my crazy life with my kids is “normal.”
But I am a little concerned. Will this new reality series fuel the already brutal mommy wars because we’ll have a hard time separating TV reality from our reality? Will we love to hate whichever character was cast as “the mean one,” causing us to bag on her parenting style, whether it be attachment, free range, helicopter, or dowhatchalike? Will the working mom and stay-at-home mom roles be typecast and will those two groups continue to be pitted against one another? Will there be a breast versus bottle battle? Will the series’ parenting expert make us moms feel like we’re not doing it right? Many of us already feel that we don’t have it together, so will we set even more supermom expectations upon ourselves based on what we see on the screen? Or will we take it for what it’s worth- our everyday reality amplified by a Hollywood production company. Because that’s what makes great reality TV… drama.
When we think about our favorite reality series, what we love about it is the over-the-top, the conflict, the drama, and the resolution, all woven together in the magical editing room. It is there that the mundane transforms into a guilty pleasure that we can’t stop watching.
So will I tune in to the premiere of “There Goes the Motherhood”? Unlike “Dance Moms,” I’m going to take my chances and watch. I’ve gotta see how good this reality show makes my reality lookmom!