Tuesday, March 04, 2008

TLC's "Secret Life of a Soccer Mom"

I checked out TLC's new (sur)reality show The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom with trepidation. Would it be filled with stereotypes and make Moms look incompetent in the workplace and Dads incompetent at home?

The premiere episode follows Adrian, a former fashion designer has stayed at home with three daughters, out of the workforce for over ten years while her doctor husband focuses on his career. The show, hosted by Tracey Gold, hooks Adrian up with a "secret" week-long stint working for a fashion designer while her family thinks she's been whisked away for a spa trip.

Adrian is thrown right into the mix, given the seemingly impossible task of designing and producing three gowns in three days. Meanwhile, at home, Bruce watches the toddler and baby bop each other on the head and drink non-dairy creamer straight from the carton.

The program does rely on old tropes and manipulative moves, like pulling Adrian out right in the middle of her crucial work project to watch video of Bruce's lax stay-at-home parenting.

There are a hundred good reasons to dislike the show (magical childcare doesn't show up in real life, etc.), but darn it, it makes for riveting television. I was rooting for Adrian, Bruce, their whole family. They all clearly cared for one another. The toughest choice comes when Adrian pulls of a successful design. What will she do if she is offered the job of her dreams?

The premiere is repeated throughout the week, so I won't tell you what happens. Leave me a comment letting me know what you think if you catch the show.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Amy@UWM said...

I liked the show too. Definitely contrived and maybe even a tad exploitive of us moms and our innermost turmoil over fulfilling our dreams or sacrificing them for the sake of our family. Yet you can't help but feel for Adrian on all levels -- the longing she has to exercise her creative talent as a designer as well as the pull she feels to be there for her family. It's really an unfair and impossible choice. As a full-time working mom, I also know all too well the tough road she'll have ahead of her trying to balance it all.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Julie Malloy said...

As a follow-up to this - have you read this months Newsweek? TOTALLY frustrating article about the show and how it is spurring on the wars between mothers again... I am so tired of this story.. when do we get to talk about the real issues and stop all this finger pointing? The only good idea I saw in this was that they should do follow up shows and see what happens when the mother does go back to work - inject a bit more of the 'reality' into the show.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Julie Malloy said...

As a follow-up to this - have you read this months Newsweek? TOTALLY frustrating article about the show and how it is spurring on the wars between mothers again... I am so tired of this story.. when do we get to talk about the real issues and stop all this finger pointing? The only good idea I saw in this was that they should do follow up shows and see what happens when the mother does go back to work - inject a bit more of the 'reality' into the show.

2:32 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

Yes, ironically, like the Meg Wolitzer novel I wrote about today (The Ten-Year Nap) I think reactions to the SLSM show is mostly about projecting our own views, beliefs and values about motherhood.

The show has drawn a lot of ire from women who thinks the premise demeans women who do stay at home.

To me it's a fascinating experiment, though after watching a few episodes, the format feels rote. (Now I fast-forward through the inevitable scenes of the Dads having a tough time at home.)

But, the individual women's reactions and the husbands' reactions have been varied and interesting.

I am not a fan of reality TV but this one has be intrigued.

3:07 PM  

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