Thursday, March 26, 2009
Just got a sneak peek at the new ABC show that debuts tonight: "In the Motherhood." Have you heard all the buzz about this show? There is an admittedly great lineup--Cheryl Hines (of" Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame); Megan Mullally (Karen is back! Where's my cocktail!); and Jessica St. Clair (don't know her, but I heard she is famous...!) star as three moms with different styles of parenting and different backdrops. The topics are near and dear to all of our hearts--juggling work and family; raising kids properly; laughing and crying at the intensity of it all. But, regardless of the star power and the resonance of the subject-matter, my first thought (before seeing the two episodes ABC released pre-debut) was: Why should I watch this, I live it! It's the same thought I have about many novels that are based upon mom characters ("The Other Mother," "Babyville," "The Ten Year Nap"). Sometimes you want your entertainment to be an escape, not resemble you're everyday.
That being said, the episodes I saw were funny and I am going to give the show a shot. It works better when it sticks to the relationships between the characters and the comedy of everyday motherhood (e.g., when one of the characters decides to raise her children without lying and tells him that there is not Santa, which leads to disasterous results at preschool), and less on sitcom-y schtick (one of the episodes centers arond unionizing local nannies). The greatest strength of the best chick-lit (and make no mistake--this is most definitely chick-lit...for tv...) is the way it makes bells ring in our minds--the way it humorously reveal those thoughts or embarrassing little secrets that so many of us have not admitted to ourselves, let alone others. And this show has those moments. I worry that, as it continues, there will be less of those and more generic, LCD jokes--but I laughed out loud a few times and that's enough for me to check out at least another episode.
If you're interested, ABC wants your stories and it promises that "your stories could end up on TV!" Despite the fact that, um, shouldn't ABC have writers?--there is some appeal at seeing some of the really hilarious things our kids do on network television, no? For more info, check out the ABC site.