There Goes the Motherhood – TV review

Posted on May 13, 2016 by Stefanie Fair with No Comment

There Goes the Motherhood – TV review

If you can’t beat them, you can at least have a good laugh at their expense.

By  Diana Wichtel In Television

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13th May, 2016  television,

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There Goes the Motherhood.
There Goes the Motherhood.

The rich are always with us, but television seems more than usually awash at the moment with their decadent excesses and tasteless tat. It’s like the endless Max Key holiday video from hell. Local drama Filthy Rich grinds on. There’s an Auckland offshoot of the Real Housewives franchise to look forward to. It can’t be long before someone makes a reboot of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Mike Hosking in the Robin Leach role.

Those who forget the early 80s are condemned to repeat them. Dynasty and Dallas seemed like escapist fun. Then, even ordinary folk could afford shoulder pads, big hair and a house. We weren’t to know Rogernomics was coming.

Some people are still doing very well indeed and Britain’s ITV is out to mock them on our behalf on Flash Families. What better image of modern inequality could there be than Canadian engineer Sam and his wife, Irene, in their leopard-skin-­ridden 47-room manor in Kent? Ingress Abbey used to be a vast domain. When the camera pulls out, we see it’s now sitting in the middle of a humble housing estate. Irene doesn’t care. She’s one of eight children from a modest family in Cameroon. Now, she’s the “Queen of Ingress”. Sam is just there to pay for it all. They have five children and once flew on a commercial airline, a shock to their daughter. “She said, ‘Mummy, who are all these people on our plane?’” laughs Irene. Bless.

Over in Doncaster, Robin and Noeli seem to own half of it. He buys her a forest for their fifth anniversary. She’s not impressed. “I’ve got a 95-acre estate. Why do I need a wood?” She does, apparently, need a designer coffin. Barking.

Not everyone on There Goes the Motherhood is obscenely rich, but this is still end-of-times entertainment. These Santa Monica ladies have inveigled their way into an exclusive “mommy group” run by psychotherapist Jill Spivack. Jill’s website says her groups provide “a haven of support and friendship”, but where would the reality show be in that?

Former singer Stefanie has four kids she locks in their bedrooms at night and keeps under video surveillance. “Wait,” says one of her new friends. “Locked in like Joan Crawford locked in?” ­Stefanie improbably invites the mommy group she has just met and families to her mansion for a pool party. Before long, Beth – newly separated, talks a lot about her relationship with God and parades around in a yellow bikini like Evangelist Barbie – manages to insult solo mum Jan.

“If you don’t feel you are at your ideal weight, I can help you with that,” purrs Beth. “I’m sorry, what? Did she just call me fat?” says Jan. Game on.

Beth, divorce looming, is ­adjusting to less money. “We used to spend $60,000 a month on … life,” she muses. In a deeply ­excruciating moment of television, rapper Xzibit turns up at the party and Beth, blonde and oblivious, raps at him.

Jan is a hard case. She lives with her dad, Ron, who looks after her son, Rivers. “If Grandpa falls asleep, yell in his face,” Jan instructs Rivers. She spells out words like s-e-x and has a go at down-to-earth mom Meghan, who has chickens in her yard, for referring to her child as an m-o-r-o-n on Facebook. Leah does Buddhist chanting and tells her husband at breakfast, “There’s some quinoa, one egg and some arugula for you.” It’s not going to end well.

“Make good choices!” the mommies tell their children, who seem largely left to their own devices in their little designer duds. But they are busy, as children are, absorbing their parents’ largely vacuous values. “Money talks and bullshit walks,” pipes one tot. Out of the mouths of babes.

THERE GOES THE MOTHERHOOD, Vibe, Sunday, 8.30pm.