The Lifetime pay TV network has long been infamous for its movies portraying men as murderous, psychotic brutes, and women as their helpless victims. But now, the network is branching out, offering similar portraits of exploited maids, prostitutes…and moms.
Premiering Tuesday, June 4th, Lifetime’s Pretty Wicked Moms depicts mothers as vapid, alcoholic floozies who spend their free time lounging around the pool in bikinis, talking trash, and guzzling cheap wine. Among the “wicked moms” profiled are “Queen Bee” Emily, who proclaims, “I’d rather slit my damn throat than have a play date”; divorcee Marci, a mother with three kids and no husband (“You’ve got the best gig!” the other moms say enviously); and “Alpha Mom” Nicole B, whom the others claim is “uppity, arrogant [and] wants everyone to look at her.” Among other bits during the show’s trailer, babies are shown slapping their mothers, the moms are seen dressed as though ready for a modeling runway, and one mom exclaims, “The only time I will go to a play date is if alcohol is served!”
Even before it has premiered, reaction to the new show has not been positive. Comments on Lifetime’s own website include:
- “Once again, the lowest denominator is being glamorized.”
- “Why not call the show ‘Vapid Self-Centered Women Who Probably Shouldn’t Have Kids’?”
- “The biggest waste of TV airspace since Honey Boo Boo.”
- “Just what we need, a bunch of botoxed bimboes showing off how conceited and full of themselves they are. Can we rename this program Pretty STUPID PLASTIC Moms?”
- “I saw an ad for this show yesterday, and all I could think was, ‘that is sick.’ I feel so sorry for those children, growing up thinking the way their mothers act is the right way to be.”
In fact, so distasteful is the program that one Amanda Crutchley has started a petition on Change.org, encouraging Lifetime to drop the show. “These mothers are getting paid to treat their kids VERY poorly and exploiting these kids…These women DO NOT need to be paid to act in this manner and to treat their kids the way they do,” she says.
While it is tragic that Lifetime is making mothers look like Real Housewives-style drunken harlots (an approach also taken by Nick Jr.’s NickMom programming block – one which cost Nick Jr. thousands of viewers), it is in keeping with the rest of their programming: Devious Maids, a Desperate Housewives rip-off centering on poorly-paid domestic help; The Client List, which strives to make prostitution look like light-hearted, joyful empowerment; and Lifetime’s seemingly endless series of movies exploiting recent real-life tragedies.
Ironically, the “About Lifetime” section of the network’s website claims that Lifetime “is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming” (yeah, we can tell), and “advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families” (like mothers who get drunk during their baby’s play dates). After this sentence, the page immediately shifts into talking about how, in 2012, the network had the “third straight quarter Lifetime has registered year-on-year growth among the key demographics, with a 14% increase among Women 18-49, +9% in Women 25-54 and +5% among Adults 18-49.”
Gosh. It almost seems like the folks running Lifetime are more concerned with ratings, demographics, and making money than they are with providing the “highest quality entertainment.”