I don’t do reality television. This feels like a confession, like admitting you’ve never seen “Sex and the City” in its original airing because you didn’t have HBO. I’m not completely out of touch. I once watched a “Dancing with the Stars” routine and somehow, while channel surfing, caught the final moments of “
America ’s Top Model” a few seasons back. And I do admit to some seasonal Idol fever and getting swept up in the
Battle of the Davids (my boy Cook won). But it’s safe to say that I don’t religiously follow any shows, can’t name any judges aside from Paula, Randy and Simon, and don’t know the dramas, details of even rules of any of the multitude of game/talent/reality shows out there.
So given my limited reality viewing diet, maybe I don’t have the street cred to say we’ve hit a new level of bad taste in television. But after watching two new shows on E!, my gut says we’ve reached a new standard of exploitation. I call it Mommy Porn.
I am not a pop culture prude, but when moms with young children decide to engage in the dark and dirty genre of personal, tell-all TV, it just feels yucky. E! is airing a double header of disclosing dirty laundry with shows featuring Denise Richards (Denise Richards: It’s Complicated”) and Lindsay Lohan’s vicariously famous mother, Dina in “Living Lohan.” Both Denise and Dina – two mothers with clearly compromised judgment – have decided to let their bad behavior be captured while cameras record not only their bizarre lives but the lives of their young kids.
Denise has two daughters Sam, 4 and Lola, 3. And Dina has two other children aside from the infamous, naughty party girl Lindsay. Ali is a cute 14-year-old aspiring musician/actor/famous person who says she wants to be just like Lindsay and Cody is an adorable, freckle faced, sports-loving, 11-year-old who seems oddly at ease with a camera following him on a rock wall climbing outing.
As for Denise, only those who have been stranded on an island for the past year or so wouldn’t be familiar with the former Bond girl’s nasty divorce from the former Bad boy Charlie Sheen.
Before the debut of the Denise Richards show a few weeks ago, Denise launched a full court press tour to convince the public that she has the right to expose her little girls on her narcissistic docudrama. It’s not exploitation she explained; it is part of her job. Charlie took issue.
I would never imagine siding with Charlie Sheen on anything; after all, he just seemed like the
Hollywood cliché of a guy who couldn’t get straight even after landing the hot wife and the happy home life. But after watching the first episode, my heart went out to Charlie. His ex cursed like a truck driver and when she described in anatomical detail the type of guys she was attracted to, I cringed. So this is what mommy does for a living?
As Denise was trying to get her pig pregnant and go out on dates with average Joes in
Dina made it clear that while she’s a single working mom of three, she’s also the power behind the Lohan girls and if you mess with her family, she’s going to take you on. So in between hanging out in her kitchen, Dina spent a lot of time with her young assistant Googling the Lohan family name to see what new dirt was being posted in cyberspace. She would then dial some number and threaten people to take the unseemly stuff down.
What is the matter with these mothers? While Denise is using her daughters to give her own career a boost, Dina’s career is totally dependent on managing her own children’s careers. If Dina and Denise want to chronicle the train wrecks of their lives in the name of just doing their jobs, fine, but they should leave their children out of it.