By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Wives are beyond desperate in this adult drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
No one behaves in this over-the-top drama. A partial list of crimes: Kidnapping, extortion, infidelity. You name it, it's here.
Violence & Scariness
Brawls and catfights are common -- as are more insidious, mental battles, such as blackmail.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Is there anything else? Seduction is the name of the game, as are numerous couplings, lots of risque outfits, and partial nudity.
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Racy behavior is accompanied by equally racy language (e.g. "You look like s__t"). Though expletives don't pepper every scene, double entendres do (for example, a woman propositions another by peeking at her breasts and saying, "I've seen worse").
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Products & Purchases
This is an affluent world, and the wives parade in only the best clothing and jewelry. Some clearly luxury brands.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, Viagra abuse, smoking: Not much is left untouched.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's very little to do with sports in this imported English soap opera. Instead, it's a down-and-dirty look at the life led by superstar footballers (aka "soccer players") and their wives. Life out of the sporting arena is more menacing than anything that unfolds on the field.
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What's the Story?
Althought the title of this British nighttime soap includes the word "football," the real action takes place when the ball's not in play (the soccer ball, that is ...). The leader of the uber-competitive football wives group is Tanya Turner (Zoë Lucker), a fighter who's been down and out, riding the rollercoaster of romance and power. It doesn't help that a bevy of beauties is eyeing her throne, including the conniving Amber Gates (Laila Rouass), a Bollywood star who's on the wane. The show follows the decidedly unsporting antics of Tanya and the other wives, and nearly everyone acts in appalling ways, indulging in anything and everything obnoxious, rude, and downright dirty.
Is It Any Good?
It's fun to watch for a while and Zoe Lucker portrays Tanya with delicious devilry, but all the backstabbing ultimately leaves viewers feeling like they need a scalding bath. A heavy dose of intrigue sometimes works, but even played for camp, Footballers' Wives is too much of a bad thing. In the end, there's no one else to root for but evil Tanya herself, which just may be the show's best conceit. The nemesis becomes the hero, since everyone else appears either equally conniving or just plain boring in a goody-two-shoes kind of way.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the private lives of public people. Though the rich and famous -- or, as in the case of these characters, the rich and infamous -- appear to lead fabulous lives, they by no means lead perfect lives. What are the difficulties of being under the spotlight? Does fame corrupt? Does money solve all problems? Or does it complicate life? Is it realistic to expect that anyone in circumstances like these might behave the way the show's characters do? Why do the writers exaggerate the behavior so extremely?
- Premiere date: January 8, 2002
- Cast: Alison Newman, Gillian Taylforth, Zoe Lucker
- Network: BBC America
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: August 30, 2022
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