A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mama Drama is a reality show made by the creative team behind Jersey Shore that offers some of the same reprehensible behavior and lessons. The five featured mother-daughter pairs are loud, boorish, frequently drunk, and generally on the make. Women in their 40s or 50s, as well as their twentysomething daughters, wear extremely revealing outfits and seemingly do nothing but shop for sexy clothes and otherwise get ready for long nights of drinking, brawling, and hitting on good-looking men at parties and clubs. The women gossip viciously behind one another's backs and are apt to exchange harsh words that sometimes turn into physical confrontations. No consequences are shown for these behaviors, save for plenty of talk about hangovers. There's a lot of (blurred) nudity and (bleeped) cursing, as well as crass and ugly behavior from both mothers and daughters.
What's the story?
Created by the team that brought us Jersey Shore, MAMA DRAMA is an hour-long reality show that centers on five mother/daughter pairs who are given an elaborate apartment in which they all briefly live together. The show's gimmick is that all the moms are arrested development cases, happy to dress up and party with their twentysomething daughters. At least one pair is so enmeshed that mother and daughter dress alike, in the manner of identical twins. The duos drink and brawl their way through parties and clubs, fighting with each other at the apartment over such issues as nighttime quiet hours, as well as duking it out with strangers who look at the cast members cross-eyed. The show's producers claim to be casting a light on the way that moms can sometimes over-identify with their kids, preferring to be BFFs instead of authority figures. Maybe so, but the cameras seem a lot more interested in capturing the women gossiping about each other, trying on teeny bikinis, or throwing drinks in one another's faces.
Is it any good?
If you've seen Jersey Shore, Mama Drama will seem familiar. Getting wasted and hooking up is the order of the day, though all the drunken antics seem a lot ickier when women in their 40s or 50s -- who would presumably have gained a little more sophistication over the years than the twentysomethings on Jersey Shore -- take pleasure in trying to pull out another "bitch's" weave or bump and grind on shirtless strangers. Though viewers the age of the daughters on the show may find the age-inappropriate actions hilarious, parents will likely be horrified.
Though the moms and daughters generally profess to be "down" for each other, loyal and supportive, they're definitely not kind to other women, who are viewed as wingmen as best, competition at worst. The cast members pick at each other and any other women on screen, particularly when drunk (and they're drunk in every episode). Looking good (i.e. dressed in revealing clothing with heavy make-up and elaborate hairstyles) and getting attention from men seems to be the main goal of both the Mama Drama mothers and the daughters. This is truly vulgar reality.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's messages. What is VH1 trying to show us about family bonds or the nature of mothers and daughters?
Are the moms on this show typical of mothers this age? Why would this type of behavior be interesting to watch?
Are the women on Mama Drama being presented as cautionary examples or normal, average people? If the former, why would viewers want to watch other people behaving in embarrassing or shameful ways? What do viewers get out of it?