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Second Wives Club
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 Second Wives Club is another E! reality series in the vein of the Real Housewives franchise, centered on the gossip-filled lives and manufactured dramas of ladies who lunch. This time, the "twist" is that the self-absorbed divas being filmed are the wives and fiancées of rich, powerful men who've been married before (sometimes multiple times). The age differences between the couples is notable, at least two of the men are 25+ years older than the women. "Gold-digging" is definitely a concept addressed here. There's also a lot of plastic surgery, shopping, and wine -- and some off-color jokes about vaginas and placenta-eating.
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What's the story?
SECOND WIVES CLUB focuses on six women who self-identify as "second wives". Three of the "wives" are legally married to their partners, one is en route to the altar, and the remaining two are stuck in engagement limbo. Only two of the six women appear to work, while the others are depicted as being financially and emotionally dependent on their rich, usually much older partners. Some are moms, a few are stepmoms, and in one case, a cast member served as a surrogate for her own stepdaughter. The family dynamics at play are definitely offbeat here, and the lifestyles they lead are none too relatable for most -- when was the last time you lost track of how many bedrooms your home has?
Cast members include Shiva Safai, engaged to the obscenely wealthy Mohamed Hadid (father to models Bella and Gigi Hadid); Veronika Obeng, married to plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng (whose practice she manages); new mom Morisa Surrey, married to a high-profile fertility doctor; Shawna Craig, who is the fifith wife of '80s actor Lorenzo Lamas; nail salon owner Katie Cazorla, engaged to successful songwriter Walter Afanasieff; and Tania Mehra, engaged to producer Dean Bornstein.
Is it any good?
In a world already oversaturated with reality shows about the rich and vacuous, did we really need another barely-distinguishable variation on this tired theme? There have been 9 offshoots of the Real Housewives franchise alone, to say nothing of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and its attendant spinoffs. Sure, the voyeuristic look into how super-loaded Hollywood types live can provide the occasional chuckle or raised eyebrow, but overall, the overwhelming materialism and cattiness of Second Wives Club brings nothing new to the table.
It's hard to take the blatantly manufactured dramas of this show seriously, and you have to wonder why any of these people are even friends when they are repeatedly shown lying to each other, purposefully stirring up trouble, or just plain being jerks. If you're in the right mood, these types of shows can definitely be a "guilty pleasure", but overall this one's just kind of depressing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not they can relate to the people on Second Wives Club. Does their version of "reality" ring true for you?
Why are there so many reality shows focused on the super-rich? Are these lifestyles something people want to emulate, or is it just fun to be a voyeur?
Do the women on this show act like real friends, and treat each other well? Does the way you treat your own friends differ in any way?
For kids who love reality TV
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