Starter Wives Confidential

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Starter Wives Confidential TV Poster Image
More lady drama with catty arguments and mature topics.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The few positive messages, like the importance of being independent and self-empowered, and warnings about being in relationships with famous men, are overshadowed by the negative messages sent by catty arguments and immature behavior.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The women claim to understand and support each other, but are usually more catty than supportive. One ex-girlfriend claims to have found God, but instigates a lot of fights.

Violence

Frequent arguments lead to scratching, hitting, and glass throwing. Some exes spent time in prison; one ex-boyfriend served time specifically for domestic abuse. The murder of family members and the (peaceful) death of an infant child is discussed. One ex wrote a song about all the ways he would like to see his ex-girlfriend dead.

Sex

Infidelity, promiscuity, and child illegitimacy are themes. Virginity, sex, and sexual acts are also discussed. Words like "horny" and "screwed" are used, but other crude references are bleeped with mouths blurred.

Language

Words like "bitch" and "ass," are audible. Curses like "s--t," and "f--k" are frequent and bleeped.

Consumerism

Apple computers, iPads, and iPhones are visible, but the logos are blurred. Occasionally high-end car logos like Audi appear. The blog MommysDirtyLittleSecret.com is prominently featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The ladies drink wine, cocktails, and mixed drinks during social gatherings and over meals, and sometimes this leads to inappropriate behavior. Ex-boyfriends'/husbands' drug use/dealing are briefly discussed; occasionally images of an artist using marijuana is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Starter Wives Confidential contains lots of mature themes, including infidelity, child illegitimacy, divorce, and domestic violence. Expect lots of strong language, catty arguments (which lead to screaming, hitting, and pushing), as well as plenty of of social drinking. Drug dealing and use is occasionally a topic of conversation. There are a few empowering messages, but they can be pretty hard to find underneath the wild behavior.

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What's the story?

The reality series STARTER WIVES CONFIDENTIAL features a group of ex-girlfriends and ex-wives of prominent artists, athletes, and mobsters who find themselves starting over after their long-term relationships have ended. It stars Monica Joseph-Taylor, the soon to be ex-wife of hip-hop DJ Funkmaster Flex; Zakia Baum, the ex-girlfriend of rapper Maino; Josie Harris, ex-girlfriend of boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.; and Liza Morales, the ex-girlfriend of NBA player Lamar Odom, who made headlines by marrying Khloe Kardashian after they broke up. Also joining the group is Tashera Simmons, formerly married to rapper DMX; Cheryl Caruso, the ex-wife of mobster Phil Caruso; and Shaniqua Tompkins, whose appearance on the show is limited due to problems with long-term ex-boyfriend 50 Cent. From struggling with raising their children as single parents to trying to move beyond the emotional impact of their break up, the women are learning how to build their own lives after spending years supporting their partners early in their careers.

Is it any good?

Starter Wives Confidential defines "starter wife" as a wife or girlfriend who supports a man in the beginning of his career and raises his children, and who must try to move on after the relationship is over. To this end, the women constantly discuss intimate details about their previous relationships -- ranging from the sudden death of an infant to their husbands' continued promiscuity and drug use -- and some of the perks and drawbacks that come with having a partner who earned fame and fortune with their behind-the-scenes help. It also shows how some of them are trying to move on by pursuing business ventures, finding religion, and cultivating new relationships.

Starter Wives contains the occasional positive and/or inspiring message, but these are often lost thanks to the women's endless catty behavior, much of which is an obvious result of them obviously being pitted against each other to produce voyeuristic reality drama instead of allowing their exes to be the antagonists in their stories. Some of the women are also finding it difficult to move on, too. The result is a show that misses the opportunity to underscore the inner-strength of these women, and fails to provide some real teachable moments that some viewers might benefit from.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality shows. Why do people go on TV to talk about very personal problems? Is it to get attention? For money? Or is an attempt to communicate something specific to an audience?

  • How does the media portray celebrity relationships, marriage, and divorce? Why does the media cover these things? Do you think what the media shows is accurate?

  • Do you think the cast of this show would be spending time together if they weren't on a TV show together? Is there anything in the show that feels planned or forced? Is there anything that feels real?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 29, 2013
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love reality shows

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