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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Words like "bitch" and "ass," are audible. Curses like "s--t," and "f--k" are frequent and bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.