If I had my own reality show on pregnancy, I’d want to call it Great Expectations. But the Bravo execs have decided to err less toward Dickens and more toward Birkin bags with their new “reality docudrama” show, Pregnant in Heels.
The show features Rosie Pope, a lovely woman who is a fashion designer, pregnancy guru, and “maternity concierge” who helps stressed-out New York couples with way too much cash cope with their self-created pre-birth “troubles.”
I’ve got no beef whatsoever with Rosie, who seems to be the lone oddly-accented voice of reason in a sea of Madison Avenue madness. And that she is tapping into these neuroses to make some money and promote herself? Well, you go, girl! The show’s premise, if we base it on the first episode, seems to be that if you’re a) on this show and b) wealthy, expecting and living in Manhattan, you’re anywhere from a little insane to a total freak.
The thing is, these clients don’t actually have “troubles.” The main troubles of these couples seem to be a) that they have tremendous amounts of cash and they’re not sure what to do with it, b) they are utterly clueless about how to be an adult or parent and c) they have no idea how this show will make them come off looking to the general public.
How or why these people signed releases to be on TV is beyond me. Don’t they have parents or friends to tell them, “Sweetie, this reality TV thing when you’re pregnant is a really bad idea”? Look, I know people do weird, out-of-character things when they’re pregnant–so much so that I feel confident if I were to make XL maternity shirts saying “The Hormones Made Me Do It,” many preggos are so crazy-stupid with hormones that they would actually buy them. I guess that’s why reality shows with us, the hormone-addled, have so much entertainment potential.
Personally, I’ve been there: I speak as someone who has had my own ever-so-brief brush with reality TV while pregnant. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was under consideration to participate in the initial season of a little Bravo show called “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” My then-husband and I were going to have our tiny Upper West Side apartment done over for the baby by Carson and crew. My pregnant eyes lit up at the thought of a free gay-styled nursery makeover for my unborn child. The bucket of cold water over my head bringing me back to reality was when my husband told me that Bravo had told him they’d want to shoot the final scene at my son’s bris. Um… no. Thanks, but no thanks.
It was only when the specter of snipping my unborn son’s penis on television raised its ugly head (let’s ignore the pun) that I came back to earth and realized, “Hey, maybe I should live my life in life and not on TV.” Unfortunately, neither of the couples in this episode seems to have had the benefit of that wake-up call. Jon and Sarah have done nothing to prepare a nursery for their baby (not even the good-old superstitious Jewish pre-order but keep it somewhere else till we have the baby, pu pu pu), and are awaiting their child’s arrival with all the eagerness of Death Row inmates who know that there’s no phone call from the Governor coming: after all, the birth will end their modern, clean lives in their modern, clean apartment.
The other couple, Mitch and Samantha, are more perplexing and disturbing. So he’s an entrepreneur and she’s a “best-selling author” and they’re about to have their third child. They’ve decided that the kid’s name is an important brand signifier for the kid, and decide to hire Rosie to help them choose a name. This venture includes a panel of experts and a focus group. Don’t you have to feel bad for people who are so beholden to what others think of them that they can’t even name their own baby?
Rosie, however, is likeable, watchable, and keeps coming out on top. If you didn’t like Rosie before, you’ll care for her more when you find out that this woman spends her entire day dealing with overprivileged and spoiled moms-to-be, only to come home and do IVF treatments because she herself is having trouble conceiving a second child. I’m tearing up. Put your puffed-up legs on the coffee table and enjoy this voyeuristic phenomenon. I only wish they had an app so that I could point at my TV and find out where they bought particular items (love the playmat!).