‘Pretty Wicked Moms’ proves that mean girls grow up but don’t change

06.05.13 5 years ago 32 Comments


Okay, Lifetime, you win. Somehow you’ve found women more vile, more petulant, and possibly dumber than most of the women in “The Real Housewives” franchise. Congratulations. I think “Pretty Wicked Moms” may be a sign of the coming Rapture, or maybe just confirmation that at least some of the mean girls we all remember from high school didn’t change or mature in any way unless you count their breast implants. In the past, these horrible women with perfect hair would have faded into obscurity, cursed to recycle the same tired, childish arguments at their local country club or Mommy & Me yoga classes. These days, they get their own TV shows. Lucky us.

At first, I was worried that “Pretty Wicked Moms” would actually be about motherhood in some fashion. You know, women arguing about breast feeding or sleep scheduling or who has the better pediatrician. But never fear! The women of this show are technically mothers, but in the way that a zoo animal that never learned how to connect with its newborn accidentally rolls over on it or decides to eat it. I think more than a few of these gals are more attached to their purses than their actual offspring.

The “Queen Bee” is Emily. She unabashedly ranks her store, Swank, as number one in her life. After that, maybe her oddly-named kid Amzie, and then her husband, Whatshisname. She doesn’t seem to like Whatsisname (he might be named Pete, but I’m not sure it matters) very much, as she’s kicked him out of the marital bed so as to snuggle with Amzie. Ironically, Amzie doesn’t seem to value Whatsisname’s sacrifice, as she doesn’t seem to like Mommy all that much. No, Amzie prefers the nanny, Whatsisname, small dogs and Emily’s best friend, Nicole N.

Nicole N., who drives many hours to perch adoringly at Emily’s side, is not a mommy. Well, not a real mommy (and I’m sure she would gasp in horror to think anyone sees her as less than a Real Mommy). She’s a Dog Mommy to a Shih-Tzu that bites people. This becomes the core of the ugliness on this episode (which is, really, wall-to-wall ugliness), as the person the dog bites is Emily’s nemesis, Miranda.

Miranda should be appealing simply because she isn’t Emily, but alas, no such luck. Whereas Emily barely notices that her kid is breathing most of the time, Miranda is an overbearing mom who schedules every moment and revels in her Southern belle status. Being a Southern belle, by the way, is not about wearing a garish poufy dress (though Miranda often does exactly that). It’s about being vaguely bitchy to people you don’t like, then patting yourself on the back for not being as fully bitchy as you could be. Hurrah!

We meet a fleet of other dislikable women, such as Nicole B., who is a neurotic working mom who says she doesn’t care what anyone thinks but actually cares desperately. Marci seems like she might be the sane mama hen as the older, recently divorced mother of three, but she’s just as bitchy as the rest of them. Finally, we have poor Meredith, who seems to have fallen out of a teen movie cliche and can’t get up. She thinks all the other women are sooooo pretty! They’re soooooo awesome and smart and wear sparkly make-up and stuff! Gosh! Emily and Nicole N. deign to take Meredith under their collective wing to remake her in their glossy image. Apparently Meredith has not seen “Mean Girls” or “Clueless,” but maybe she should. 

While Emily talks about killing herself lest she be forced to go on a playdate and Nicole B. takes the opportunity to be primly judgmental, most of the battling has nothing to do with the kids even when it takes place at an actual kids’ birthday party. No, mostly the women are sniping about one another’s hair, clothes, shopping habits or inability to lie convincingly to the rest of the group. 

Whenever you see bitchy Southern belles on scripted television, they’re often delightfully evil, always ready with a killer backhanded compliment or sly aside. Here, it’s all of the venom with none of the wit. The women actually talk about high school as if it was more recent than their ages would suggest, and we are given ample proof that either they didn’t pay attention to anything other than their lip gloss while they were there or Southern schools are in far more trouble than we knew. “Is the Pope Catholic? I just learned that,” Emily says, as if the saying were new and novel.

“He wears that little habitat,” Nicole N. says, pointing at her neck, as if this explains everything.

If you find all of this amusing, stay tuned. This season promises ATV riding, stripper pole dance class and lots of children crying in designer clothing. The rest of us will be banging our heads against the wall or waiting for the end of days. Enjoy!

Did you watch “Pretty Wicked Moms”?

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