Every time I think reality show concepts have been stretched to their thinnest, someone finds a way to squeeze one more display of human randomness on the tube. A recent casting call from a major network reads:
Seeking young grandmothers for a starring role in the brand new series “30 Something Grandmas”. The show will showcase the stories of extraordinary women whose lives have been changed by the unexpected arrival of a new family member and the even more surprising title of “Grandma”!
Just like the casting call in search of women interested in going natural, this kind of concept makes me a bit tired. One one hand it sounds like a super-sized version of Teen Mom, and on the other it’s creating a category of generational teen pregnancy as it it were a thing. I can’t tell if the very idea of focusing on babies having babies times two is exploitative by displaying what is often a tough situation for women in some communities, or if I can trust that it will be handled with an appropriate level of gravity.