Starter Wives: Keeping it Real Feels Wrong

I finally had a chance to catch up on some television shows I’ve missed. My No.1 pick was TLC’s new show Starter Wives Confidential. The series chronicles the parallel experiences of women who were in serious relationships with men who’ve achieved success— or notoriety— but elected not to honor their commitments to the women who supported them on their journey. The show was entertaining but it left me feeling, hmmm… how should I say it…kind of sad to be a woman.

It’s hard to watch women give up everything and end up with nothing. And while I was hoping to feel a boost of empowerment, the series reminded me of how so many women — including myself— can start off in seemingly loving relationships, but can’t let go once they go awry. We’ve all seen it in real life; ladies who can’t let go of their exes, regardless of how badly they were treated: infidelity, emotional abandonment, financial neglect, physical abuse. Still they — we — can’t let go. And I’m kind of over it…in real life and on television.

I completely understand why TLC elected to green light this series. On paper the show reads like a story of redemption. You know, women who gave it all, had it ripped out of their hands and are now rebuilding on their own terms. But it doesn’t feel that way when you watch it. Instead, we see a bunch of women balancing vying emotions of anger, jealousy, hurt and fear while trying to push past it all to do more than survive.

While the conflict that arises from seeing broken people crawl thru the shambles to reconstruct their lives is entertaining to watch, it’s also painful. At this point, I would much rather see women who’ve reached the mountaintop. I’m tired of watching girls claw each other, then cry in each other’s bosoms because really they are the same person— deep, deep down inside. Argh! Hopefully, it has a happy ending.

Watch it and let me know what you think @tiabrowntalks.

Starter Wives Confidential airs Wednesdays on TLC at 10pm ET.