Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Freak Show & Tell: Polio Denial, Polygamist Bros, and Runaway Moms
By Tara Ariano
Every week, television documentaries present us with so many unusual people, with so many strange and/or disturbing problems, you might find it hard to keep up with all of them. That's where I come in! Here's an unflinching look back at TV's Week in Freak Shows.
Pregnant in Heels (Bravo)
Who Is This Now? Chris and Nia.
Why Are We Watching Them? They are at odds over whether to vaccinate their as-yet-unborn daughter: Chris wants to; Nia doesn't.
How Did They Get Here? I'll let Nia describe her core values: "Being green, non-toxic, environmentally conscious is very 'en vogue,' it's so 'très chic,' so hey, it's the way to go." So at least we know she's really given it some very serious thought. "I am being preventative by doing things naturally," she says in another scene. And, in her first consultation with maternity concierge Rosie Pope: "Polio is so old." I'm going to go ahead and assume that when Nia was in high school, she didn't excel in science.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? Wow, well, my BPA-free cup runneth over here, because Nia is either too careless or too ignorant to have checked the labels of any of the baby stuff she's bought to make sure they're free of BPAs and parabens and all that business that even I know about AND I DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN (nor do I boast about my "bohemian chic" lifestyle the way Nia does). But that's less egregious than Nia's inability to fathom Pope's slow, painstaking, third-grade-level-pitched explanations of why Nia should vaccinate her child. Here's Nia's counter: "Obviously there are germs out there, but I just want my child to fight them on her own, and she will." Apparently, Nia believes she is about to give birth to the next Wolverine. (In the end, she decides to have the baby immunized after all.)
What Have We Learned? You need to vaccinate your children. THE END.
Sister Wives (TLC)
Who Is This Now? Kody Brown.
Why Are We Watching Him? He's enjoying a rare "boys' weekend" with his brothers (Scott, Curtis, and Michael) who live in other states.
How Did He Get Here? Kody basically had to flee his home state of Utah under cover of darkness or risk prosecution for bigamy, which would have been a fair cop: The man does have four wives.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? Out for dinner, the other three Brown brothers turn on Michael, the baby of the family, pressuring him to add a second wife to his household. (Michael does intend to live The Principle, but he's still so young that he's only had a chance to marry one lady so far.)
What Have We Learned? Polygamist guys' fun (riding motorcycles, shooting machine guns) is a lot more fun than polygamist girls' fun (painting pottery, being subjugated).
Monster In-Laws (A&E)
Who Is This Now? Aaron and Tatiana, and Tatiana's mother Myla.
Why Are We Watching Them? Myla hates Aaron so much (no kidding, she looks him in the face and declares, "I hate you") and is such an intrusive presence that Tatiana and Aaron are considering moving out of state and permanently cutting ties with Myla.
How Did They Get Here? When Myla was raising Tatiana as a single mother, Tatiana proposed a pact: If Myla would agree never to get married, Tatiana wouldn't either. Myla feels betrayed that Tatiana didn't uphold the pact, regardless of the fact that when they made it, Tatiana was in elementary school.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? After Aaron and Tatiana confront Myla about her behavior, Myla goes Ghost Protocol for 10 hours, ignoring her phone and worrying Tatiana so much that she ends up calling hospitals and police stations. Then Myla just shows up at Tatiana's house and resumes her obnoxious disruptions. This kind of childishness from a woman who's at least in her 50s, if not older, is ... well, "unseemly" is the nicest word I can think of.
What Have We Learned? Children should not enter into verbal contracts.