Don't be so quick to judge Channel Seven's Yummy Mummies

Tacky, predictable, trivialises women and reduces parenting to another item on a shopping list of must-haves.
Tacky, predictable, trivialises women and reduces parenting to another item on a shopping list of must-haves.  Photo: SEVEN NETWORK

Just two episodes and a couple of days in and, Seven's new reality show, Yummy Mummies, is shaping as one of the TV train-wrecks of 2017.

The series follows the last month in the pregnancies of three women in Melbourne and one in Adelaide.

As you can guess from the title, this is no worthy, BBC-style Seven Up about these women's pregnancies: a more apt description would be Sex and the City with baby bumps. (One of the yummy mums, Rachel Watts, even provides Carrie Bradshaw-like commentary on the other mums' antics. She kind of looks like Carrie Bradshaw, too.)

The cast of Yummy Mummies: Maria Di Geronimo, Lorinksa Merrington, Jane Scandizzo and Rachel Watts.
The cast of Yummy Mummies: Maria Di Geronimo, Lorinksa Merrington, Jane Scandizzo and Rachel Watts. Photo: Seven Network

In the first episode the Melbourne women – Lorinksa Merrington, Jane Scandizzo and Ms Watts – shop for frocks, drink mocktails, get an ultrasound and then shop again, this time for a "push present": a suitably pricey bauble from hubby for enduring the pregnancy and delivering his first-born. (Who knew there was such a thing? You learn something every time you switch on a TV.)

In Adelaide, Maria Di Geronimo, a label-obsessed Italian-Australian suburban diva, plans "Adelaide's biggest baby shower", has a public tantrum at the reception centre where the shower is to be held, and shows off racks full of designer wear already bought for her baby. (It's a girl. Valentina.)

The TV critics are having this one for breakfast: it's tacky, predictable, trivialises women and reduces parenting to another item on a shopping list of must-haves. And that's just in the first episode.

Episode two brought the baby shower and the Melbourne women's shock and awe at the antics in Adelaide (complete with Di Geronimo's Donatella Versace-style mother performing a drag-show mime and an actual drag-show Donatella Versace dropping in), before igniting controversy as Maria and her mother are put off their lunch by a young mother breastfeeding in a cafe.

Watching Yummy Mummies you might feel envy, identification, condescension, amusement, annoyance, or something we don't have a word for, but that would roughly translate as "a sense of moral, cultural and intellectual superiority".

You might enjoy the unintentional camp as Maria Di Geronimo shows off her Porsche and her Versace-styled house, and you might also feel another peculiarly middle-class emotion that we don't have a word for: "resisting the urge to sneer".

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But either by holding up a mirror to our own lives or allowing us to peer through a window into someone else's, shows like Yummy Mummies are urging us to confront our prejudices.

If you're watching and thinking, "There must be some higher aesthetic benchmark than the German sports car and the Italian designer label", you'd better have a good answer for what it is, and why.

And if you realise that you're only watching because the women are acting up, you also know that they're only acting up because you're watching.

Matt Holden is a Fairfax Media contributor.

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