Thursday, March 05, 2009

"The Week the Women Went": Dumb TV Not Relegated to the U.S.

Very few of you probably remember "Meet Mr. Mom," an ill-fated, summer-fill-in reality show from NBC a few year's back that was built around a spectacularly dumb concept: fathers forced to fend for themselves when mom was suddenly taken away to a spa (or somesuch) by evil television producers. The reason you probably don't remember it is because it was a colossal failure (giving me hope for my fellow citizens). 

But the fine folks north of the border are trying a higher-concept version of the same thing. CBC is now six episodes into the latest installment of  "The Week the Women Went," which is following the fathers of a Nova Scotia community as they deal with a week of momlessness. This is apparently the second edition of the show, which has done well by viewers and critics. For obvious reasons, I'm not a big CBC watcher, but my Canadian sources tell me that this is not a one-joke show designed to highlight men's incompetence. 

Still, color me unimpressed by the idea of a "social experiement" that is based on the idea that there is something dramatic (or comedic) about guys being pressed into service as fathers. It's not that I don't think that anything interesting willing happen -- most families are a finely tuned ecosystem that turn topsy-turvy whenever something changes -- it's just that pegging this all to the idea that guys don't exactly know how to cope is a bit tired. I'm speaking without the benefit of any perspective, though, so I'd love to hear from my Canadian readers ... 

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