Bravo debuts its latest reality program tonight, Pregnant in Heels, which follows the life and work of a "baby concierge" named Rosie Pope. I was completely prepared to hate this show, but I had no idea it would be this awful.
When I heard about the concept for the show and what Rosie does—catering to the whims of rich pregnant ladies and helping them prepare for motherhood in extravagant, madcap ways—I was fully prepared to think that Rosie was a total sham, someone who created a fake profession to bilk rich people out of money. But what the show makes clear is that horrible rich people will pay anyone to do just about anything to make themselves feel better about themselves. The worst thing that can be said about Rosie is that she has a strange voice that sounds like she's trying really hard to conceal an accent or speech impediment. But she seems to completely understand that her clients are monsters.
On the first episode, which Bravo secretly aired last night after Bethenny Ever After (so that was the show's real premiere, but whatever), Rosie helps out four of the most horrible Manhattan parents you could imagine. Her first case is to get Jon and Sarah, rich tech types who live in Tribeca, prepared to have a kid. They don't want any "baby stuff" around their house and insist that their lives not change after they have a baby. Hey, guys, guess what, if you don't want your life to change, don't have a baby, okay? This is probably the smartest option if you don't want to put a crib and a bunch of noisy toys in your pristine loft. In the end, Rosie gets a shrink to help them get over their baby fears and it turns into sort of a sweet redemption story.
However there is no redeeming Mitch and Samantha Jacobs, the other set of parents on the show. Just focusing your eyes on Samantha Jacobs—a woman fond of big fake smiles, bad jewelry, and air quotes—will make you want to roll them. She's the kind of person that has a "favorite naming agency," and they hire Rosie to find a "baby name" for their third child—a son. They talk about it in terms of "branding their baby" and wanting to come up with something that will sound like the name of a future presidential candidate.
Rosie gets together a group of naming experts, poets, and linguists to help them think up names, and then takes the names to a focus group. Yes, a focus group for a baby name. (Don't people realize that a "baby name" will one day be a "grown up human name," and it won't sound nearly as cute on a paunchy old bald guy?) I don't want to put poor Rosie Pope out of a job, but here's the proper way to name your baby. What is your father's name? Use that—or his middle name, or your spouse's father's name or his middle name. If those all suck, move on to the grandparents or brothers or favorite uncles. Give the kid a connection to something, give his name some meaning other than something that's going to sound nice at a networking event in 2042. Problem solved!
Stephanie and Mitch's favorite name is "Bowen" and everyone they talk to—from the experts to the focus group to their friends—hate it. Know why? Cause it's a stupid name. It is not a name that should be given to a human baby. It's a name that should be given to a line of luggage or something. After all the drama of employing Rosie and belittling everyone she gets to help them find a name, guess which name they pick? Bowen! They baby's name is Bowen Asher. Have you ever heard anything more obnoxious? That isn't the name of a presidential candidate, it's the name of some spoiled rich kid who gets caught having sex on a roof at college. It's the name of someone who loses his lacrosse scholarship because he gets busted buying ecstasy in Mexico on spring break.
These people are the worst, really. They go through all this trouble and expense just to have people tell them that they're right about picking the perfect name, and when the people tell them they're wrong, they go ahead and pick the name anyway. If you already decided on the name, why even go on this reality show?
I really hate these people, but I hope that the parents on Pregnant in Heels are sort of like what "rainbow parties" were a few years ago—an awful phenomenon that the media exaggerates for effect—rather than a real, actual trend. I would like to believe this was all for the cameras. Because if there is a tide of people this awful spreading their seed and poisoning the next generation, then I have lost all faith in the future of humanity.