VH1 quietly slipped its trashtastic Mama Drama on the air last night. The show, which throws together five hard partying mother-daughter groups to live and more importantly fight together in a Las Vegas pad is kind of like The Bad Girls and Vegas Moms Club.
However, it appears to be something of a programming pariah — it is getting treatment similar to that which the network gave I Love Money 4 in 2010. That, too, aired late nights (Mama Drama is not scheduled to air before 11 pm in any of its showings), presumably because the franchise at that point had been tainted — Megan Wants a Millionaire contestant, murderer and eventual suicide Ryan Jenkins was the rumored winner of the show's unaired third season, which taped back-to-back with its fourth.
At first, Mama Drama appears to be light, trashy fare. There is an exceptional, 39-year-old specimen named Loren, who is the mother of 21-year-old twins. She says things like, "I beat people's kids, and I don't care how old they are," "I smack my own kids for telling me whatever," and, my favorite thing I've heard anyone say all year, "I'm your mother, motherfucker." There is a nurse who carries around a diaper so she can pee in it, should she encounter a bathroom that isn't up to her distinguished hygienic standards. A few of the women in the house are whipped-cream vodka enthusiasts. Yet another says, "Don't tell me I need to have respect, 'cause I will fuck you up." It's a lovely/rancid throwback to the VH1 of old.
And then, things change. What is termed a "division" arises in the house between the women of color and "the two blondes and the wanna be blonde." Said blondes/wannabe (and their moms) discuss the division and 49-year-old Debbie explains, "You go to where your comfort zone is. Your comfort zone is you hang out with people that are like you. Not because we don't like them and they don't like us. You know, it's a little bit of a different dynamic. And without even making a division, it is a little divided." Debbie, by the way, noted the "giant, ebony, bouncing breasts" she encountered when she met her housemate Ashley earlier in the episode.
It's interesting that the division is being spoken of in such coded terms, which makes the probability of the white girls vs. black girls amounting to a coincidence seem less likely. But then again, people fear racial discussions these days, and I'm not sure if people who signed up to do a brainless reality show are properly equipped for or interested in such discourse. The tension and the tension over the tension, though, adds a layer that isn't common in such fare. Fingers crossed that these people learn something and that this doesn't end up being a portrait of humans at their least civil...although that could be fascinating, too.