Canadian TV is having a major moment – and one that will hopefully last.
The latest player on the Canadian comedy scene, Workin’ Moms, is a new original series created, directed by and starring Catherine Reitman.
And yes, she is the daughter of the legendary director Ivan Reitman.
The LOL-filled series offers a real, raw glimpse into the chaotic lives of four women as they test the modern ideal that women can have it all, juggling love, careers and kids. A departure from typical CBC material, nothing is off-limits in Workin’ Moms, from post-baby vaginas and breasts, to sex and masturbation.
In fact, the show opens on a shot of three women sitting topless in a mommy-and-me circle, comparing their breasts (yes, as shown on the freakin’ CBC).
While it’s been slammed for “reek[ing] of entitlement and privilege,” by the Globe and Mail’s John Doyle, it’s definitely worth a watch, in my opinion.
Here are six reasons why every female (mom or not) should tune into Workin’ Moms.
1. It will make you feel better about your own flawed life.
If there’s one thing Workin’ Moms isn’t, it’s what Reitman calls a “momcom.” Instead, it tosses the notion of the flawless mom who does it all to the curb, to reveal the realistic struggles of mothers in all of their candid, raw, breast milk-pumping glory. It finds humour in things historically taboo in order to attach humour in the mom realm, like having moments of hating your kids, postpartum depression (you kind of have to watch it to get it) and post-baby sex.
2. It’s filled with female power.
Not only is Workin’ Moms created by a female, the lead cast is entirely female, as is the camera crew. The show’s writers are also women. It doesn’t get more estrogen-powered than that in any other Canadian TV show – and that’s pretty notable in itself in an industry still dominated by men.
3. It offers a raw look at what to really expect when you’re expecting.
Capturing everything from returning to work from maternity leave and dealing with both unsympathetic coworkers and nannies, to post-baby boobs, Workin’ Moms offers a realistic glimpse of what the modern, urban working mom can expect once strollers become a household staple, sugarcoating nothing. Naturally, it also offers some honest insight for male viewers as well.
4. It addresses post-partum depression in a new light.
Post-partum awareness is nothing new. But, as Reitman pointed out in the post-screening Q&A, mentions of it have traditionally been associated with extreme sensitivity and darkness. Workin’ Moms instead finds a degree of humour in the hormone-filled disorder – something that Reitman says helped in her real-life struggle with post-partum. While this may seem off-colour to some, it’s done without trivializing the severity of what is a very real struggle for many women.
5. It offers valuable workplace insight.
Workin’ Moms offers an unfiltered view into how the addition of a baby can impact your career and the lives of your coworkers. Not only is the work/life balance one of the biggest struggles with new moms, making each scenario comfortingly relatable (according to the moms in the audience, at least), it may help those without kids better understand what their new mom coworkers are actually dealing with behind the business suits and the polished presentations.
6. It highlights the way women are judged in society.
One of the most poignant talking points in Workin’ Moms is how it underscores the constant pressures and judgment faced by women on the regular, whether they have kids or not. Today’s woman faces perpetual judgment on anything from her marital status to her parenting choices and – yes, still – whether she actively returns to the workforce. One of my mom friends was recently shamed for “having the time” for perfectly manicured nails. Oh, it’s happening. And yes, it needs to change.
In addition to all of this, similar to CBC comedy Schitt’s Creek, it’s actually pretty funny. And these dark days of winter, we need all the laughs we can get.
Workin’ Moms premieres tonight at 9:30 on CBC.