Boobs. That’s the first thing that was shown in the first episode of the first season of Canadian comedy Workin’ mums. It’s not a raunchy sex scene. And it’s definitely not pornographic. It’s three women, in their mothers group (where every episode starts), comparing what motherhood has done to their breasts. In other words, mothers, being mothers. And that’s what I love about Jewish American-Canadian actress, writer and producer Catherine Reitman’s new show. It’s real. It follows four mothers who return to work after maternity leave and explores issues that I’ve never seen talked about on TV before. I’d like to preface this by saying I’m not a mother. But, I think this show is imperative watching for anyone who knows a mother (ie. everyone) to truly understand what mums experience every day. Here’s some more things that I think are pretty cool about this binge-worthy Netflix series.
1. It’s not afraid to be real
In the social groups we frequent (whether it be the Jewish community or the land of Instagram) people tend to feel the need to add a but when describing motherhood. ‘Sure she’s struggling, but she’s so #blessed.” “I’m juggling a lot, but so does everyone,”
Workin’ Mums is a show about mums, not babies, and isn’t afraid to talk about the fact that life is sometimes a balancing act where you’re teetering on the edge, not getting the recognition you deserve. It shows all different sorts of mothers, from mums with postpartum to mothers who are still learning how to be mothers (we can’t all be good Jewish mums) to mothers who teach their daughters to knee every man they see, ‘in the D!’
2. The workin’
How refreshing it is to see mums realistically having jobs on TV. There’s the guilty joy of going to work, pumping in the bathroom, missing your children and making the heart-breaking decision between prioritising your work or your kids on a day to day basis. There’s also the mums who are totally rocking their jobs. The brilliant psychologist Anne (played by Dani Kind) who starts a #MeToo campaign against someone in the industry and my total inspiration, the amazing PR director and lady boss, Kate (played by Catherine Reitman) who seems to go from strength to strength in her career, despite having a one year old.
3. The female friendships
From Ilana and Abbi on Broad City to Taystee and Poussey on Orange is the New Black, there’s been a fair few strong female friendships on TV in the past few years. But the friendships depicted on Workin’ Mums are some of my favourite since Sex and the City. Kate (Catherine Reitman) and Anne (Dani Kind) have been best friends since school, and their relationship is relaxed, intimate and genuine. It’s #friendshipgoals in a nutshell and I want them both to be my best friends. They’re not sickly sweet, they do go through ups and downs, and sometimes periods of not seeing each other when life and kids get in the way, but ultimately you know they’ll always have each other’s back.
4. The length
Okay, this is a more practical point. Each episode of Workin’ Mums is 20 minutes. 20 minutes! This is such a rarity nowadays, with most episodes on TV being an hour or sometimes even more. I love being able to sneak a quick episode (or six) in before bed.
5. It’s hope punk
If you haven’t heard of hope punk, it’s a storytelling trend that evokes positivity and optimism in the face of bleak times, and it’s all the rage right now. Taylor Swift is the hope punk of music, books like The Flatshare are the hope punk of literature, and I think that Workin’ mums is the hope punk of TV. Sure, it deals with some pretty heavy topics, but it’s also hilarious, light-hearted, and ultimately makes me feel happier. If you didn’t get it from my first four points: watch. this. show!
Watch Workin’ Mums on Netflix
About the author – Ali Berg
Ali Berg is the Creative Director and co-founder of Melbourne-based creative and marketing firm, Hedgehog, co-author of internationally best-selling books The Book Ninja and While You Were Reading and co-founder of social initiative Books on the Rail. When she’s not reading novels, you can find her watching romcoms on Netflix as soon as they land and at the movies with a giant box of popcorn and tears in her eyes (the best films always make you cry)!
Follow Ali here: @booksontherail @aliandmichelle @hedgehogagency
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