My first complaint about Baby Borrowers – a new reality show in which five teenage couples care for the babies of a few morons who rented them out to NBC — is that it’s just bad television. If you’re going to make a reality series about abandoned children, at least make it interesting.
Choose a grittier locale. Get a furry dog. A bald rich guy. A cute little orphan with red hair and maybe some catchy Broadway numbers about what a hard knock life it is but that somehow, tomorrow maybe, the sun will come out. Oh wait, that sounds familiar in some odd, distant way. But you get the picture. Baby Borrowers is not entertainment. It’s dregs from the writer’s strike — brought forth during the summer TV doldrums to either sink or swim.
Let us hope it sinks.
Because my second complaint has to do with the aforementioned morons. But let me take a step back for those who haven’t heard about NBC’s latest reality show. Five teenage couples take care of an infant for three days, and then progress to caring for toddlers then teenagers and then old people. The idea is that this is some form of “birth control” — showing these teens that raising children is actually hard work. And we get to watch their kooky antics … joy. (Although did anyone actually hear these teenagers say they wanted to have a baby right away? Like, tomorrow? Like, they need a massive dose of reality check intervention to avoid making a mistake? Of course not.)
But there you go. That’s the premise. Teenagers. Infants. NBC went from the West Wing to this. You’re caught up.
So OK, back to the morons. Let’s say for argument’s sake you’re dumb enough to give your infant to a TV network for three days. Let’s even go a step further and say the cameras are rolling, you meet these teenagers who will be taking care of your infant and you think, “Well, they sure do look awfully young and immature, but what the hell? We’re on TV, right?” and you hand over your baby. Then let’s say one of those teenagers gets all pissy and lets your kid starve and is clearly frustrated. You wouldn’t put up with that from a babysitter, but you’re watching from a special “viewing home” nearby and somehow you decide to keep your baby in that situation … why? Because you’re a moron.
Would any sane parent let their infant get into that situation in the first place? The show says there are “shadow” nannies ready to step in at a moment’s notice — but that just seems like yet another glaring reason to avoid handing over your child. (Producer: “Look, they might be in danger – but we promise to step in with our secret cabal of shadow nannies.” Ummmmm no thanks.)
The parents who pimped out of their children to a television network argue they’re “helping” teenagers realize they’re not ready to have kids. (Teenagers who never even say they’re ready to have kids — in fact, one couple says they just hope this “experiment” will save their “turbulent” relationship.)
“I was a teenage mother,” says one moron, after dropping off her baby, “And I never got to be the person I could have been. But now I’m on national television and all I had to do was abandon my kid. Awesome!”
So I made up some of that last part. But still. The motive is clear — some people will do anything to be on TV. Even put their kids at risk.
– Mike at Cry It Out