Shouting, mistrust and jealousy are what happens when you move in with your current and former partners, children and cats. Also, another reality TV hellhole that is Darkness
Could you ever live with your partner and your ex? asks Kieran Bew, narrating. Er, almost certainly not.
Would moving in together help resolve your acrimonious relationships, even if your ex and your partner dont get on? Let me think about that one. OK, thought about it. Again, no. And why would you even try?
Thats what Ashleigh, Matt and Donna are doing in The New Wife (Channel 5). Ashleigh walked out on Matt with their daughter. There is a lot of bad feeling between them about how the relationship ended. Now Matt has another daughter with his new partner, Donna. Ashleigh and Donna clearly loathe each other. Can these three find a way to live and work together for the sake of the children? asks Kieran.
Is it really for the sake of the children, Im wondering? And is it possible, if they cant reach an agreement over access themselves, that they could discuss it with some kind of mediation, maybe with the help of the law, if it came to that? Save them all having to move in together for a week. Call me a cynic, but it is almost as if conflict is the desired outcome and that it could be less for the sake of the children, more for the sake of television entertainment.
Anyway, Matt, Donna and baby Grace turn up at the house where Ashleigh lives with little Bella. And, immediately, there is tension between Ashleigh and Donna; if they were cats their backs would be arched, their hair on end, and they would be hissing at each other. Actually, there are a couple of cats in the house and that is a problem for Donna: she was told there wouldnt be any and she is worried about them being there with the baby and her breastfeeding. I am not sure if that means she is worried the cats are going to steal her milk, latch on, one on each breast, and then attack Grace because they havent had their fill. (We are talking regular domestic moggies, not big ones like Siberian tigers, say.) I think if the cats hadnt been there, Donna would have found something else to have a go about.
Anyway, it sets the tone for the week and the show. Ashleigh and Donna are at each other, shouting, not listening; jealousy, mistrust and fur fly back and forth between them. Face to face they say one thing; behind each others backs, something different. Not getting any respect seems to be the main gripe (not just for Ashleigh and Donna, but also for everyone these days, have you noticed? Its all about respect).
Matt bounces between them, hopelessly and miserably, or sneaks off for a crafty smoke. Oh, and then Ashleigh and Donna form an unlikely alliance and gang up on him; I might even feel sorry for Matt if I wasnt too busy feeling sorry for myself for having to sit through this.
Just when it looks as if things are never going to get sorted out, they all suddenly see the light, put their differences aside and start being nice to each other. It is all one big happy family. Its a familiar story: after the conflict, resolution and justification for the shows existence. Hey, dont be cynical. And dont forget: its for the sake of the children.
From one hellhole to another: in Darkness (Discovery Channel), three strangers are put separately into an abandoned mine complex in Death Valley. They have a week to find each other, discover a cache of water and food, and plot a way out. It is pitch black in there, did you guess?
From a survival point of view, it is an interesting idea, but, as TV, there are obvious issues. Even with infrared and thermal-imaging tech, all we see are monochrome figures in the shadows. Which would be fine if our human moles were entertaining or hilarious. But firefighter Michael, paramedic Stephanie and bushcrafter Jason were obviously picked more for their ability to survive and find their way out, than their TV personalities. A minotaur would have livened things up. Even just a load of rattlesnakes in the food box. Yes, that works because they would have been able to hear them.
I had questions that werent answered about toilet arrangements and sleeping. Was there any hooking up in the dark?, I wonder Hey, you know what would have improved it? If Stephanie had previously dumped Michael for Jason and had children with both of them, and she had to get out for their sakes. New Husband Love Tunnel. With rattlesnakes. Now were talking.