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Rosie Pope, the "maternity concierge" on "Pregnant in Heels"
Rosie Pope, the "maternity concierge" on "Pregnant in Heels"

John Doyle: Television

Pregnant in Heels: A show that lets you hate pregnant women Add to ...

There are certain things you are not allowed to say, think or feel. Such as loathing pregnant women.

You go straight to hell if you even roll your eyes. Knocked-up women are the most sacred creatures in all cultures. It is a well-known fact.

Not any more, people. My goodness, but television can be brilliant in freeing your mind. The things you learn. I mean, television is just so freakin' educational. Daily, it offers a cornucopia of information about previously uncharted areas of life, and insight into the behaviour of people you'd pass on the street without thinking they were peculiar. You might pass a pregnant woman on the street and think, "That's nice." Or "Yeah, whatever." You wouldn't be thinking hateful thoughts, now would you?

Recent columns by John Doyle

It was television that introduced me to Pregnant in Heels (TVTropolis, 8 p.m.), a show which affords the rare opportunity to utterly loathe mothers-to-be. Not an easy task to accomplish, you'll agree.

This is how I came to this place. Of a night I often watch Fox Soccer Report on the Fox Sports World Canada channel. It is a splendid show, meeting my needs and those of others who must know, for instance, how Velez Sarsfield is doing in the Clausura segment of the Argentine Primera División. The program also has the advantage of presenting analysis by Bobby McMahon. He is a deity. I'd give him my seat on the streetcar any old day.

Anyway, the commercials on the Fox Soccer Report usually promote a telephone chat line. One that, for a fee, offers an opportunity for strapping young gentlemen to talk to bosomy young ladies who, uniformly, speak in the tones and cadences of 16-year-old mall rats. Or so I gather from the illustrations. I have often wondered if chaps call these ladies and canvass an opinion on the Clausura segment of the Argentine Primera División. But I haven't wondered enough to try it out. I digress.

One recent evening during the Soccer Report, I was stunned to see a promotion for Pregnant in Heels. I saw shouting, screaming and attempted slapping. Shopping. All involving knocked-up women in Manhattan, apparently. In the midst of it all is one Rosie Pope, described as "a maternity concierge." Rosie talks like one of those mall rats, the only difference being that Rosie also talks like she's got a large rubber soother in her mouth. This I gotta see, I said to myself.

The show is splendidly educational and vastly entertaining. We are thrown into the world of well-off pregnant women in Manhattan. Their needs and foibles. It emerges that Rosie's empire is built on catering to them. And dear heavens, they are obnoxious. They make the women on The Real Housewives of New Jersey look good-natured and genteel.

"Million-dollar mommas on Madison Avenue are a whole other level of crazy," Rosie announces on the first episode tonight. At least I think that's what she said. "Women are bitchy anyway," she continues. "So take a rich, bitchy woman and then put a baby inside them. And then you've got my clients."

Rosie's first clients tonight are John and Sarah. They need help setting up a room for a baby due to arrive in four weeks. Sarah says, "When I first found out I was pregnant, we just thought of this, like, life-sucking-force parasite." Mostly, Sarah is worried about her fabulous, clutter-free loft in Tribeca looking messy. She describes herself as "bummed out and nervous" about this issue. That is, her great fear is that the home she shares with her husband will be "babyfied." Rosie explains that babies vomit and poop, and then leaves to let this sink in.

Next up is a couple who make John and Sarah seem like cuddly, can-do parents. Samantha and Mitch. (For the longest time I thought it was "Amanda and Rich," but that's because Rosie was talking about them in her weird voice.) He's an entrepreneur and so is she. What she does is specialize in "personal branding." Although a self-described expert in this area, she needs Rosie's help in choosing a name for her baby. In preparation for Rosie's visit, the couple have researched "what thought-leaders are naming their babies." They have spreadsheets. They want Rosie to arrange a focus group to discuss a short list of baby names. They are, like, totally serious.

Next, to achieve that short list, there ensues a lengthy scene in which a "think tank" is convened to advise Samantha and Mitch about possible names. Among others involved are a linguistics expert, a poet and an editor. It is, like most of Pregnant in Heels, stunning television. The clients are rich, stupid and pregnant. They are perfect hate-figures.

All I've described is about half the show. But it's enough to let you know that a milestone has been reached. There are pregnant women you are allowed to hate with a passion. By the way, the baby names that go forward to the focus group for Samantha and Mitch are "Asher, Bodie, Tucker and Miles."

Check local listings.

 

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