Young Mum’s Mansion
BBC3, Monday 14th April 2008
I just don’t know what to make of this programme. Is it simply another of those horribly exploitative documentaries that shames me a little every time I find myself gawping at the misfortunes of other people? Or is this, in fact, a fairly enlightening look at how tough it can be for a single mum bringing up her children while juggling numerous other tasks that come with daily life? I guess Young Mum’s Mansion is a bit of both – a guffaw followed by a tear or two.
Monday night was episode five and Natasha was in charge of the mansion. She took it upon herself to straighten the girls out by injecting a bit of spice into their love life – perhaps not the most prudent of decisions encouraging further bedroom activity considering where the last lot landed them, but hey. As she unveiled her plans at the dinner table, which included a night speed-dating and another hosting a dinner party, she introduced a man into the house in the form of single dad, Brett and his two children. For fear of upsetting his children, Brett hasn’t dated for five years but feels that now is the time to change that by moving into a houseful of deserted mums desperate to find a father replacement – cunning.
Another mum, Toni, whose ‘dry spell’ is fifteen years largely due to the fact that she finds sex repulsive, cringed at the thought of going out with anyone but soon found herself under Natasha’s orders on the couch with a ‘sexpert’ trying to convince her that sex can feel really good. Meanwhile, the leader herself blatantly ignored her own advice and continued to pine after the father of her child. Somewhat different concerns arose for self-proclaimed lesbian, Robyn as the speed-dating commenced and she tossed about the idea of heterosexuality (first brought about upon the conception of her child before being quickly rejected as a drunken mistake).
With much humour coming from the kids themselves – note the little boy bad-temperedly complaining about the lack of sausage rolls after school due to Natasha’s rules and Brett’s son taking moral objection to the sight of semi-clad single mums sliding around a pole to no-nonsensely declare that they must all want to be hookers – the issues of their mothers ended up seeming quite manageable. On the whole, Young Mum’s Mansion turned out to be a rather entertaining start to the week.
By Susan Allen