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Posted: 4:42 p.m. Monday, June 3, 2013

Lifetime's Atlanta-based 'Pretty Wicked Moms' live up to type 

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Pretty Wicked Moms
Atlanta's latest reality show is "Pretty Wicked Moms" debuting on Lifetime Tuesday, June 4, at 10 p.m.


Is "Pretty Wicked Moms' enticing to you?

I'm on board!  75 votes


Worth a look  36 votes


Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!  132 votes


243 total votes

By Rodney Ho

Lifetime didn't name its new "Housewives"-esque show "Pretty Wicked Moms" without some justification.

The twist here is most of the women have young children and are competitive about them - and each other, of course. Not surprisingly, they are all skinny and beautiful -at least beautiful in that Buckhead socialite sort of way.

The Atlanta-based reality show, which debuts Tuesday at 10,  centers around an opinionated, Botox-packed, classic "mean girl"-type blonde Emily Dees Boulden, who runs a Buckhead boutique Swank and lives in Sandy Springs with her husband, young daughter and a nanny. She dubs herself this social circle's "Queen Bee," a phrase also used on Bravo's Atlanta-based "Married to Medicine" to describe Mariah Huq.

Emily hangs with her bestie, Nicole Noles, who dresses like Emily and kow-tows to her. Nicole dotes on her Shih Tzu so she's called the "doggie mom."

When the two of them together, you might as well start coughing up hair balls because the cattiness starts flying. (I screened the first episode.)

A favorite target of said gossip?  Protagonist Miranda, who is nicknamed rather unimaginatively as the "Southern Belle." She gives all she's got to her son Ledger.

Emily and Miranda are forced together because their hubbies are friends. And the pair clash - of course. (No clashes, no TV show!)

"We're going to claw each other's eyeballs out until somebody wins," Emily says on the show.

Emily is a bit more complex than some of her pronouncements may indicate. She may love her work but her guilt about hiring a nanny leads to her allowing her daughter to sleep in her bed and relegate her husband to another room, much to his understandable dismay.

Nicole B. (yes, there are two Nicoles just to confuse you) is the Type A mom, who is a health nut and makes her own baby food for her daughter McKinley. She seems to take herself very very seriously.

The divorcee of the crew Marci, who has three older kids, shows up at a party in a leopard dress and seems to be reasonably close to Emily and Nicole.

The "newbie" Meredith has a husband and a young daughter and aspires to be like Emily and Nicole N.

Ellen Rakieten, an executive producer, told me they are calling this an unscripted comedy, not a drama.  She thinks these women are hilarious. And she insists (insists!) these women are not faking the drama. (Indeed, there is a minor medical issue during the first episode that appeared to be genuine, if not genuinely life threatening.)

"It's packed with engaging, wonderful characters," said Rakieten, a former producer for Oprah Winfrey  for 23 years  with reality show credits such as Food Network's "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," Jerry Seinfeld's NBC show "The Marriage Ref," and NBC's "Losing It With Jillian Michaels." "Some are over the top but that's who they are in real life. We didn't provide them wardrobe. We didn't rent them a mansion. We didn't provide them anything."

She said the show producers also didn't "set up" parties or gatherings (unlike other shows). What we see is stuff that would have been planned anyway. 

She promises everything builds up to a crazy episode nine.

Lifetime is entering territory well worn by Bravo and its "Real Housewives" franchise. We'll see if Lifetime audience goes for it.  (They have gone for the rough-and-tumble "Dance Moms" and have successfully imported Bravo's "Project Runway" so the two networks have a fair amount of overlapping audience.)

As for the name of the show, are these moms "pretty," "pretty wicked" - or both? You'll have to decide yourself.

Here's the trailer:

TV preview

"Pretty Wicked Moms," 10 p.m. Tuesdays, starting June 4, Lifetime

Rodney Ho

About Rodney Ho

I cover local radio and TV for both the print and online editions. I write a blog on the same topics.

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