As a self-admitted closet reality show junkie, this show to me was like lasagna to Garfield when I first saw the previews. Several teen couples, confident in their parenting skills, getting to live as real couples and take care of real babies for three days? I am SO there.
But here's the thing. It is VERY, very few reality shows I would ever say this about, but here is one FINALLY that deserves to win some major awards. And I don't mean just Emmys - I mean the PEABODY Award.
How many shows so accurately and effectively teach life lessons the way this one does? With teen pregnancy rates taking an alarming rise these days, it's pretty obvious that not a lot of education is taking place, about what is really required to tackle the role of parents. THE BABY BORROWERS depicts every aspect of life with babies, warts and all. Years ago, as a neighborhood sitter myself, I looked after both babies and toddlers, and that experience told me right off the bat that as much as I like kids, I would NEVER want to have any of my own.
But the most remarkable thing about this show is how it takes the participants in this "social experiment" through every stage of life they will encounter. First they have to look after babies. Next, it's toddlers. Coming up in the very next episode? PRE-TEENS. Then, they have to play parents to their actual peers: OTHER TEENAGERS. And finally - and I can't wait to see how they grapple with this one - they serve as caretakers for the elderly...people just like what their own parents will soon be.
And they have to do ALL of that, while still living as a couple, holding down jobs and taking care of their households along with their charges, under the watchful eye of "shadow nannies" and the real parents of the kids, who watch the whole thing by remote on monitors, stepping in only when absolutely necessary. WOW.
"It's not TV, it's birth control," the TV ad warned us gleefully. But that was actually underselling it. It's so much more than that.
If any kids miss seeing this series - and I don't doubt that there are many who will - they should make this required viewing in schools once it hits DVD. Too many of them NEED to see this and hopefully learn something from it, before it's too late.
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