Education, Health, and Safety

Netflix Series: “Workin’ Moms”

I’m admittedly late to this Canadian Netflix series, which is a bit odd when you think about it because I am one. Chalk it up to a streaming queue about 3.8 miles long, and very limited time in which to actually sit down and watch. Because – say it with me – I am a workin’ mom.

I’ve zipped through most of S1, and I have thoughts:
Hats off to Catherine Reitman, creator, executive producer, director and star of the show. Ms. Reitman is no stranger to show biz; her father is none other than famed director Ivan Reitman. And she clearly took notes from her dad – and has built upon her family’s strong creative legacy. 

There are lots of positives here – excellent cast; intelligent, women-centered writing, and the buzzy and beautiful background of Toronto. The show’s attempt at promoting awareness of the challenges of being a working mother are to be commended, as are the inevitable, interpersonal relationship issues of new (and relatively new) parents. NOTE: This season is pre-COVID so the characters have no idea what’s coming down the pike…!

While I applaud the different types of parents featured in “WM” (there are interracial, gay, and straight couples); and while it also must be challenging for writers to balance an ensemble piece with many characters, I’m not getting a strong enough sense of any of them nor of their partnerships because just when we’re getting to something meaty, we cut to another scenario. I feel like I don’t really understand the dynamics between partners and I find that frustrating as I like a good interpersonal deep dive.

Another big no-no for me was the treatment of postpartum depression. I have SO much to say about this but the sake of my word limit: the writers weren’t far off the mark in terms of treatment (therapy, peer support and sometimes medications) but the way both were doled out were so irresponsible I just wanted to rip my skin off.

However, the show shines when it focuses on subjects such as the realities of nursing/feeding, and I enjoyed the exploration of mother-daughter relationships of different generations. Loved that sex was a topic of one episode but pretty sure the whole of Kate’s company would be have been written up for sexual harassment as a result of their porn discussion in the conference room.

That said, there is enough collective strength in the series to hold my attention, and I’m curious to see how it grows. So I’ll keep watching, and I hope you will, too!
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