First, they came for the housewives. Then, they came for the cupcake makers; then the little people. Now reality TV turns its gaze toward women in wheelchairs for Sundance Channel's "Push Girls" (10 p.m. Monday), a slightly more highbrow reality show.
While there's certainly something to be said for the empowerment that visibility in the media provides, wheelchairs aside, "Push Girls" doesn't look remarkably different from "The Real Housewives of [Fill in the Blank]." But it does feel different.
That's because the stars of "Push Girls" are shown in their daily struggles, whether it's filling up at a gas station or trying to reach equipment from their wheelchairs in a gym. Yes, viewers also see them in typical "Real Housewives" mode -- partying at the club, getting teary-eyed over a man who done them wrong -- but that's just one element of their lives, not the sole element.
All of the women are paralyzed from the neck or waist down either by accident or illness. Angela, a model, recently separated from her husband (original "21 Jump Street" star Dustin Nguyen). Her roommate, Tiphany, flirts with bisexuality. Auti, a former dancer/rapper, is considering motherhood; Mia takes stock of her relationship with an able-bodied boyfriend.
"Push Girls" is at its best when the women tell their stories and depict the challenges they face in everyday life. But when the show's stars convene for gabfests, it feels as inauthentic as other docu-series.tvradio
First Published June 3, 2012 12:00 AM