Ever dreamed of a camera crew following you into your delivery room to set up an impromptu game show — complete with neon signs, a host, and prizes? Of course you haven’t! But since apparently every other reality TV topic has already been scripted, this is actually a show.
Variety reports that around Mother’s Day this year, TLC has planned a week of programming called “The Mother of All Weeks.” It’s been describes as TLC’s own version of “Shark Week.” It’s a heavily promoted week of programming that will be positioned around the May 5 airing of 19 Kids and Counting, in which Jill Duggar gives birth to her first child. There will be other mom-centered programming, but what really stands out in the lineup is what Variety calls “a quiz show that takes the ‘Cash Cab’ formula to new heights by surprising couples in a hospital delivery room with the chance to win prizes for their baby-to-be.”
Sure. What could go wrong?
A representative of TLC told Variety that the producers of the show “worked with doctors and nurses at a hospital in Pomona, Calif., to target couples who could roll with the surprise of having a female host and a small camera crew burst into the delivery room.” What? This would be insane if it were true — but the couples aren’t really being “surprised” by a camera crew. They have all answered a casting call and agreed to the arrangement.
After host Lisa Arch “surprises” the couples in the delivery room, they are “upgraded to a larger room at no cost!” Great! More room. Only, it’s filled with cameras and some dudes who will be taping you at what can be the most stressful, intimate time of your life. But if you can stand that, you may go home with a year’s supply of diapers, a cleaning service, or even a bunch of cash for a college fund.
This stunt may take the reality TV formula a little too far, but if the couples want to participate, what’s the harm? It may actually help women who are terrified of their impending due dates, to see this sort of light-hearted action happening in the delivery room. Not all of us approach labor with ease; it can be really terrifying to wrap your brain around the idea that the baby you’ve been carrying around for nine months actually has to exit your body somehow. There are enough shows filled with women looking panicked in delivery rooms (thanks for nothing, A Baby Story). Maybe this — although ridiculous — will be strangely comforting to pregnant couples with their due dates looming.