A Review of Netflix’s 'Workin’ Moms'

Among its latest additions, Netflix has found itself the home to season one of the Canadian TV series Workin’ Moms, which is both produced by and stars American actress Catherine Reitman. At first glance, it’s impossible not to love the show. Workin’ Moms is about, well, working mothers who struggle with the chaos of parenthood and navigating life with a baby in tow. It is funny and absolutely binge-worthy with its witty punch lines and badass moms. 

The show follows four main characters: Kate (Reitman), a hardworking mother who is eager to get back to her work as a PR executive; Anne, a no-nonsense psychiatrist who has two children and is struggling with the reality of having a third child; Jenny, a young, first-time mom who doesn’t seem to want the responsibility of motherhood, often leaving her daughter with husband and stay-at-home-dad Ian; and finally there is Frankie, the quirky character who is also dealing with postpartum and its effects on her marriage. It should also be mentioned that Frankie’s story is by far the best developed and the most interesting. Her issues with postpartum are never sugarcoated (and rightfully so) and her scenes in a psychiatric office are enlightening in how her own take on postpartum is impacting her. 

Overall, the show does well with giving enough backstory and enough detail into the mother’s personal problems yet never truly dives in; the drama seems superficial and it is resolved relatively quickly and without much character development at the end. Kate has issues with a newer male coworker who outshines her, there is tension there, she becomes over-competitive and it begins to strain her marriage, the issue is resolved and then nothing. Something similar happens in the next episode and the cycle repeats.

Courtesy: SavvyMom

 

But in earnest, my major criticism with Workin’ Moms does not lie within character development, rather in the underlying themes of privilege that are never addressed. Workin’ Moms at first glance seems like a show that represents women from all walks of life, yet its characters only represent a small percentage of a population that hardly reflect the “everyday mother”. Kate and her friends are able to enjoy at-home spa treatments on the daily and regular meetings with a “baby and me” group, and the mothers sport giant cars with very nice strollers. To be clear, the issue is not within the fact that they can afford the things that they do. The major issue is that for a show that is proud of its representation, it is sorely lacking in representing mothers who are not all able to enjoy the luxury of a nanny or that have the guidance of a specialist or group. 

However, as of this week, only the first season of Workin’ Moms is on Netflix and with season three recently approved with CBC, only the next Netflix addition will tell whether the show will continue to expand.