Oooh baby. I woke up this morning thinking I had nothing to look forward to except an ultrasound and a day of writing ahead of me, but then I saw the first episode of Push Girls dropped a week early. Post-Memorial Day weekend blues cured.
SPOILERS AHEAD ***
The first episode is titled “Everyone Stares,” which couldn’t be a better name for the first episode (that’s one of the first things you’ll notice when you use a wheelchair – everybody stares).
And as the 12 minute preview (released last month) of the series gave me hope for, the first episode hit every note – the reality of dating in a wheelchair, health issues (that can come up at the worst times), and grief…dealing with the loss of mobility, which even the bling and fancy cars can’t fix.
I think one of the things a lot of people with disabilities were worried about when they first heard about the show was that it wouldn’t portray the reality of life in a wheelchair; that the girls might too pretty, too rich, that they had above average support from family and friends (or all of the above), and so they were not going to support it; but from what I saw in episode one however was a very accurate portrayal. Their lives are not rainbows and sunshine bubbles.
You get to see the relationship between Angela and her PCA, who seems like one of the sweetest PCAs ever. We also see how Angela – a model now paralyzed looking to get back into the industry at 36 – deals with a photographer whose uncomfortable around her during a shoot (a lot can be learned from how graceful she dealt him. “I just talked to him,” she says. So smart).
And the show delves into the personal life of Tiphany; i.e., her ex-boyfriend who she recently broke up with but still holds a candle for (he wanted to have sex with her but still see other women. What kind of jerk asks that?). He of course is pulling the typical guy move where he texts her sweet messages post-breakup to mess with her. I hate when guys do this. There’s a special place in hell for these ones.
And the lives of Mia and Auti also get screen time. Auti, at 42, is thinking about having a baby with her husband, but even at her age, she’s still not sure if she’s ready to put her career on hold. There’s a great scene showing her and her man grocery shopping. The trick she figured out to reach the things on the top shelf is INSANE.
Mia meanwhile, she has an amazing boyfriend who wants to devote his life to her (what girl wouldn’t want that?), but she’s not sure if she’s ready to settle down (there must be a deeper reason hiding behind her hesitation. As a serial dater, finding a guy you want to marry, or at least find true love with, is usually the ultimate goal). But I must say, it’s pretty awesome seeing a woman in a wheelchair make an able-bodied guy wait to marry her. ha
You seriously won’t believe how often people think that if you’re in a wheelchair – you’re desperate and will take the first person who looks your way. Or even more offensive, they’ll think you should only date someone else in a wheelchair. I can’t believe this nonsense is still thought by so many people! (yes it deserves an exclamation mark). The scene where Mia says, “Some people think I should only date guys in wheelchairs, but I prefer to date able-bodied guys,” definitely needs to be shown/drilled into the masses (can this show be on the air indefinitely please?).
Summary: Episode one of Push Girls is a great introduction to all four women (they’re not girls gosh darn it) and I can’t wait to see Chelsie Hill on the show; the 19 year old who recently broke her back and is now a wheelchair dancer (and is this PSA ad in Seventeen magazine about drunk driving).
I’m also REALLY excited to see a more on Tiphany’s love life, specifically her adventures in dating women. Tiphany’s brutal honesty will make viewers laugh (“When people are hiring someone for a job, they’re not usually, ‘Oh yeah! You’d be perfect for our team!’ They’re more like, ‘Hello liability.’), and will definitely keep them tuning in. America always loves people who shoot from the hip, even the wheelchair variety.
Watch episode one on Hulu now or click below
Curious as to whether there is more difficulty for men or women in wheelchairs dating. The most recent spate of wheelchair-aware-social-programming that I’ve seen has almost exclusively dealt with women (and primarily photogenic/telegenic women), and I suspect a certain “Hollywood” centric claim there (makes for good viewership!).
Actually, men in wheelchairs have statistically shown to have a better chance at getting married….they say it’s most likely connected to women being more of carer-type personality and are able to look past disabilities.
As for Hollywood wanting pretty girls, well that has always been the case 🙂
Nice review, it’s good to read something about it, since I can’t watch it (I’m in Europe). A show like this is sooo good for the image of wheelchair users. I love you description about dating, it is so true that when you’re in a wheelchair many people really think that you have to be happy if you can ‘get’ a healthy guy. I am currently single and I can’t tell you how many times people say ‘oh you are single, but look nice, you can get a guy, right?’. Yes of course I can, the question this is do I want that guy. The season for me being single is not my disability (although it doesn’t make it easier), but the lack terrific guys who I want to date!
It gets so old, doesn’t it? Yeah Saskia…..its not easy. boo 🙁
I have not seen the show, but am very excited to watch it. I am a right leg amputee and get very depressed all of the time, and very lonely so I can’t wait to see how these girls feel good about themselves and how do you go about dating and how to find someone that does not care if you are in a wheelchair or not. I am 57 years old and it hard to find someone in this world and I don’t want to live the rest of my life depressed and alone. I hope this show gives a lot of advice and some knowledge on how to get out of the depressed mood and where to go or how to go about dating. I understand also where they are coming from as people do stare. I don’t mind when kids ask me what happened, but when adults stare and then start talking about you it makes it even worse.I don’t go out very often because of that reason. It does get old Tiffany. I hate my chair and my life as it stands right now, so I hope this will give me some hope and some answers. Good Luck with the show. I hope I get to watch it when it comes on, as I just seen the advertisement for the show.
Sounds like you need to be empowered. Don’t let your disability have that much control over your life. You can date and be happy! I promise you!
You can watch the show on iTunes. Here’s the link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/push-girls-season-1/id523247096. Only $1.99/episode!