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 (as you know, when you use a wheelchair — everybody stares). Episode one hit every note I was hoping — 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 be 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 what I saw in episode one — tears, struggles, spasms galore — was a very accurate portrayal.
You get an in-depth look at the relationship between Angela and her PCA, who seems like one of the sweetest PCAs ever. You also see how Angela — a model looking to get back into the industry at 36 — deals with a photographer whose uncomfortable around her; a lot can be learned from how gracefully she deals with him. “I just talked to him,” she says.
And the show delves into the personal life of Tiphany and 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 still texts her sweet messages post-breakup to mess with her. I hate when guys do this. There’s a special place in hell for this sort.
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 Auti and her man grocery shopping. The trick she’s figured out to reach the things on the top shelf is INSANE.
Mia meanwhile has this 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 myself, finding a guy you want to marry, or true love, is usually the ultimate goal. But I must say, it’s great seeing a woman in a wheelchair make an able-bodied guy wait to marry her.
You won’t believe how often people think that if you’re in a wheelchair, you’re a desperate person who 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 part where Mia says, “Some people think I should only date guys in wheelchairs, but I preferred to date able-bodied guys,” definitely needed to be shown to the masses. So glad it is!
Summary: Episode one was a great introduction to all four women (they’re not girls, gosh darn it). 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 in a this PSA ad in Seventeen magazine about drunk driving).
I’m also really excited to see a more on Tiphany’s love life, and her adventures in dating women. Tiphany’s brutal honesty will make you laugh (“When people are hiring someone for a job, they’re not usually like, ’Oh yeah! You’d be perfect for our team!’ They’re more like, ’Hello liability.’). And it will definitely keep viewers tuning in. America loves people shooting from the hip, even in the wheelchair variety.