When I first heard about Push Girls coming out, I was unsure. A reality show featuring four really pretty women in wheelchairs? Sure, sounded awesome, but only if it was produced right (and we all know how Hollywood producers are).
But now that the first season is over (and it was renewed), I have to say I really liked the series. A lot, in fact! So much so that I wrote a review of every episode on my site. The series aired on Sundance, had 14 episodes and featured five women with spinal cord injuries — Angela, Tiphany, Mia, Auti and Chelsea (not pictured).
All the girls had stories, really awesome stories, and I have to say Sundance did a really good job of highlighting them in a non-condescending and beautiful way. They could have follwed a trite formula, and borderline almost went there in a few episodes — for example rehashing their injury stories several times, but that gets ratings. You can’t blame a channel for that.
What made me happy is that at the end of the day, despite it’s imperfections, they made sure several aspects of their lives were highlighted so viewers could see that you can still live a rich, fulfilling life and use a wheelchair. There are a lot of able-bodied people who watched the show, and they now know a heck of a lot more about us. Kind of unnerving, but it’s a good thing.
What’s great about the series is that it focuses on the women being strong, and pushing on through adversity. The show is all about female empowerment, disabled or able-bodied. We should be very glad the show exists, but I know a lot of people with disabilities have criticized it, saying it’s not an accurate portrayal of real life with a disability.
They say the women are unrealistically pretty and that their lives are too cushy, and you know, that may be true…but this show is a start. It’s hard to get anyone that doesn’t look good on TV (especially if it’s a show about people in wheelchairs). Hopefully, this is only the beginning of more reality shows featuring wheelchair-users.
What I really hope is that Push Girls ends up being moved to TLC, where the show would get a lot more exposure, and really start grabbing the nation’s attention (they still need to do Letterman!). If a show about little people can carry a time slot on TLC, why not these ladies?
What did you think of the first season of Push Girls? Be honest. Let’s hear it.