Review of Push Girls Season 1Aug 29 10:37
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.
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1. Syd | Aug 30 01:57
I would be impressed if they actually showed the REALITY of being disabled -- like not getting to the bathroom in time because the door is too small or catching a crack in the sidewalk and skidding on your face...you know..the REALITY of life in a chair. This show is as unreal and uninteresting as whatever show the Kardashians are on at the moment.
2. theSeed | Aug 30 04:41
A couple points: 1. It's sad if Syd's only reality is negative things happening. Do you really think anybody would tune in to watch someone peeing themselves or bleeding from the face? OK, some would, but those types watch jackassery like, well, like "Jackass". That's NOT the type of show "Push Girls" is. And the show did discuss some down points. Mia just moved to a new place from one where she couldn't close the bathroom door because her chair didn't fit. They needed help getting into places with steps. Angela needs full time assistance. (Just to name a few) 2. About the beauty: if I was on a reality show, I'd be sure to have make-up on and my hair did at all times, too. 3. About the cushy: if I worked hard, payed my bills & had nice things, I wouldn't feel I should hide it just because there are people out there who don't have them. It's a reality show about how THEIR lives are. They're not representing every single person in the disability community. Just themselves!
3. albaniantv | Aug 31 07:49
Good, insightful review Tiffiny. Maybe a typo but you probably meant to say they push on through adversity instead of diversity? I have seen about 6 or 7 episodes and think they are getting more realistic about problems as we get to know them better. Last one i saw dealt with inaccessible hotel bathrooms, issues with using your significant other as a personal attendant,muscle spasms in public or during a job shoot, and cabs that won't pick up people in wchairs. I love the way the younger one they are mentoring challenges them on everything--brings the needed conflict a series thrives on. I think they just got a second season because people are watching.
4. SAM | Sep 05 02:20
I like it too. It felt like the parts of my life that I hadn't thought about as missing on TV were validated! I like that the first show about paras features women supporting each other in their independence. It reminded me that a support system that includes other paras is so helpful!
5. pungoboy23456 | Sep 06 07:14
I like the show don'nt get me wrong . But it true it about 4 or 5 girls with a cushy life . I have been a t-11 para for 34 years and most the para I know don'nt have that life . Most try to make it day to day and month to month. doing want they can just to get by. I thank we need a show like that you . we don'nt all drive high dollar cars and have high dollar chairs and live like that. . But it is a good show.
6. Marnina | Sep 09 01:47
I too have watched the show since it began - I was in rehab with one of the women; we still send Christmas cards and chat on FB. I understand the importance of bringing education to a broader audience - I've seen plays and movies about being disabled as well. I am not a beautiful woman - but I consider myself to be a 'push girl' because I get up every morning, get dressed, go to work, do disability advocacy work and come home at night to good friends and to the best husband ever. When I finished in-house rehab I got my life back. I live a quiet life - I'm not interested in being young, beautiful and partying. I don't want to be remembered because I sit to get around. I just want to have a life: my life. I am so glad the show is renewed and discuss the show positively when anyone asks. I grateful that these four women are able to give a positive voice to an audience in need of education. I'm just glad that it's not me.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.