Did we like it?
Focusing on children’s birthday parties, this totally dispiriting documentary showed a load of middle-class parents agonising about how well (or otherwise) their children’s parties had gone. Making us parents at thecustard.tv cringe in disbelief, come the revolution this load of bourgeois wastes-of-space will be first against the wall… It’s hard to believe that many parents outside the SW postcode would have any empathy with this programme.
What was good about it?
• The early signposts of the sort of people that were being interviewed meant you could switch off at a fairly early stage – the fuchsia pink staircase combined with ‘natural carpets’ was a giveaway…
• It threw up some ideas for party themes – which you could carry off without spending the hundreds of pounds that this lot obviously felt necessary.
• The father who equated using the same magician as another set of parents as “sleeping with the same girl as your mates when you’re a student – have you left a polite enough gap?” made us chuckle.
What was bad about it?
• The constant one-upmanship in trying to find a venue that no other parents had ever used before.
• It became obvious that most of the parents simply cared about impressing the other parents. The enjoyment of their own children came a distant second.
• Have you ever been kept awake by the question: “Will I run the party myself or hire a juggler and/or magician?” No? Neither have we. But it obviously weighed heavily on some of these parents minds…
• The really annoying (and by God, she was up against Olympic standard opposition) mother who cheerfully equated “Useless present – useless parent”
• The vacuous, superficial lives of people who come out with stuff such as “Parents judge you by your party bags”; “Party bags are the window to the soul”