The Madness of Modern Families, BBC2

by | Jan 15, 2007 | All, Reviews

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 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”

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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