Motherland; Uncomfortably Funny

Motherland: BBC; Netflix

My latest discovery on Netflix has left me in a very mixed emotional state.

I came across a clip of Motherland online last week & absolutely burst laughing at it. It went straight onto the Must Watch list.

So I tuned in full of anticipation for some good laughs, and I got some brilliant laughs, but also, many confused feelings of sadness & extreme pity for the main character.

Julia is the star of the show in Motherland, a very busy, successful, working mother. She is struggling to figure out how to balance her life, since her mother so cruelly (!) withdrew all childminding and housekeeping services from her.

I wrote last week about working moms, about having your cake & eating it too… well Julia is choking on her cake & the series follows her hapless and desperate efforts to sort her shit out.

She is surrounded by what Gill Simms would describe as a “Coven” of seemingly perfect Yummy Mummies, who magnify the stress and desperation of her own life.

There are loads of laugh out loud hilarious moments throughout the seven episodes that will literally have you in stitches, and then there are some elements of it that are so desperately painful that it would bring you to the verge of tears.

Not painful in a “somebody got terribly sick & died” sort of way… painful as in, you feel so conflicted & almost annoyed at Julie’s self-centredness that you want to jump into the TV and shake her. You also feel empathy for her struggles on a level that really hits a nerve as a working mother.

It had me cringing as I watched some scenes, wondering if I might find myself in her shoes some day, when my boys are both school-age and out in the world more, will their school years bring me this level of drama? I surely hope not! Fundraising torture, school-gate brigade nightmares, swimming pool parties… Bleugh….!

Sharon Horgan is one of the names behind this series, and it is totally in line with the bluntness, uncensored, totally real and in your face style of her writing. This series however, goes a bit deeper, in fact it stares the working mother struggles straight in the face, and shows what the desperation of a mother being pulled in too many directions can do.

I am always raving about series that shed light & draw attention to the struggle of modern mothers, Working Moms is one of the best you will find, and Motherhood is very similar.

You will laugh, but you will likely also want to cry, and possibly get angry!

If you get a chance to watch it, I’d love to know what you think of it, maybe you think I over-thought it, read too much into it… either way I hope you enjoy it!

It’s just series 1 on Netflix, there are more episodes I think, if you fancy tracking them down via BBC online witchcraft!

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