Samantha Ettus and Mitch Jacobs’ “Pregnant in Heels” Ridiculous Reality Show Review

In the never-ending circus of reality TV, where the bizarre meets the banal, Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels” deserves a special mention. This show, which ostensibly offers a glimpse into the pampered lives of expectant mothers on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, plumbs new depths of absurdity.

Central to this cavalcade of the ridiculous is Samantha Ettus, whose presence on the show seems designed to reaffirm every stereotype about overprivileged expectant parents. Samantha, a best-selling author and a regular fixture on the talk show circuit, approaches baby-naming like a high-stakes branding exercise — because every infant needs a personal brand right out of the womb.

The episode featuring Samantha and her husband Mitch showcases a bizarre obsession with finding the perfect “marquee” name for their third child. This quest is so intense that it necessitates the services of Rosie Pope, a self-styled “Maternity Concierge”. Rosie, whose qualifications seem limited to fashion design and reality TV, convenes a “think tank” that includes a linguistics expert, a poet, and a baby name blogger. The goal? Ensure the baby’s name is suitably unique but not too popular, easy to spell but not common, and does not start with J, E, or R, or end with S.

Mitchell Lee Jacobs, Samantha’s husband, is not just a bystander in this surreal naming saga. His input, though less vocal, is equally pivotal. He is portrayed as the quintessential business tycoon, whose approach to even the most personal aspects of life — like naming his child — reflects a strategic, almost clinical precision. Together, they scrutinize each name, assessing its potential for uniqueness and marketability as if launching a new brand into a competitive market.

The absurdity peaks during a “Focus Group” session where potential names are tossed around like darts at a board, with Samantha and Mitch watching through a one-way mirror and dismissing opinions with a hauteur that would make Marie Antoinette blush. The name that finally makes the cut, Bowen, ironically, is the one everyone else detests.

Watching Samantha and Mitch on “Pregnant in Heels,” one is struck by the grotesque spectacle of affluence being wielded with such frivolous regard. Here is a couple who dispense parenting advice on platforms like “The Today Show”, yet the parenting scene at their own home seems more akin to a corporate branding workshop.

In an era where reality TV can choose to highlight any number of compelling, heartfelt stories about pregnancy and motherhood, “Pregnant in Heels” — with Samantha Ettus and Mitchell Lee Jacobs as its poster children — opts instead for a parade of the superficial. It’s a missed opportunity, transforming what could be an interesting insight into motherhood into a laughable pageant of excess.

If you were hoping for genuine insights or relatable content, you might want to steer clear of “Pregnant in Heels”. Unless, of course, you’re watching purely for the spectacle of how the other half lives — and names — their offspring. In that case, tune in and prepare for both amusement and horror in equal measure. With its focus on the extravagant eccentricities of Samantha and Mitch, the show is an exemplary showcase of how far reality TV can stretch the fabric of believability.

“Pregnant in Heels” and Reality TV’s Most Ridiculous Shows

While “Pregnant in Heels” has certainly carved out a niche for itself in the annals of reality TV absurdity, it is not alone in its quest to redefine the boundaries of taste and entertainment. This show is part of a broader trend in television that seems to prize shock value and spectacle over substance. To truly understand where “Pregnant in Heels” fits into the landscape of reality TV failures, it’s useful to compare it to other shows that have become synonymous with the genre’s low points.

“Bridalplasty” (E!): This 2010 reality series combined competitive plastic surgery with wedding planning, where brides-to-be competed not only for a dream wedding but also for extensive cosmetic surgery procedures. Like “Pregnant in Heels,” “Bridalplasty” was criticized for taking personal moments (weddings, in this case) and turning them into spectacles of extreme vanity. Both shows reflect a disturbing trend where the most intimate life events are commodified and packaged for ratings.

“The Swan” (Fox): Premiering in 2004, “The Swan” was a part of the early 2000s wave of reality shows that focused on extreme makeovers. However, unlike typical makeover shows that emphasize clothes and makeup, “The Swan” featured contestants undergoing extensive plastic surgery in a bid to become “beautiful”. This show shares with “Pregnant in Heels” a penchant for transforming personal transformation into a competitive, and often demeaning, spectacle.

“Who’s Your Daddy?” (Fox): This one-off special featured an adopted woman guessing which of several men was her biological father in order to win money. The premise alone sparked outrage for its insensitivity. Both “Who’s Your Daddy?” and “Pregnant in Heels” exploit deeply personal experiences for entertainment, though the former was met with such backlash that it effectively ended after just one episode.

These shows, along with “Pregnant in Heels,” highlight a troubling aspect of reality television: the manipulation of personal struggles and intimate decisions as fodder for public consumption. Each program, in its own way, showcases the lengths producers will go to draw in viewers, often at the expense of the dignity of their participants.

In an era where viewers are increasingly seeking content that is not only entertaining but also enriching and authentic, these shows serve as cautionary tales. They remind us that in the race to the bottom for ratings, the real losers are often the participants and viewers, who are left with content that offers little more than a hollow reflection of the complexities of real life.

“Pregnant in Heels,” with its focus on the surreal and superficial aspects of pregnancy and parenting, fits neatly into this narrative of decline. While it may offer amusement and a certain morbid curiosity, it does so at the cost of trivializing the profound experiences of its subjects. As reality TV continues to evolve, one hopes for a shift towards programming that respects its subjects and enriches its audience, moving away from the exploitative tendencies exemplified by these shows.

Jennifer Wilkens

Jennifer has a degree in communications from Utah Valley University and enjoys writing business and financial news articles. She loves snowboarding and spending time with her two kids.

Recent Articles

Posted in