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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
The Observer

'MILF Manor': Freud's new favorite show

Just like any other girl growing up in the 2000s, I watched TLC (which at one point stood for “The Learning Channel”) religiously. From "19 Kids and Counting" to "Sister Wives," I was obsessed with watching whatever strange concoction TLC brewed on that given day. This past year, however, I think TLC has outdone themselves. 

Dating shows like "Love Island," "The Bachelor" and "Too Hot to Handle" have taken the internet by storm. Every week, there seems to be a new dating show with some new twist to hook the viewer. On Jan. 15, 2023, TLC separated itself from the pack, unleashing "MILF Manor." If you haven’t already heard of this hot mess of a television show, buckle up, because it’s a wild ride.

The premise is a twist on the more traditional “older man with younger girl” trope. Rather than renouncing this stereotype, "MILF Manor" plans to capitalize on it, this time with older women. The show begins with eight women in their 40s-50s at a resort in Mexico. These women were supposedly told that they would be prospects for young, attractive men. After drinking and getting to know each other, the producers bring the “milfs” to a white curtain. As it drops, these milfs quickly realize that their sons are the “hot, young” men for them to seduce. 

Out of the countless crazy reality dating shows out there, "MILF Manor" might take the cake for the cringiest and most uncomfortable to watch. So far, there are four episodes released, with TLC skipping last week’s episode due to the Super Bowl. 

Just like other reality shows, “MILF Manor” has challenges for each mother-son pair to complete in to win perks. The first episode has the blindfolded mothers feeling up the shirtless young men to guess which is their son. The winners (the ones who could complete the challenge in the shortest amount of time) won two suites, each with their own jacuzzi or hot tub. Yes, the mother and son share a room while simultaneously trying to seduce other contestants, as that totally won’t create any awkward situations. 

This episode has Kelle, aka “Disco Mommy,” telling another mom that she was going to sleep with her son. Later on, she complains that her own son was blocking her from her desires because he followed her into their bedroom that night. Another majorly uncomfortable snippet from the episode is Jimmy telling the camera how much he loves another mom’s feet. This confession forces the audience to do nothing but cringe as Jimmy goes into excruciating detail about his fantasy. 

Now, if you somehow got through the first episode, the second episode is even more… chaotic?  

The challenge for the second episode was “the wall of secrets,” which is exactly what it sounds like. The contestants are presented with a wall of confessions and must guess which was their mother’s or son’s. While most are definitely not PG — they range from sleeping with someone on the beach or in a fancy restaurant — none compare to the revelation that one mother slept with her son’s best friend. You might be asking why would anyone ever do that, or ever admit to it on national television. And I have no real answer for you, except: Why would you go on this show in the first place?

In addition to all the extremely awkward interactions, there was also some racism in the mix. “Disco Mom” can’t stand two mothers speaking Spanish — their native language, while in Mexico — to their sons. 

The third and fourth episode follow in a similar vein to the first two. With only eight prospects, jealousy is festering in the manor at this point. Romance is beginning to flourish, and a love triangle between two sons and one mom. The addition of an absurd amount of alcohol in each episode definitely causes some of the tension that we love. 

In the third episode, there is a scene where a son massages his blindfolded mom, and his mom starts moaning and saying some explicit things about him. Episode four kicks off a mother-son duo that was not finding any romantic relationships in the villa. Episode five will introduce a new mother-son duo into the already-crazy mansion. 

So would I recommend watching it? Probably not. Will I continue to watch it? Absolutely. It is like a car crash — I can’t peel my eyes away, no matter how horrendous it is. 

If you want to watch it, I would honestly just recommend watching Cody Ko’s reactions to the first three episodes and picking up from there; he really gets all the highlights. 

Episode five will release on Sunday, Feb. 19, so if you plan on watching it, you can binge it this weekend. 

 

Show: “MILF Manor”

Favorite episodes: They’re all equally terrible, but also fantastic.

If you like: Freud, Oedipus, "Are You the One?"

Where to watch: Discovery+, TLC GO

Shamrocks: 2 out of 5