The Mortified Sessions

Posted on October 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

One of the sharpest insights of the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was its recognition that the most painfully embarrassing memories are almost impossible to forget.  And most of those excruciating memories occur in childhood and adolescence.  The Mortified Sessions is a television series on the Sundance Channel, now in its second season, that invites celebrities to explore their most humiliating memories.  They bring the artifacts of those years to talk about what mortified them then and how those experiences affect them now.  David Nadelberg, author of Mortified: Love Is a Battlefield and Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic, is the sympathetic host.  Guests have included Oscar-winner Mo’nique, “Dirty Dancing’s” Jennifer Grey, “Breaking Bad” and “Argo” star Bryan Cranston, “Cougartown” and “Freaks and Geeks” star Busy Philips, and “Modern Family” Emmy-winner Eric Stonestreet.

Because we know these people ultimately achieved great success, it is reassuring to see that they struggled with the same doubts and failures and middle school ugliness that we all experience.  Nadelberg is supportive, never exploitive, and the show exemplifies the AA maxim that “you are only as sick as your secrets.”


Related Tags:


Actors Television

Push Girls — New on Sundance Channel

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I am delighted with the new Sundance Channel series, “Push Girls,” a reality series about a group of vibrant, active, bright friends, all women in wheelchairs.

The New York Times says the theme of the show is not disability; it’s friendship.

t’s four girlfriends juggling dating and babies and careers. Their lives are interesting, with a dramatic twist.”

That angle — young women just trying to figure it all out — was ultimately what sold Ms. Barnett. “I never thought, ‘Oh, we need to make a show about disability,’ ” she said. Rather: “There are so many shows in the scripted world about female friendship that I feel are finally accurate. But I didn’t see many in the unscripted space.”

It’s worth noting that unlike the tense casts of, say, Bravo’s “Real Housewives” series, the women on “Push Girls” are genuinely friends, not acquaintances hurriedly bundled together before shooting began. Ms. Rockwood met Ms. Angel at a rehab facility just days after Ms. Rockwood’s accident. Three years later she encountered Ms. Schaikewitz in an acting class. Ms. Rockwood has known Ms. Adams for four years; Ms. Rockwood invited her to go with the group to a concert shortly after Ms. Adams moved to the area. “She never thought she would have BFFs in wheelchairs,” Ms. Rockwood said.

Disabled people are usually omitted entirely from television in movies, unless they are portrayed as people defined only by their disability whose role is just to be inspiring.  These women are inspiring not by being saint-like but by being fully themselves, supporting each other and living their lives.  As the late Christopher Reeve, whose foundation supports this series, said in the title of his memoir, the most important thing to know about what happened after his injury is that he was Still Me.


Related Tags:


THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik