Sooner or later I will stop being surprised when I discover another woman — with or without kids — with a freak-of-nature supply of energy, skills, and brains. Maria Menounos, co-host of the entertainment news hit Extra, is one of those women.
At 35, she’s the author of a 2011 bestseller, The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life, and her second book should release in 2014. She competed in Dancing with the Stars in 2012, and occasionally she gets small bits in feature films like Tropic Thunder with Ben Stiller.
Add in being international spokesperson and face of Pantene hair care and directing and producing several films that get notice at major film festivals like Tribeca and South-by-Southwest.
I can’t figure why she’s decided to add ‘Reality Show Star’ to that resume. Especially right now, when her childlessness can’t help but be a major plotline. She’s on pause about marriage and kids (life as Maria Menounos may be busy, but it sure ain’t half bad). But, her longtime partner absolutely doesn’t want kids, AND her adorable, aging Greek parents are almost on their knees begging her to marry and reproduce as fast as possible.
Oxygen’s producers of Chasing Maria Menunos must have drooled at the pitch to make a show out of a life well-suited for their version of Reality. She lives with Keven Undergaro, her boyfriend of almost 16 years, and her parents. And 4 or 5 dogs. Yes, all in the same super-big house. One more thing: her father is a Type 1 diabetic who’s had way too many life-threatening episodes.
Google turned up few reviews of the show’s premiere. My favorite headline was from the Boston Herald: “Chasing Maria is a serious case of TMI”. The Baby/No Baby issue came up in every review I read. How could it not? This New Jersey reviewer warns that the guilt Ms. Menounos must feel every day comes through the screen. Oh goodie.
The clip above teases the show’s first season and it’s only 2 minutes and 4 seconds. It shows me that she agonizes in fear about her father’s health but can’t give him the grandkid/married daughter he craves. I see her boyfriend, a decidedly childfree, no-kids-please man ready to jump out of a window to be heard. I see her parents’ love.
And that’s all I’m planning to see because there is nothing about this story that’s entertaining to me. It seems too sad, at least, for me. Sad for everyone involved, because in the blur of 2:04, the only ones being true to themselves are her parents. But good on Oxygen for showcasing these issues that resonate around the world. Maybe that’s a little bit of why Ms. Menounos is doing it in the first place.
Promoting the show, she spoke honestly:
“Sometimes I just wish someone would tell me what to do,” she says. “If someone would just tell me, ‘You can have a baby at 40 and it will be fine,’ I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore. I just want a crystal ball.”
I think I’ve seen this movie before. I wish her…peace.