Entertainment behind the scenes
Octomom show — repulsive or sympathetic?
Is the public fascination with California’s Octomom running out of steam?.
A two-hour TV special on single mom Nadya Suleman’s life with her eight new babies and six other young children was watched by just 4.1 million American viewers on Wednesday night, while more than double that (10.3 million) tuned in to see the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent.”
Suleman, 33, has garnered wall-to-wall media coverage since giving birth to octuplets in January and the show compiled video footage approved by her not just of her chaotic life at home and with the paparazzi, but also film shot inside the hospital delivery room.
The Fox TV special appeared to have made few new friends for Suleman and her (mostly) screaming brood. Entertainment Weekly called it a “repulsively grim two hours of TV” while the New York Times said it “failed to produce a second’s worth of contrarian evidence that Nadya Suleman isn’t a self-obsessed, publicity-driven lunatic.”
But the New York Daily News was slightly more forgiving, calling the program “an oddly fascinating look into the life of a woman who alternates between totally dysfunctional and easily sympathetic.”
Suleman herself admitted in the show that she “screwed up my life, I screwed up my kids’ lives”, adding, “I have to pretend like I don’t regret it. I can’t regret it now cause I love them, they’re here. But what was I thinking?”.
However she has sought to trademark the name “Octomom”, has a thriving web site, and has signed on for a reality TV series, suggesting that she and her children expect to be in the public eye — willingly or not — for years to come.