At some points I promised myself that I wouldn't touch the "OK" button on my Roku remote, letting my television start playing the first episode of TLC's I Love A Mama's Boy, but I love trash too much not to allow myself this. At first, everything would seem like these mother & son relationships would be flirting (pun kind of intended) with boundaries, but nothing some good therapy and conversation couldn't fix. Oh dear god, how wrong I was.
While I cheer for the moments these girlfriends, fiancés, or wives stand up for themselves against some borderline vindictive behavior from these mothers and mothers-in-law, they are throwing themselves at a wall built up long before they arrived in the picture. I'll throw out a random example of weird moments, one being when Matt went lingerie shopping for Kim, his girlfriend (now his ex…holy shit thank god for that), and his mother, Kelly, joined him and ended up buying the same robe that he did for his partner. Yeah, that happened and it was only the very beginning of a storm of couples experiencing one side of the relationship testing important boundaries with their mothers. Another example of this level of intro would be when Mike allows his mother to have a key to the apartment that he and Steph, his girlfriend, share. Not only that, a lot is allowed in terms of dismissing how Steph feels and what she has to say. There are so many examples, more from some men *cough* Matt *cough* and their mothers compared to others.
The biggest thing that has hit me with watching the first season, and watching half of the second season at this point, is that there's a lot willing to be ignored with the rose-colored glasses we wear in some relationships. With editing and the way framing works, exaggerated moments are bound to happen in a show like this, but believing it's all so insane because of that is naïve at this point in society. These mothers love their sons, many with backgrounds that show they do care, but it also shows an unhealthy attachment full of emotional expectations. It's filling a void that closely resembles emotional incest and manipulation of a child's dedication to their parent as they grow. Often throwing the creepiest innuendos at them, these sons laugh it all off, because what else are they to do at that moment? The dynamic still holds the mom in the highest regard, with a son that chooses to not break a cycle even when assistance is there from his partner. Longtime relationships on I Love A Mama's Boy are ones that don't see communication anymore, and what sucks is seeing the hope in some of these women's eyes only to have their partner take the mom's side of things in most topics.
At this point, I've been nice and looked at it from a grounded point of view. There's a reality to this though that is messed up so fucking bad that I've had to pause I Love A Mama's Boy multiple times to let out a scream, specifically shouting "JUST ADMIT YOU WANNA BANG YOUR SON!" Shortly after this is a concerning moment of silence, not for what I've said, but instead for the reality of what I meant and how true it might end up being for some in the world. Some of these mothers display a creepy front. For example, doing things like describing a son's modeling career and photos in the most uncomfortable of ways making it so that I can't help but look at the screen as if I've witnessed a dog stand on its' hind legs beginning to yodel. If you don't mind your friends drooling over your young adult son's modeling photos right in front of you…there must be more to it than simple comfort and fake "maturity" in the situation. There's isolation in this type of relationship, and it's true despite the uncomfortable close moments like a mother shaving her son's back hair.
These men have the emotional maturity of the turd left behind by a fly, to put it in the most professional terms possible. At some point, they may have a clearer view of things from outside of it, but they love the odd blanket of unhealthy attention they are shown by their moms. Reality TV will always have a way of getting a lot of emotion or shock out of people like myself, but sometimes it shows us a glimpse of some harsh and creepy as fuck realities. When these men show their true colors like Matt did in the second season of I Love A Mama's Boy, the collected responses from these women may feel small but they matter. While the subtle manipulation continues with the moms, the boys (I'm calling them boys at this point…I'm tired) remain puppets not willing to accept assistance in cutting the strings for freedom. The fragile ego of these individuals alongside these women sucks to see (but not for Emily, who legitimately said women shouldn't work in the recent season). Even with emotional maturity at an all-time low, these boys think they deserve the relationships they put little to no work into. When I say these men are trash, I mean it. And for the women in these relationships (except for the internal misogynist-like tendencies of someone similar to Emily), don't settle for these unseasoned croutons, you deserve a whole lot more than someone who would invite their mother to your honeymoon (and yes…that happened on the show).