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The Struggle to Discipline on 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter' Premiere (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 1st 2011 1:00AM
'I Hate My Teenage Daughter' - 'Pilot''I Hate My Teenage Daughter' (Wed., 9:30PM ET on FOX) has been one of the worst-reviewed shows of the season, and yet FOX gave it easily their best time slot for its first several episodes. Coming out of 'The X Factor,' it's certain that plenty of people will at least sample the sitcom. But will they agree with the critics?

Our own Maureen Ryan called out the show for its incessant meanness to the two leads, which is entirely deserved, but I wasn't so quick to say there isn't hope for the show in the future. Yes, it needs to make some serious changes if people are going to want to watch, and that is the key phrase.

We have to want to watch which means we have to care about these people. Hell, at this point I'd take liking one of them. Right now, as Mo pointed out, the mothers are enabling their daughters bad behavior, so they deserve to suffer for that. Meanwhile, the daughters show no redeeming qualities in this premiere at all so they just come across as horrible people altogether.

The twist on the classic bullying premise is that this is a show about mean girls picking on their nerdy mothers. But since it is largely the fault of the nerdy mothers incessant need to be liked -- which means they've never properly disciplined their daughters -- that these girls are mean in the first place. So unlike the basic premise this is based on, where it's nerdy classmates getting picked on, it's hard to sympathize too much with these mothers.

But it doesn't have to be that way. The show needs to continue this week's thread of these mothers stepping up as parents and giving their children the discipline they need (maybe follow through with it next time). It may not be as "funny" as watching them get bested by their daughters every week, but it will give us something to root for.

We can then back the moms growing spines and being the parents they should have been all along. And maybe the daughters can learn to appreciate their mothers for who they are and become positive young women and we'll stop despising them.

As it stands right now, we still hate the mean girls but we don't quite like the women who created them either.

Now that you've seen it, what are your thoughts on 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'? Can it ever be a good show?

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