Occasionally, my lovely first wife and I will come up with silly—yet viable—ideas for television shows. Here’s one of our favorites: Mama’s Stuff.
The premise is very simple: each episode focuses on a family who is stuck trying to decide what to do with Mama’s stuff. See? Great idea—you’ve already tumbled to the possibilities, haven’t you?
Perhaps Mama is deceased. Perhaps she’s alive and downsizing—moving into a smaller house, or into a facility, or in with one of the children.
Perhaps nobody wants Mama’s stuff, or worse, everyone wants it.
Our hosts are comprised of an appraiser, an estate sale planner, and a counselor. You can see the need for the talents of all three, I’m sure.
Is there a Daddy in the picture? Did some of the stuff come from the Other Side of the Family? Are there relatives who want certain pieces retained in the bloodline, so to speak? Did Mama make off with some favored trinket in a previous generation’s episode and now Cousin Sally sees an opportunity to get it back?
Are some siblings simply unaware of the value of some of the stuff? Are some of the siblings… not nice people? Would the stuff clearly be better off in the home of one of the siblings (as opposed to the double-wides of the others)? Are any of the siblings hyper-emotional about Mama’s stuff?
Some episodes could be about the interfamily drama. Others could be about the sadness of a life’s end without any really meaningful artifacts left behind (and by “meaningful” I’m not saying “valuable”). Some episodes might focus on Mama herself; others, on the heirs.
With the richness of personality types (…) available to us in most American families, I think it would be easy to craft a narrative for each episode that would keep viewers coming back. And of course, we’d be providing a service for the nation by holding up these families as models of how to go about dealing with Mama’s stuff.
TLC, you have my email. Let’s do lunch.