Octomom: "I Am a Competent Mother"
Ready to see Nadya Suleman bowl, fight with her mother, change 700 diapers a week and escape paparazzi in the biggest family van ever?
Thursday night, a one-hour documentary called Octomom: Me and My 14 Kids premieres on British TV's Channel 4; the show will air (retitled My Life As the Octomom) at a later date in the U.S.
In this lively promo clip -- that features Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" playing in the background -- the mother of 14 cheerfully says "sometimes I think God is testing me." She defends herself against her critics, too: "I'm a competent, good mother."
The reel also introduces her nervous lawyer (who worries that her kids will be taken away), her best friend (who wants to hook Suleman up with a man) and her mother Angela ("you need help!" she screams).
In the documentary, Suleman is open about her struggle to bond with each of her octuplets, admitting that "it takes a while . . . I found myself bonding with, like, three or four [more] than the others. It's so hard."
The show's producer and director, Luke Campbell, was surprised by Suleman. "She was completely approachable," Campbell says. "She had a logical sense of the enormity of her situation and the task of raising this gargantuan brood. I admired her tenacity."
But the director-producer admits that Suleman has had her moments, and he worries for the future of her family. "She burst into tears for half an hour mid shoot . . . She means well, but I don't think in the future she's going to be able to really provide the necessary level of monitoring and mothering [that a child needs]."
Shooting for the documentary -- and future installments to air at later dates -- began in April. In a lengthy Nov. 12 profile in the New York Times Magazine, Suleman distinguishes the documentary filming from a Jon and Kate -style reality show. And her kids understand, too, she tells the magazine.
"They're able to conceptualize that, O.K., we don't necessarily want this. But it's controlled," she says of film crews taping them "only for a few days, every six or so months," as the New York Times puts it.
Suleman adds: "You live in my life one day and you'll see, you'll realize: it's ludicrous."