The review ("TV review: Jewish Mum of the Year...The search is on for the paragon of Jewish mums – but they've got eight mothers from hell") explains,
It was never entirely clear if we were being invited to celebrate Jewish mothers in Jewish Mum of the Year (Channel 4) or laugh at them. The official line was that it was a celebration, dreamed up by the editor of the Jewish News to find a standard bearer who could combine the very best of modern and traditional Jewish motherhood and who was, in the words of Professor Dovid Katz, "an emblem of unswerving devotion". But that's to ignore the Jewish sense of humour …Do we hear protests? Anyone? Here is the official TV show web site.
It was also never entirely clear how the programme had picked its eight contestants, though it looked very much as if the producers had gone out of their way to find extreme examples of every Jewish stereotype: the bling princess, the control freak, the ultra orthodox, the smotherer, the delusional, the neurotic. As an advert for most people's idea of a mother from hell it couldn't have been bettered and was undeniably good fun to watch – so long as you weren't one of the eight women, who gave every impression of believing they had entered a serious competition.
The format of the show is that each week the mothers are paired up and given a different task, with two of them being eliminated each week. First up was organising the bar mitzvah for a boy named Ben: "Remember," warned Dovid, "that this is all about Ben." As if. The show would have been dead in the water as entertainment if it had been, but fortunately our eight mums ignored this advice, understanding full well that this occasion was actually all about them and set about trying to outdo one another while appearing to be co-operative...