06/04/2012 09:59 am ET

In the Disability, Stress the Ability

"Push Girls," a reality show about five attractive women in wheelchairs, is likely to engender a number of reactions in viewers, not all of them helpful to the cause of illuminating the lives of people with disabilities. From the premiere, showing Monday night on the Sundance Channel, it's not entirely clear which of those reactions the series's creators are going for. But the intent seems to be good, and if they can find the elusive line between voyeuristic and didactic, the show could become something of a milestone for a lot of people who have felt invisible for a long time.

In the first episode we meet four Los Angeles friends - Angela Rockwood, Auti Angel and Tiphany Adams, who were paralyzed in car accidents, and Mia Schaikewitz, whose paralysis resulted from a medical condition. (Chelsie Hill, who was also injured in a car accident, will be added to the group later.) The "push" in the show's title doesn’t refer to assistance these women need to get around. It’s push as in boundary pushing.

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