TLC’s ‘MILF Manor’: Atlanta’s Shannan Diggs takes surprise twist in stride

You can’t expect a show with the title “MILF Manor” to be without controversy. It’s baked into its premise.

The initial selling point was already eyebrow-raising: eight women, ages 40 to 59, seeking romance with men in their 20s at a fancy resort in La Paz, Mexico.

But during the first episode that aired this past Sunday and now available on Discovery+, the producers gave the women a shock: the men aren’t just dudes plucked from “The Bachelor” pool. Nope, these are their adult sons!

So now the women and men try to romance each other while their family members are very very close by. It adds a seriously queasy element to the entire premise. Naturally, some of the sons quickly get very judgmental about their mom’s choices of men.

While some of the women are magnets to the camera and are not shy about showing off their sex drive and their assets, Atlanta event planner Shannan Diggs, 51, seems comparably low key and rational.

Her 30-year-old son Ryan, a social media marketer and musician, also emotes a studied cool and is the oldest of the men in the opening episode.

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

We talked to Diggs about the experience. Here is a biographical sketch of who she is:

Shannan Diggs

Age: 51

City of residence: Smyrna

Job: Event planner for a health-care company

Marital status: Single after a second divorce in 2020. Was married a combined 18 years over two marriages

Her overall take of the show “This was quite eye opening ― not in a bad way. It’s definitely not the vacation that you think. It’s a lot of work.”

Her take on the “family” twist: “I was okay with it. My son could vet dates for me and I’d vet dates for him. We do that even outside the reality show. My son wants to see me happy. I definitely want to see him happy. He has dated older women before. He’s very mature and charming, the types of things that would attract older women.”

The show’s name: “That was probably the only thing that gave me anxiety was the name of the show. I just changed the acronym when I had to explain it to a 12-year-old niece. I said it’s a mother who loves you forever.”

How she heard about the show: “A family member passed me info about the show. I considered it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m at a stage in life to explore everything life has to offer me.”

Why she did this: “I’ve been in the event world for so long. I’m an extrovert. I can talk to anybody. If you think about it with online dating and all the apps we have, dating has evolved. Why not add another idea to the pot?”

Her youthful visage: “People are shocked when they find out I’m 51. I pride myself in taking care of my temple and I appreciate the compliments. I have had no work done though I’m not opposed to it.”

How she got into younger men: She was having dinner with girlfriends when a 27-year-old man approached her thinking she was much younger. He thought she was 38. “He was very persistent and well established for his age,” she said. They dated for a few months but she broke it off. “His age wasn’t my focus,” she said. “He was very fit and active. I’m also active. I like to dance and roller skate. I didn’t continue because he was looking for a more serious relationship. It had nothing to do with age.”

On how she was portrayed in the first episode: “I was sitting there watching it with several friends and family members, my dad included. And I was like, “Phew! This is something my dad could watch.’”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On Kelle, the most rambunctious of the women in the first episode: “I respect Kelle for who she is. She is a wildfire. She is unapologetically herself. She will let you know out of the gate that she wants to have fun. I don’t have that level of energy. She has turned it up a few notches.”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On April Marie: “We’re both African American women. We’re both event planners: We’re both from Detroit. It was wild... She wants things a certain way. She’s very direct.”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On April Jayne: “She’s like a Woodstock flower child, a sweetheart. Full of love and positivity. I don’t think I heard a negative comment from her ever.”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On Charlene: “She lost her daughter. We were there for her. She thought this was something her daughter wanted her to do. I hope it helped her in the healing process.”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On Pola: “The most fit person I’ve ever met. Spanish is her first language. She’d go back and forth between English and Spanish. Kelle didn’t like it per se but I didn’t mind it.”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On SoYoung: “She was a pleasant surprise. You don’t meet that many Southern Koreans. She has this New Orleans twang but also a Korean accent. She is so teeny but mighty. Her strength is amazing. She knows what she wants.”

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

On Stefanie: “I think she’s like a chameleon. You might see one thing, then she can adapt to other environments.”

ON TV

“MILF Manor,” 10 p.m. Sundays on TLC, also available on Discovery+