I watch way too much TV. Even now that we’ve gotten rid of our satellite dish and have barely a dozen channels, I probably still watch too much. Two great shows I like both revolve around parents and their children – I know, I know. It probably sounds weird that I would love shows like that, being CF and all. But these two shows are awesome, and I’ll tell you why.
One of my favorite shows is Parenthood, on NBC. My husband and I have watched religiously since the show started last year. (And the show consistently makes my big man of a husband cry, almost every week. But sshhhh, I didn’t tell you that.) I can immediately identify why I personally love this show. I’m amazed, obsessed, and enamored with human relationships. It’s part of my introverted nature, I think. As a writer, it’s human relationships that fascinate me and that drive my stories. I love the emotional drama. Parenthood delivers on this aspect.
The Bravermans are a big family of people with big personalities that sometimes clash, but they always pull together to support each other in the end. They aren’t perfect by a long shot, and their flaws are addressed instead of swept under the rug and ignored. They deal with some difficult and sensitive subjects at times – the struggles of raising a teenage girl in the dating years, a young son with Asperger’s, fertility and adoption struggles, substance abuse, job woes, co-parenting when not married to your child’s other parent, and more. But they handle these issues realistically, and often with well-placed humor. I would’ve loved to have seen a childfree character in the show – I just think it would add an interesting dynamic, and I think the writers would probably handle some of the assumptions about CFers beautifully. But I suppose when the show is called Parenthood, a CF character would be a stretch. I have hope for Amber, though. I could see her making the CF choice in the future.
On the flip side, I’ve really been enjoying another NBC show, Up All Night. This comedy doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and has no trouble poking fun at parents and parenting. Everything from trying to get the spark back after having a baby to trying to maintain your “cool couple” status to playing peek-a-boo the right way. Parents and childfree folks alike can laugh at some of the absurd situations in the show without feeling like either side is judging or being judged. The baby is pretty darn cute, too.
The great thing about both of these shows is that they present various aspects and potential situations relating to parenthood that will make the natalists say, “The things we go through for our kids! But it’s all worth it,” and the childfree say, “Those are the things I don’t want to have to deal with in my life.” But they’re always handled with a level of humor and tenderness that can make both sides feel good and say, “There’s a loving family.”
What are some TV parents that can make you laugh or cry?