Friday, January 18, 2013

With "The Bachelor," you get babies

I was watching "The Bachelor" on TV the other night. Is it just me or has it become sleazier than ever? So why am I watching it? But that's not why I bring it up. I noticed that every woman there professes not only to love, love, love the hunky bachelor Sean but to want to have babies with him. He has repeatedly said that he is anxious to "start a family." So it's all happy, right?

But what if he chooses his dream girl and it turns out one or both of them are infertile? No babies. What if she decides she'd rather keep her perfect bikini body and skip baby-making?

This year, the candidates are a diverse lot. Apparently the producers heard the complaints, so now Sean can pick from a smorgasbord of women who are white, black, Asian, Hispanic and even disabled--one girl was born without a left arm. No fat girls, of course, no one who isn't beautiful, and no one who is not gung ho about having children. I bet if one of the girls said, "You know, I really don't want to have children," old Sean would vote her out in a heartbeat.

But it's not a realistic situation, is it? It's the old Cinderella story. She'll marry Prince Charming and they'll have beautiful children together. That's about as real as their big breasts and their claims that they adore this guy they just met when all they really want is to be on TV and maybe get famous.

The night after "The Bachelor," I watched the second-to-last episode of "Private Practice." And what did we see? Babies everywhere. Charlotte gave birth to triplets, Addison's adoption of Henry was finalized, and Amelia announced to the hunky new ER doc that she wants to have his babies. He was fine with that. By the end of that show, I was suffering some serious baby lust which holding the dog did not satisfy.

In the real world, we may be seeing one in five women never having children, but prime time TV rarely reflects that reality.

What do you think?

12 comments:

certainlydifferent said...

I can't watch Private practice for just that reason. Can hardly watch Grey's Anatomy anymore same problem.
ER wasn't like that was it???
Anyways I was watching a documentary from last year about real life princesses from around the world. Only one of them couldn't do her "duty" as princess to produce an heir to the throne (Iranian Princess) and rather than become second fiddle to a second wife who presumably could she chose divorce.

Says alot. TV is about fantasy not reality . Even in documentaries they tow the line to promote "all is well" when it comes to procreation.
and Just had a theory for this... this allows the Fertility doctors and professionals to prey on us who are "less than normal" to get us to spend copious amounts of money to become "normal" like EVERYONE else. and for us to keep doing it a what ever cost. (ahem ... PRIVATE PRACTICE????) anyways :-)

Dave Morgan said...

I think you, and everyone you can convince, should stop spending your preciously short time on this planet watching television.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Certainly, you make a lot of good points. The good news is there's only one episode of Private Practice left. For a long time, it was all about sex, and now, at the end, it's all about babies. Oh well. I don't think ER was so baby-centric. I stopped watching that because it got too violent.
Dave, it's my guilty pleasure. Beats drinkin', doesn't it? However, with so many commercials, I'm usually working or reading half the time anyway.

Dana Lucas said...

Your assessment on the Bachelor is interesting, Sue. I've often wondered if the "contestants" go through physical exams/fertility analysis before being chosen for the show/cast. I do sense that they do interview each young woman (or man in the case of the Bachelorette)in an effort to find like-minded and compatible options for the Bachelor. I do agree, though, that most of them want their 15 minutes (or more) of fame.

I haven't watched the last couple of seasons of Private Practice. I hear your point, though. Rather than have Addison adopt (which is a viable option toward becoming a parent) it would be interesting to see her navigate life as a childless woman. As I recall, they had her in a quandary about remaining in a relationship with a man who did not want anymore children or leaving him and fulfilling her desire to be a mother. I'm guessing she opted for the latter? I wonder how the writers would have portrayed her had she chosen to stay with him and opt out of motherhood. Having you, Sue, n staff (or as a consultant)would certainly have helped a great deal.


Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Hi Dana. We will get together soon, I promise.
I think they do interview the Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants, looking for certain things, but I doubt they go as far as fertility testing. Sometimes I think the whole thing is totally fake. But they do seem to be pushing the baby thing.
With Private Practice, Addison did break up with Sam because he didn't want to have a child with her. Then she went to this handsome fertility doctor, Jake, who failed to get her pregnant, but they fell in love and she adopted Henry, and now Jake and Addison are getting married in next week's episode. It would have been interesting if she had just given up on the baby thing, but it was like she was going to die if she didn't become a mother. Meanwhile, Charlotte, who had always declared she didn't want children, just gave birth to triplets.
Ah, fiction.
Keep the comments coming, friends. We'll get back to real life soon, I promise.

Dana Lucas said...

Holy cow! Triplets? Charlotte? The beautiful chief of staff/sex doc who fears emotional intimacy more than mice fear cats? You said it, Sue, "Ah, fiction."

As I ponder the subject of childless women on fictional TV, I find myself struggling to recall a character that is childless (not "childfree")and moving forward in life WITH some regrets, resentment, and/or grief.

Let's look at Mary on the Mary Tyler Moore show. She was a bit neurotic, but basically content being single and dating wasn't she? I don't recall if babies or marriage were ever a subject on that show. Perhaps, Rhoda was the one interested in marriage. Babies? I guess they didn't exist. But Phyllis, the married, mother of one was aloof as a result (She thought she was "better" than either 2 women). Sue Ann, was a slightly more mature, single, woman who pretended to be a "homemaker" but was anything but. The matters of pregnancy, motherhood, and babies was never discussed were they?

While I admit to being tired and having brain-fog, I doubt that is why I cannot think of a current, fictional TV show that addresses the issue of childless women either. This is VERY interesting, Sue. My guess is that it is either a subject that is overlooked because society has not addressed it, or the subject matter is far too complicated to deal with since it would require a caliber of writing, and acting, that would have to exemplify living an accomplished life without fulfilling what is a primal need for most women. How could they make this "entertaining?"

Like I said in my previous comment, Sue, if it can be done, you would be the one to do it. Perhaps there is some screenwriting in your future???

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

No sceenwriting for me, Dana. I hate to work by committee.
Back in the days of the Mary Tyler Moore show, I don't think they dared write about these things. But childlessness is not often addressed on TV unless it has a happy (baby) ending. Do you remember in "Friends" how Monica broke up with Tom Selleck because he didn't want to have any more children? Eventually she married Chandler, and they proved infertile but wound up adopting. I'm trying to think of others, but I'm stumped right now.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch The Bachelor as I consider the whole idea moronic. Now in reading this, I see I was right, lol.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Hahaha. Good point.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch tv and thankfully, don't know these shows. However, I did watch the "Sex in the City" series years ago. I am not promoting this series, but one of the main characters discovered that she could not bear children, and wanted to more than anything. Her friends did NOT want children and didn't really sympathize with her, and there was yet another character who did have an unwanted kid. It was an interesting dynamic.

As for fertility testing on "the bachelor", I would assume that the bachelor himself would have to be tested, also, if they did that at all.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

You're right, Anon. The ladies on Sex and the City have varying opinions on motherhood. Most weren't interested while Charlotte desperately wanted to be a mom. Ultimately she adopted. I think this was a good mix, representing the real world.
With The Bachelor, I don't know what they do to qualify besides having perfect teeth and big breasts for the women and killer abs for the men. I can't imagine they'd really test their fertility, but this is a crazy world. Anything is possible.

bonner said...

That is SUCH GOOD ADVICE!