Yikes, upon reflection that blog entry title is much dirtier than I’d intended. Hang with me for a moment; this is a pop culture post, not some repressed childhood sexual fantasy. I have a theory to put out there.
I submit that whenever a TV show delves into pregnancy, it’s a “jump the shark” moment, by default. It might not spell imminent creative death, but it does mean the show has to work doubly hard to get back into my good graces.
Evidence? Mulder & Scully’s baby – I don’t think The X-Files ever recovered. I’m working my way through Joss Whedon’s Angel, and just (thankfully) got through the birth of Angel’s child. Even Lost‘s Aaron was a bit of a stretch for me; after the birth and the inevitable montage of strong men smiling tenderly and poignant piano notes accompanying a moment of peace and harmony, it took a while to bring me back from the edge. And it’s the one part of Glee that makes me really uncomfortable.
I suppose this could just be me. I have this problem with pregnancy depicted on TV, in movies, onstage or elsewhere (not sure where else is elsewhere, but you get the point). Perhaps it’s because I haven’t had kids, nor been involved in anyone else’s having of kids. Or maybe because it feels a bit too intimate, too secret, to put out there for the world to see.
Maybe it’s because I know they are acting, and no matter how good the woman is (or man, I suppose; wasn’t Scott Bakula pregnant once in Quantum Leap?), it’s not real. There’s no way it can be. Being pregnant and having a baby is a pretty sacred thing, in my opinion, and I guess it takes me out of the comfort zone of storytelling. I like my stories pretend, so I can imagine the world they take place in, and enjoy knowing that the actors are creating them with as much authenticity as they can, even when the stories are a mite far-fetched. Making a character have a baby brings that storytelling world crashing to reality.
What do you think? Are there examples of shows that had a baby and did it well? Or am I on to something here?