This week on NBC’s drama Parenthood, main character Kristina Braverman (played by Monica Potter) gave birth. The episode was so exactly a precise enactment of pop culture's "childbirth formula" I wrote about earlier that I was a little creeped out. It also made me think about something else, a trope I’ll call Childbirth as a Male Bonding Experience.
This is a movie. This is television. This is the formula:
Jane is going about her business when her water breaks. The time has come! Ready the troops! Jane calls husband or big sister or mom or best friend. "We’ll meet you at the hospital! Go Go Go!" If husband is present: "Where are the bags?! WE FORGOT TO PACK THE BAGS!"
For this installment of TNL, I've decided to focus on the most beloved new show of the fall season. That's right, Whitney. Since NBC has chosen to give it a full season pickup, I think its time to accept the show is here to stay until May. So before I get to the other recaps from last night, allow me to offer a few suggestions for how to make Whitney worthy of the laughter generated by its studio audience.
I really thought I would like NBC’s new comedy series, Up All Night, which stars Christina Applegate (Reagan Brinkley) and Will Arnett (Chris Brinkley) as a married couple whose fun-filled, alcohol-drenched lives are interrupted by the birth of their daughter Amy. Reagan is the producer of Ava, an Oprah-esque talk show starring her best friend (played by Maya Rudolph), and Chris quits his job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home dad. The premise led me to believe that a nuanced portrayal of the work/life balance might emerge. I also hoped the show might be funny.
Those of you who've seen both AMC's Mad Men and NBC's soon-to-be-cancelledThe Playboy Club have probably noticed a similarity between the two shows. No, it's not the guy on The Playboy Club who's doing his best Don Draper impression, it's Naturi Naughton, America's favorite "chocolate" Playboy bunny (yes, she is referred to as a chocolate bunny in both shows. Ugh).
What time is it? Time to get to the bottom of what happened between Adventure Time's Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen! Before I lose anyone who isn't a fan of this irreverent, Cartoon Network show, a recent episode alluded to a complex, queer relationship between two of the older, female characters on the show. But you know what happens when complex, queer relationships make their way to mainstream television...
Hello, fellow Bitch readers! I’m a freelance journalist, editor, writer, and blogger, and I warmly welcome you to the first post of my guest blog series, Bringing Up Baby, which will explore pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care as represented on television (and, occasionally, in film and the mainstream media). My goal is to introduce babies as an important topic for feminists who are wary of representations of women and gender in the media.
In a kooky coincidence, the phrase "battle royale" was uttered on both Community and Parks and Recreation. In the spirit of the strange competitions exhibited on both shows this week, I'm going to crown one of our NBC comedies the winner of the Thursday Night Battle Royale.
(Spoiler alert: It wasn't the show filmed in front of a live studio audience.)
Like many people in the '90s, I tuned into NBC's enormously popular Thursday night comedy block for Friends, Seinfeld and many other shows in that time slot over the decade. At the time, it was like the TV equivalent of seeing Jurassic Park on opening weekend: It just felt like the thing to do.
Thursday nights on the Peacock Network are a completely different experience today. Unlike their '90s counterparts, Community, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and The Office aren't huge rating successes. (And 30 Rock is currently on hiatus until midseason due to Tina Fey’s maternity leave, replaced by a little show called Whitney. Maybe you’ve heard of it?)