Why Can’t We Have a Normal Family on Television?

Photo courtesy of ten.com.au

I don’t watch Offspring but it has been all over social media this week and today has been a real mine field for us non-Offspring viewers.

My wife watches it (what’s the opposite to religiously?) sometimes but tonight I knew that she’d be swept up in the drama that is a death of a main character.

Now I don’t know what the actor playing the character who died is up to now. I don’t know if he has a better offer, a chance to break it in Hollywood, or something even bigger (what’s bigger than Hollywood; Bollywood perhaps?) but I wonder if it was his decision to leave the show or the writers and producers looking at who the viewers are (women) and saying “we need to kill off this father-to-be and create Nina as a good strong female character.”

She could have dealt with the same crap my wife went through with our first. She could have had troubles breastfeeding, or getting the baby to sleep. That. Is. Drama. That is real life. And isn’t that what modern television shows are trying to portray?

I don’t know. We try so very hard to keep families together. We try very hard to say “it is better as a team rather than on your own,” but when a television character is lifted up on a pedestal like this to be a great single mother (yes, I’ve skipped ahead and worked out where they are going with this) then what we are selling to those who are second guessing their own relationship, those who are easily influenced and want to be “just like Nina” then we are paving the way for more breakdowns in relationships, and when kids are involved, to me, that is shit.

Okay, I know this guy has died. I know it is not a choice made by this mother-to-be to be a single-mother-to-be but she will be the poster girl for the single mothers out there now and they are selling this like it is a product, and there are plenty out there who will buy it.

Look, tell me to shut up if I’m wrong. Tell me it is just a television show. It is, I know that. But then turn to Twitter and see what they are saying. Most people hate this – I’ll get onto that in a second – but soon the fact that the father-to-be has died will pass and the dust will settle and all we will remember is Nina is one tough mutha mother.

And as I said above, most of the tweets tonight are from people women who hate that they have killed of this character. Sadly, for Channel Ten, I think that the demographic they were looking at aiming this strong female character and her single-motherdom (sic) at, those women who follow Mia Freedman’s Mamamia and her cohorts of neofeminist writers – and I am NOT using that in the pejorative sense – aren’t appreciative of the fact that he’s gone. And maybe it is because they are all feeling the same as what I am feeling. Maybe they are wishing that Nina and Patrick and the little baby could shine a beautiful light on what a happy family can look like in an otherwise dark and dingy setting that is television drama.

I’m happy that I’ve given up watching television and replaced it with the real life drama that is shared by other bloggers, but mostly those who are telling those stories with a touch of humility that only a real person who has gone through the situation can. But you know what? Most of these people show a real strength and often add a touch of humour that gives hope to their readers.

Again, I don’t know, it’s late, I have bloodshot eyes from too many late nights writing and too many early mornings with our youngest yelling out to me (rarely Mummy, 99% of the time it is me). So I am now just rambling. And I need to go to bed. I really don’t want to be so tired that I walk in front of a car.

We don’t need THAT drama in this household….

4 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Have a Normal Family on Television?

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