Three TV Shows Viewed Through the Mom Gaze

It’s no secret I’ve always loved television. Having a baby didn’t change that, but it has changed the way I view certain programs. Here are three of my favorite shows I probably watch a little differently from non-moms. WARNING: This is a self-indulgent post, and it may contain spoilers if you are not caught up on all your Netflix viewing.

1) Gilmore Girls – I’ve always liked how this show depicts the nuances of mother-daughter relationships, but when I watched this show as a new mom, I couldn’t help but wonder how Rory and Lorelei got to this point. No, I don’t mean how did they get to be best friends in the teen years? I mean, how in the world did Lorelei run away from home as a teenager with an infant and get a job that provided room and board with childcare? We’re expected to believe a kindly innkeeper took pity on the girls and let Lorelei live and work at the inn. So what did Lorelei do with the baby while she was cleaning rooms? Was she scrubbing toilets with Rory strapped to her chest in a baby sling? That’s the show I want to see. And would Lorelei know the first thing about housekeeping anyway? She grew up in the privileged household of Emily Gilmore. And was that household really so oppressive that Lorelei couldn’t have waited it out until Rory was old enough to start school? Between her mother and her mother’s staff, Lorelei would have had built-in childcare! I’m normally not a big fan of prequels but if there was ever a show that needed one, this is it.

2) Breaking Bad – Fans of this show love to discuss the morality of Walter White and have different theories about when he becomes the bad guy. Personally, I didn’t like Walt from the beginning when he hides his cancer from his pregnant wife, but at least I kind of understood his motives. For me, his real evil shows up in season two, in the episode in which Walt tells Skylar he’s out buying diapers when actually, he’s at a bar! Skylar is home and miserable with a crying newborn desperately awaiting her husband’s arrival. But there he is having a drink with Jane’s dad. He’s not even doing gangster stuff at this bar. He’s just hanging out! Hey Walt! You know who else might like a beer tonight? The woman who hasn’t had a drink in nine months because of your offspring. That’s who! (I bet Ted would’ve come home with diapers.)

3) The Walking Dead – It’s the zombie apocalypse. You have to suspend some disbelief for this show. But here’s what I don’t get. How on earth is Judith still alive? Her mother dies after childbirth and this infant somehow survives for a year on what appears to be three weeks of formula. Maybe we’re supposed to believe Carl and Michonne ransack a few more drugstores between scenes. Maybe Darrel grounds up some animal he’s killed with his crossbow for baby food. But even if we believe that, there’s still the fact that this is a baby – an unpredictable, noisy ball of need that is going to be a liability in any zombie situation. Then there are the outfits. Yes, Judith’s clothes are dirty and ragged, but how is this child clothed at all? Babies grow a lot during their first year. And don’t even get me started on diapers. I’m not entirely caught up on this show, so if Judith is already dead, naked, or a zombie, don’t tell me.

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