Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear Writers of Parenthood,

*Season 2 finale Spoilers below*

I've enjoyed watching your show for two full seasons. Each episode has tugged at my emotions and at times made me both LOL and cry.

Season 2's finale made me cry at least five times.

I commend you on your ability to write such scenes that force me to emote outwardly. I also applaud the actors, but this is more directed to the writers.

Now, I must prepare you for next season. You've set up an adoption scenario with infertile Julia and Joel and you've allowed another family member to become pregnant. There are so many things that you could do with this, but, as most TV shows do, you will handle it incorrectly.

I am asking you to do it realistically. I am asking you to take this opportunity to educate the public.

This means the following will need to happen:

1. Julia and Joel will go through a grueling process of finding an agency or choosing to adopt through the state. If they choose private adoption, they will need to struggle with the choice of domestic or international. They will also need to struggle with the extreme costs of the process (Yeah, she's a lawyer...so what, the costs are outrageous no matter what you do). Then they will need to fill out stacks and stacks of invasive paperwork and go through the home study process to assess how they keep their house and how they discipline their child. At that point, and only after all of that, they should go through the worst of all things adoption: the wait. I think that they should not bring a baby home with them until at least Season 4 if not 5.

2. Julia is close with her sister-in-law, Kristina. Well, I believe Kristina's pregnancy should cause some distance between them. Kristina is now onto her third child and Julia has struggled to have her second and cannot. This is a major source of tension and should be portrayed as such. (I should know, I am experiencing this right now in my family.) Julia should often remain away from baby-related functions and have awkward interactions trying to avoid contact with Kristina and her growing belly. Julia is going to be happy for her sister-in-law, but the pain and jealousy- warranted or not- will cause internal and external strife to her character.

3. Don't forget Joel! He is experiencing a loss here as well. Show the man's side of things. Allow him to get frustrated and angry and sad at whatever part of the process. There are so many issues and worries during the process of adoption. It is hard for a man to comfort his wife AND be allowed to have his own feelings. I can't stress enough how important it is to show that he is grieving too; he is most likely feeling resentment whether he wants to or not.

4. Don't go the usual route and devote only one season to the adoption process. It is far longer than one season in reality. Portray it as it is, not as it is convenient. There is NOTHING about adoption that is convenient.

I am loyal to your show. I enjoy every episode. I love the family dynamics.

Please consider using reality to push this storyline forward, as slow as it might be. I can only suspend my disbelief so much before I get fed up with a show. Adoption is close to my heart and it frustrates me how incorrectly the process is portrayed on TV. (I submit the example of Season 1 of Glee where one character decided she wanted to adopt Quinn's baby and just showed up at the hospital and took it home. That just pissed me off.)

Make it real. Educate.




Anonymous said...

So true! I don't watch the show, but it pisses me off when writers don't even do a little bit of research on these storylines. And then I get so excited when I see the few that get it right. :)

Take care!

Kristin said...

Agreed!!!!! I thought all of these things while I was watching the finale. I really hope they do this right or they may be losing this waiting family!

Suzanne said...

Great feedback ... I hope they take this to heart. :)

tchirocat said...

Love what you had to say! So true. They need to talk to many, many couples going through invertility and then even more who are going through adoption before they write the next season of the show.

Thanks for voicing this to the show!

Toni said...

You left out the part about the birth family of the child they hope to adopt. How the waiting for the child to be born and choosing to say good-bye will be AWFUL for them. Show how and why the birth mother is put in a position where she feels she cannot keep and raise her child. If they show an international adoption be sure to include the culture of the country the child is coming from and how in most cases it discriminates against unwed moms...
And yes, I'm an adoptive mother of 2 kiddos. But there is more than just the "heart ache" of the infertile couple to this story...

Sasha & Sarah said...

Agree. Agree. AGREE! On all points made here. I remember watching the season finale, turning to my husband and saying, "oh my gosh honey!" We were only beginning our adoption journe at that time and I thought, "they better get this right. they'll never show it like it really is." But hoping they do. Both for the adoptive couple and the birthparents alike.