Thursday, February 16, 2012

Adoption, fathers and network TV

Perhaps it's just my own perspective on adoption...the bias of my lens. But I think that network television is taking a chance on adoption-related themes. Glee's first season had Quinn as a pregnant teenager who decided to make an adoption plan for her baby. And after almost a whole season of not addressing the issue, Glee has decided to pick it up again - giving us insights into Quinn as a birth mother and Shelby as the adoptive mother.

Another case in point: I just finished watching the newest episode of Body of Proof. I tend to like the forensic-mysteries, like CSI...and Body of Proof is set in Philadelphia - so I get to feel nostalgic in addition to solving mysteries. What could be better?

What's better is that this episode had TWO points of resonance for me in its plot. The first one is that Peter Dunlop (the show's medicolegal investigator...what a mouthful!) decides to make contact with his birth father. When Megan Hunt (medical examiner and lead character of the show), notices something "off" about him, he tells her that he's contacted his birth father. Their dialog goes something like this:
Peter: I met my birth father...but it was a very bad idea.
Megan:Why? What happened?
Peter: Long story short, it just wasn't the happy ending I'd hoped for.
Megan: Well, at least you know the truth and, believe me, that's...much better than not knowing.
Peter: Why does it feel like I made a huge mistake?
Megan: Because you did something really hard.  That doesn't make it a mistake.
I love how Megan understands Peter - it IS something really hard. It took a lot of courage for Peter to pick up the phone, call, and actually show up to the meeting with his birth father.

The second point of resonance is at the end of the show. Megan recollects the last moments spent with her own father. She says that every time she hears a song on the radio, it brings her back to the time she was 12 and spending a great day with her mom and dad. For a long time she was unable to listen to the song for the pain it caused her. "(But) You know," she says, "I would never want to forget that pain. It makes me who I am, you know? I can't imagine losing that."

As someone who lost their father 13 year ago...yes, Megan Hunt, I know exactly what you mean. That pain has made me who I am today. I am actually grateful for it. And I'm grateful that network TV is not afraid to take on more adoption themes in their programming.


shannon said...

I don't know exactly why, but adoption seems to be a prominent theme in books, movies, tv, etc.

JBH said...

Agreed, Shannon. And, I'm streaming an earlier episode of Hot in Cleveland...and Jane Leeves character is a birth mother!