In Briefs: A Baby Story

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: There are nine hundred giant flat-screen televisions at my gym, and most of them seem to be on TLC. Can anyone explain to me the appeal of shows that follow a couple through their pregnancy to the birth of their baby and then the first few weeks after that? It’s like a boring home movie of someone I don’t know. What the helly hell?

CHRIS PUMMER: Been there. Done that shit. Twice now. I’m finished with it now, thanks.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I just don’t understand why it’s ok for shows like that to be on daytime television. I was at the gym the other day and on one of the giant flatscreens right in front of me a random woman was crouched down in a tub having a baby. I wanted to throw a towel over my head. I’m just there to use the elliptical machine, damn it. Why do I have to watch something like that? Who would want to watch that except MAYBE that couple, MAYBE? And then after the birth, there’s always endless footage of the new baby, which, yes, is exciting, to those parents and their family and friends.

I love babies, and I’m thrilled for people’s pregnancies– when they’re people I know. I don’t understand the appeal of learning about the pregnancy and family life of some random couple. Is it just that those shows are cheap to make, since there’s apparently an endless supply of people who for whatever reason feel that their personal lives should be televised? And why does a pregnant couple want cameras filming them during every doctor’s visit and every 3am feeding? Why the hell would you want a cameraperson filming your earliest and most intimate moments with your new child?

Just, WTF.

EMILY SAIDEL: Did you ask the gym to change the channel? I feel like that would be an easy solution.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Who’s going to change the channel in my nightmares???

HOWARD MEGDAL: I found it vaguely interesting, during the time my wife was pregnant, how people responded to pretty extreme moments in their lives. But I was quite happy when the urge to watch passed in my wife, post-birth.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Yes, actually my coworker who had a baby last year said that shows like that are like crack for women who are actually pregnant, which I could understand, but that as soon as they’re done being pregnant they lose interest. I guess that’s a big enough demographic, even if a temporary one, for them to keep cranking them out.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Not to mention those who wish to be pregnant, and live vicariously through the stories. That’s got to be a significant demographic, too, and understandably so.
I get the interest. I will never forget this one episode we saw where the doctor was late, and made it clear he couldn’t be less concerned about it- leading to the mom having to deliver, in essence, on her own. It was a real-life version of the Charles Grodin emergency horse surgery scene from Real Life.

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