Picking at the bloated carcass of geek culture...occasionally!!!

They get so big so fast

In Television on January 20, 2010 at 3:19 am

I wouldn’t say I get a lot of my pop culture knowledge from my mother.  In terms of my enjoyment or criticism of movies, TV, or books, I would not say she has been a huge source of inspiration.  I value her opinion, of course, but our mutual interests tend to diverge greatly.  So why am I even bringing this up?  Well, I have developed a pet peeve for television that my mother instilled in me at an early age.  I didn’t think it was unusual gripe until my wife brought it to my attention.  What is it that drives both my mother and me up the wall when we watch TV?  It’s the portrayal of newborn babies on most television shows.  They are always too big and too old.

I admit, this is not really a huge pop culture topic.  It’s probably of little interest to the most of you, but it was on my mind so I thought I’d bring it up.  It’s just a constant memory of my childhood.  Whenever a sitcom protagonist had to deliver a baby on a stuck elevator, every time a beloved TV dad rushed to the hospital just in time for the birth, or anytime a flustered television made a snarky, sarcastic comment about Lamaze breathing, a baby would follow.  This little spud, if shown on TV, was always way too old.  You’d see mommy holding a 30 inch, 15 pound behemoth of a baby, free from blood or other placental goo, just chilling.  My mother never, ever failed to comment: “That baby is at least 3 months old” or something along those lines.  This is a trait I have inherited.

This is what an average TV newborn looks like.

It’s funny, too, because I’m not particularly interested in babies, TV or otherwise.  I have never been present for a childbirth or have children of my own.  I accept all kinds of ridiculous, unbelievable characteristics in my entertainment media, from ridiculous plot points to pretty terrible science.  So why does the baby thing bother me at all?  Also, what alternative would I prefer?  Real newborns rushed over from a local hospital to appear on an episode of Perfect Strangers, ripped from the arms of a waiting mother so Cousin Larry can have a realistic baby to hold onto (I’m not sure anyone ever really delivered a baby on Perfect Strangers, but with the hacky popularity of that gimmick, I can assume it happened)?  Or how about a realistic doll?  Maybe just a bundle with no baby actually seen?  See, these ideas are no better.  I have no alternative method to suggest.

So, does anyone else have any weird pet peeves with TV that stem back to your childhood.  Or am I the only crazy one.

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  1. I have a similiar Mother-inspired one. This one came from the “coma” staple of TV shows.

    Whenever a character was show to have tragically slipped into a coma, they were always shown in their hospital bed with all the tubes and wires and doo-dads and without fail, my mother would say: “They wouldn’t have pillows under their head…”

    Which means: In order to insert the breathing tube, the patient would need to be flat on their back with their neck straight. No pillows.

    It has stuck with me to this day… which may be a comment on the proliferation and popularity of night-time soap operas like Dallas or Dynasty, etc. during the 80s. Somebody was slipping into a coma every week on those shows.

    Also, (and this is probably noticeable in New York based TV shows for all you New Yorkers) but I hate when a character is driving in L.A. and in the background they are either. A. Driving a route where the streets aren’t connected to each other (like Hollywood Blvd and the downtown tunnel) or B. Clearly driving back and forth up and down the same street. (Oh look… the In and Out Burger… again.)

  2. television and movies know that babies are boring….depending on a tiny new humans involvement with the plot, you can be sure that they will age those young’ns up quick. Like, gross screaming slimy newborn? nope, here is a clean marginally more well behaved baby….like say…alura dannon on willow…OR like….take family ties….meredith baxter squirted out another kid in the later seasons and he was a floppy haired kindergartener before you knew it!
    And lets not forget any children in popular superhero comics. It is a practical guarantee that any one of scott summers’ kids will reach middle age before him….

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