Sunday, March 08, 2009

(Non-)parental advisory

One of our favourite Channel 4 programmes, Shameless, is not officially available over here, but there are ways. The episode synopsis for the last episode we watched kind of gave the game away, and the same theme also seems to be coming up in Big Love (if you aren't up to date on either show, please look away now).

Both shows are featuring miscarriage - what's more, of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy. Now, for a long time, I have noticed that books and movies have been using what I like to call "Pregnancy As Dramatic Device" and possibly more recently (or possibly I have been noticing more) they have started working out that not everyone who gets pregnant actually has a baby, so have been slipping in little miscarriages here and there (in fact, in Shameless, the character hadn't announced a pregnancy on the show yet). Sometimes they warn viewers in the synopsis - but not everyone reads the synopsis.

I think it's time to create a whole new set of advisory/rating labels for films, TV, and books. Perhaps you'd like to borrow them for your blog? I apologise for my lack of artistic ability - if I was any good, I'd have made new labels to fit in with one consistent theme - these are from a variety of countries. But anyway, here's my attempt:

Pregnancy mentioned.

Teenage pregnancy mentioned.

Unwanted pregnancy mentioned.

Unwanted or abused child or children mentioned.

Adoption mentioned, usually with not very much factual background (see: Juno).

After adoption, couple magically become pregnant.

Couple relax, stop trying to get pregnant, and magically become parents.

Couple have been trying to get pregnant for 12 years and magically become pregnant.

Miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss mentioned.

Couple or (more usually) individual with no children is bequeathed children by a friend in their will or becomes responsible for a neighbour's children. Despite having no experience with children and said children having been violently bereaved or neglected the children bond to their new parent immediately and are charming and lovely.

Any more you'd like to add? Do chip in - I have mainly stopped here because I have run out of ideas for the letters I have, but there are several more out there (I can't think what to do with G, for example). You can make up new letters, too, if you like (there is no M in the current UK or US classification, that one is from Australia, and the A and AA are old UK letters).

1 comment:

Coming2Terms said...

These are EXCELLENT! I'd add a large I with an exclamation mark...the I to indicated that infertility is a theme contained in the show and the exclamation mark for indignation because they inevitably get it WRONG.