Pregnancy on TV

Posted Mar 15 2012, 8:29 am in , , , , , , ,

It’s Thursday and I’m back to talking TV. I had some things I was going to write about, but then I watched this week’s episode of Southland. I really like this show because it does so many things right.

But this episode really ticked me off.


Detective Lydia Adams (played by Regina King) is one of my favorite characters. She’s a homicide detective. This season, she found out she’s pregnant. The father is a married man. That isn’t the part that really bothers me because although I hate the idea of infidelity, shit happens. This is some stupid shit, but everyone screws up.

Lydia struggles with the whole idea of being pregnant. She doesn’t know if she wants to have the baby at first, so she hides the pregnancy from everyone, including her partner. Then, after getting hurt on the job, her doctor advises her to get off the street. I understand her hesitation because she’s worked hard to get where she is, and she doesn’t want to step back. But after getting hurt, it seems like she’s decided to have and keep the baby. This might be her only shot at motherhood — she’s not really young anymore and she’s had few relationships.

Even after making this decision, she continues to hide the pregnancy. She outright lies to her partner about it when he asks.

I find this really bothersome. When you’re pregnant, your first job is to protect the baby. Lydia continues to put herself and her baby in jeopardy.

But this week took the cake. She’s going after a murderer in a cramped abandoned building. Does she let her partner push the door open and go first? No. Of course not. She’s the senior officer after all.

To make matters worse, a guy runs out the front door and her partner yells, “We have a runner!” and then takes off with the two uniforms after the runner. What the hell kind of partner is he that he leaves Lydia alone? And he knows she’s pregnant. Even if she doesn’t admit it, he knows.

Does his absence make Lydia stop? Hell, no. She pushes through the door and gets attacked yet again. The gang banger is on top of her and trying to stab her through her bullet-proof vest. Fortunately, her partner does come back in time to save her, but all I’m thinking is WTF?

Lydia finally tells her partner to go on without her and admits she’s pregnant. At the end of the episode, Lydia’s at the doctor and her belly’s been punctured, but we don’t know the extent of the damage.

I think this portrayal is kind of like the discussion earlier in the week about annoying character traits in heroines. The kickass heroine was mentioned by a couple of people and I think Lydia falls into this category. I have nothing against a woman choosing to be a cop or anything else, but that being said, things do and should change if you’re pregnant. It no longer makes sense to try to do it all.

Lydia is not the only character that acts this way, although I think she pushed it way too far. Mary Shannon on In Plain Sight fought constantly about being put on desk duty. She’s a U.S. Marshall working in the Witness Protection Program. Temperance Brennan from Bones is working through her pregnancy, but she has two things going for her: 1. She doesn’t overdo it and 2. Booth is always there. 🙂

Who is your favorite pregnant character? Or who do you dislike the most?



4 responses to “Pregnancy on TV”

  1. You nailed one of my favorite pregnant series stars with Temperance. She’s so dang analytical about everything. It’s a hoot to witness her deal with the reality and non-analytical reality of pregnancy. Her relationship with Booth? They took long enough making that happen.

    I didn’t watch Southland this week, but I do love it. My former cop husband says it’s the most realistic cop show he’s seen. However, from your description, it appears the scene in question would have generated one of those “C’mon. Really? Leave your partner alone?” I suspect he forgave them that miscue because he’s seen so many.

    He told a story last night about two officers in a high-speed chase when he was the Captain of patrol. They shot out one of his tires, but he kept going. Thinking they could block him in, One went around the right. The other around the left. The perp did a quick spin maneuver, escaped and sent the two patrol cars into a head on collision. Totaled both cars, but the officers escaped unscathed. Physically, anyway.

    • I love Bones and Booth and they way they’ve approached the whole pregnancy. I can’t wait for it to come back on.

      Your husband’s story sounds like it came straight from TV. I never think about real life happening that way. Thanks

  2. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to see much of pregnant Bones…the season has been so hit or miss this year as to whether or not a new episode airs. I can’t wait for Bones to return AND I respect very much what the network has allowed Emily to do — take as much maternity leave as necessary.

    Did the cop on Southland lose the baby? My money is on she loses the baby….it’s such a dark show.

    • The episode left us hanging, but I don’t think she loses the baby. I saw the synopsis for next week (season finale) and it mentions that Lydia has to decide how to handle her job while being pregnant. It wouldn’t surprise me if she lost it, though, because like you said, the show is pretty dark.