OPEN LETTER TO “PARENTHOOD” WRITERS
I was hoping against hope, as I watched your “Small Victories” episode, on 1/8/2013, that you would have the courage to send a novel message to teens: “Think of someone other than yourselves.” But unfortunately, you chose to send the same simple-minded message pretty much everyone else in the entertainment industry sends teens today: “Think only of yourselves.”
Your “Amy-is-pregnant-what-will-she-do?” storyline couldn’t have been any less original, any less creative, any less inspiring than it was: Amy tells Drew she’s pregnant; Amy concludes that keeping her baby will ruin her life; Amy decides to have an abortion; Amy tells Drew he’ll need to pay for the abortion; Drew sobs in his mother’s arms, devastated that he has lost his unborn child and, most likely, his beloved girlfriend.
Imagine the dramatic “mileage” you could have gotten out of writing a story about, let’s say, a pregnant teen who chooses to carry her baby to term, then give it up for adoption.
Indeed, you could have shown Amy dealing with the changes taking place in her body throughout the rest of her pregnancy. You could have shown Drew supporting her decision to give the baby up for adoption, despite the fact that he would like her to keep it. You could have shown the Bravermans drawing close to Drew, helping him get through the pain he’ll inevitably experience when the baby is born, then taken away. You could have shown Amy experiencing her own pain, in the wake of being forever separated from her baby, regardless of the fact that she neither planned nor desired to keep it.
If you’re saying: “That’s far too much to ask of a young girl who’s about to graduate high school and go on to college. You can’t expect young girls to go through nine months of pregnancy only to give their babies away,” I argue that you’re selling teens short—assuming not only that they don’t have what it takes to face the consequences of their actions, but also that they’re not mature enough to look beyond their immediate circumstances and do what would—in the long run--be best for everyone concerned.
Think about it. Had Amy chosen to give the baby up, she could have finished high school and pursued whatever dreams she might have had for the future; the baby would have been raised by two loving, financially-secure parents, in a stable home environment; Drew wouldn’t have had to grieve the death of his child; and the adoptive parents would have received the baby they so desperately desired.
Sadly, instead of taking the time to develop a poignant, meaningful (multi-episode) dramatization of the choices pregnant teens must make, in the wake of discovering they are pregnant, you presented an exceedingly-tacky, thoroughly-predictable “infomercial” for our Nation’s largest, most lucrative abortion provider . . . Did I say that? I meant to say: our Nation's largest, most lucrative “women’s healthcare” provider.
Thankfully, FX’s Justified began its fourth, “sure-to-be-‘smashing’” season on the same night–in the same time slot—that “Small Victories” aired.
Amazing how that worked out, huh?