Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Parenthood (the t.v. show) and Sex

The message boards are going crazy. The feedback from last night’s episode of Parenthood is overwhelming. As you all know, I am a huge fan of Parenthood. It’s rare that I look forward to watching anything on television (with the exception of Seinfeld reruns) but Parenthood has my heart. It’s a honest, gripping show that has had me from the very first episode. Last night’s show was no exception.

The show has characters who are alcoholics in recovery, who are homeless, a family who’s child has Aspberger’s syndrome, a marriage of over 40 years that is hanging on despite past infidelity. Last night, one of the main couples, married with one child, are shown struggling with trying to conceive. It begins with them in bed, in the morning, passionately kissing. He is shirtless, but under covers, and she is dressed. He wants to have sex, and she keeps telling him “two more days” and something to the effect of saving the good stuff for making a baby. In the end she sort of pushes him off her, playfully, telling him that they have to wait two more day for when she is ovulating. This story is common to couples who are trying to conceive. Two days later, she finds out that she is ovulating (while at her brother’s son’s birthday party) and they decide to take it upstairs to have sex in the bathroom. Also, not uncommon in a relationship. Her brother’s wife walks in on them and, for a split second, you see the woman’s bare legs (just from the knees-ish down) wrapped around her husband. That’s it.

A the end of the show, one of the characters, Crosby, is shown kissing a girl, and it’s very dark, but you can see she is taking his shirt off, and then he’s taking hers off. It’s very dark and the scene is barely visible. You do see their legs in the mirror as they lay down, feet intertwined. It is sexy, for sure.

Well, this has people going crazy, wondering why all the sex in this episode. Are you serious?

First off, this all happens after 10 p.m. during adult t.v. viewing time. Second, we live in a society where violence is everywhere, on television, in video games, on the news. And sex? Sex is all over marketing and television shows, way more than the teensy clips shown on Parenthood last night. The Victoria’s Secret runway show, kids’ shows like Degrassi, teen shows like Skins. And what about The Bachelor? My God! One man, and what, 20 women vying for his affection? What kind of message is that sending, America? One man, kissing, touching, dating a slew of women, then eliminating them one by one? That’s a problem to me, not the few seconds of implied sex on Parenthood.

Sex happens. It’s how we all got here in the first place. In today’s society, I am floored that people took issue with the sex in this show. Sex is a fact of life, and it’s also a very important part of relationships. Should we just completely ignore it in television shows like Parenthood that depict every other aspect of life, relationships and the ins and outs of it all?

I applaud Parenthood for keeping it real. And frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more sex on the show, either.


  1. I think the point that you seem to be missing about why some of us think it is getting a little old is this: yes, sex IS everywhere NOW, and as a 33 year old mom who loves my husband dearly, thinks he's hot, loves having sex with him, and in new and interesting places, I still don't think it SHOULD be everywhere. Plain and simple. I thought Parenthood would be different, but it's not, and to those of us who did think it would be different, we're disappointed, that's all. I think the part that is more humorous than us thinking they crossed the line are the number of people suggesting we go masturbate to make it all better. Clearly, your side is much more logical than ours.

  2. I don't understand what you are saying about masturbation. Honestly, help me understand.

    And while I don't think it should be everywhere, I think that a show that deals honestly with parenthood needs to include the sexual aspect as well. At 41, and having been married, I do know that sex does affect the relationship. Why is it that everyone's okay with Zeke's cheating being discussed, and with Adam being slipped an edible, and the alcoholic in recovery story line, and the homeless shelter, and Maddie moving out, and all that, but it's not okay to show a couple of seconds of sex? There was no nudity, and it wasn't graphic. I really don't get it.

  3. In an age where sex is seen as something that you do, anytime, any place, I for one appreciate a show that shows that it's ok to be intimate with your husband and not with anyone. That there are consequences for your actions and that your actions will affect everyone you associate with or care about. The show is keeping it real and if you can't see that or appreciate it then perhaps you should turn off your TV and go to bed! Don't rain on the parade of those of us that are ADULT enough to deal with it.

  4. Soooo true. We are adults, and we have the opportunity to watch what we want to watch. I love that the show is raw and honest, and part of that included the intimacy between two couples. Thank you for reminding me that this show keeps sex in the context of relationships and consequences and is not used merely to get people to watch. Such a great point.

  5. I really do hate that we think 'The Batchelor' is okay to show in TV. In real life when is it ever okay for someone to have sex or even just makeout with 20 people in the same week before he chooses one to marry him? So grose.

  6. I agree. I think the Bachelor is trash. It is degrading to relationships, to monogamy, and to women. Making out with random girls, in the same day/week, going in the jacuzzi, having girls compete for the same man (who they don't even KNOW) and live under the same roof is just hitting rock bottom. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Parenthood is a great show. I can't believe peole are freaking out over the last episode, I thought it was one of best ones so far. Tv has really sucked for a long time and now we finally have a good show that keeps people interested and excited for the next episode.. But of course some have to complain and try and ruin a good show. Geez people lighten up already...

  8. I know! I mean, I have always loved every show, but this was especially good. I love that there was playful banter between Joel and his wife, and loved seeing Crosby getting sexy with Gaby. That was such great stuff. The whole show was just amazing. Keep it up, Parenthood.

    And thank you for posting!

  9. I really love Parenthood and look forward to it every week! I did notice that sex was everywhere in this last episode, but it didn't bother me at all. I think it's great that they show MARRIED people having sex, as opposed to all the random hook-ups on TV. I saw the thing with Crosby and Gaby a mile away. I think it was very realistic. He'd been feeling emasculated by his fiancee, they have a nasty fight, here comes the P.Y.T (pretty young thing) batting her big beautiful eyes acting completely opposite of the domineering girlfriend. Of course it went there! And how else to prove that it went there than to SHOW it? I thought the episode was great (though I secretly wish for Jasmine and Cros to find their way back to each other).
    As for Bachelor (and other looking for love shows of it's ilk), I thought I was in the minority in thinking that it is gross and sends the wrong message to our young guys and girls. The thought of 20 or so women competing for the 'affections' of one man while living in the same house? Please. Isn't that what's called a harem? Is this what it's come to?
    Anyway, great post.

  10. First time reading your blog...and I agree with everything you said! People need to lighten up sometimes. The show is called Parenthood. How do you think they became parents? By having sex! Plus, just because children are in the show doesn't mean it's a kids show so since this show isn't marketed towards kids, maybe they shouldn't be watching it. Love it!

  11. @AfroMartha:

    It was a sexpisode for sure, but each week there is a theme, right? I agree that showing married people having sex is always a good thing, and I agree that the Gaby Crosby experience has been a long time coming. What I liked about it is that it showed his human side, and that sometimes people make very big mistakes when their hearts are broken. I think that when we are in long term relationships, we can start to take each other for granted, and Crosby and Gaby's moment can help remind couples to pay attention to one another to prevent this sort of separation from occurring (not to mention that it was hot). Being in a long-term, monogamous relationship, I am rooting for Jasmine and Crosby to work it out, but I definitely think he needs some love and Jasmine needs to soften a bit.

    Now, the Bachelor. UGH! I cannot STAND that show. It teaches that love is a competition, not a feeling or a process, and that we win love, or buy it with sex, which is completely untrue. Love doesn't work that way. Relationships are complicated enough, one on one. But with 20 to 1 odds, that's just absurd, and physically, it's dirty. Who wants to kiss a guy who's kissed woman after woman? And where is his heart? Anyone who expects to meet someone in a crop of contenders and find a spouse, well, I just don't get it.

    Thank you for your comments xox