Unexpected

So there’s this woman who has had two men in her life – one down-to-earth, one with Peter Pan syndrome – but neither knows about the pregnancy, about the daughter. Then suddenly the daughter is in the hands of the court, and the lady judge decides that she should be placed in an unusual family structure, giving custody to two people whose history does not make them friends, but they choose to care for the girl. They adjust their life – and the apartment above the spot where the locals go for something to drink and maybe a spot to eat – to accommodate her.

That’s right. The CW is remaking My Two Dads.

Oh, okay. That’s cheap (but fun to do!) Life Unexpected is different from that sitcom (which has, by the way, become ever more relevant over the years; it may have been fluff, but same-sex parenting is clearly more of a visible situation now than then). In this case, there is no question of the parentage of the kid (at least not yet), and the two people who are to take care of her are her biological parents, one o fwhom didn’t know she existed and the other of whom gave her up for adoption at birth. It’s actually a reasonable structure for a drama, leading to questions of what makes a series, to quetions of trust, to questions of cooperation. Complicating matters is that the mother is engaged. Properly, that would be a longer-term complication, as she starts to build a family that may pull her away from her boyfriend. Unfortunately, they choose to go for the immediate cheap unreal complication, having her sleep with the ex-boyfriend on the first episode, a move that slides this drama over into the “showy” drama category rather than the “realistic” category.  Which is a shame, because this is not a story that supports a guilty pleasure sitcom, and that clearly is not their goal, so all they’re left with is cheapened character relationships.

It’s all okay overall. There’s nothing immediately great about it, but it’s the sort of show where setting up and finding the direction it’s going in will take a few episodes. And I may give it to them, because of the personal connection I feel with this show (the pilot of which can currently be watched here). No, I didn’t knock anyone up in high school, but like the lead male here, I bear the name “Nathaniel”.

(Oddly enough, I felt a personal connection to My Two Dads as well, back in the day, although for different reasons.)

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Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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