Wednesday, September 3, 2008

90210 and the adoption story line

Yes, I am publicly admitting that not only was I a fan of the show the first time around, I watched the new version last night. And I may even watch it again next week.

But I'm not a TV critic so that is not what I'm writing about today. I knew going into watching the show that there was an adoption story line. One of the main characters, Dixon, is a 16 year old trans-racial adoptee. We found out last night that he joined the family 8 years ago. So far there hasn't been any mention of why he as adopted at 8 years old, or what was going on in his life before that. I have no doubt that the writers will get to that eventually.

The twist last night was the second adoption story line. Turns out that Dixon's adoptive father, the school Principle Harry Wilson, fathered a child as a teen. His ex-girlfriend confronts him, telling him that she never did have that abortion, she actually went away to give birth to their son and place him for adoption, instead of spending the year in Europe like he had been led to believe. This all makes for an interesting story line, one that is fairly realistic and not always covered from a birth father's point of view by the media. The part that really rotted my socks though was when Harry was lying in bed with his wife talking about what to do next. He says "as an adoptive father I have to wonder if I would want Dixon's birth parents around, and the answer is no." (paraphrasing here). NICE..... As an adoptive parent my thoughts were "way to go ass-hat..... make open adoption the big bad scary thing of made for TV movies why don't you." and the adoptee in me thought "and why the HELL not? They are his parents too!!! why are you so insecure that you can't let you son have ALL his family around him?"

I realize that TV shows are written to the level of the lowest common denominator, and that they are written to be sensational so that they sell. This is not a documentary on ethical adoption, it is a Prime time drama. But just once I wish that there could be a positive open adoption story put out there for people to see.


Lori said...

"TV shows are written to the level of the lowest common denominator..."

And what a perfect example.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

(I, too, loved 90210 the first time around. But I missed #2 it last night.)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if that comment would have made more sense if the audience knew more about the character's past. Was he abused or something like that?

Anonymous said...

wow, I'm glad I read this so that i could be prepared for that story line as I head off to watch it on my parents DVR.

I'll have to watch to see how I feel in the moment of that comment - the thing that strikes me as not surprising is that I think while it's not pretty and it's not what I want to hear, what the bdad/adad (I forget the name) said is probably a very true statement for a LOT of people.

Perhaps (and this is really just a dream here) the show can take that negative perspective that he has and work through it to show why knowing his sons bdad would be a POSITIVE thing. Maybe this can end as a positive OA story while showing the things that a dad (or Mom) does have to work through in OA?

I'm just hoping though, cause I really don't want to be mad at 90210....

(I was way obsessed with the Original 90210 and have been salivating for this one - if only because of the returning characters - including I hear a cameo by dylan mckay!)

Heather said...

I missed the premiere, but have it set to TiVo tonight in its encore airing. I too loved and watched the show the first time around, and have been interested to see the new one, partially because the kid that plays the adoptee was totally awesome on The Wire.

Thanks for the head's up, now if/when I do watch it, I will know better than to have throwable things in arm's reach so my TV will stay whole!

Kay Bratt said...

I like thanksgiving mom's prediction...that they will twist it back to a good storyline and an ending that is inspiring for adoption parents and adoptees everywhere.


tammy said...

You bring up a good point with the adoptive/adoptee point of view.

I am sort of a conundrum. I am an adoptee that has found my birth family and have a beautiful relationship with them.

Although DH and I have not discounted adoption as a way to have a family, I am leery of it due to my own issues growing up. Also, I am not the type of person who would ever even consider open adoption. I do not want to share parenting. I do not want the constant reminder of the reason we adopted always in my face. I do not want to feel like I am just a second best substitute to the birth mother.

That being said, if the child wants to get in touch with his/her parents/family after they become an adult, I think that is great but I want their childhood to myself. I know this sounds so selfish but I know my limitations.

I hope I didn’t piss anyone off, I just thought I would give another side of the thought.

luna said...

yes, wouldn't it be nice?

Kristin said...

Its nice that they are talking about adoption but its such a shame they are making it big and scary.

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