This post neither expects you to know anything about “Private Practice” nor does it expect you to care about the characters.


In lieu of listening to audiobooks, I am using my smartphone to listen to television shows again. I used to do this pretty regularly, but it’s harder on Android phones than it is on old school Windows Mobile phones.

Right now I am listening to Private Practice, a now-defunct spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m early into the fifth season.

In it are two lovers, Adison and Sam. Adison is getting older, has fertility issues, and wants to have children. Sam doesn’t want them, so Adison is looking at IVF. While considering IVF, Adison is going off her birth control. Due to this, she requests that Sam wears a condom. Sam tries to get out of it. She says “No condom, no sex.”

Other than condom promotion, this whole storyline is bizarre. She wants children, and has given no indication that she wouldn’t be interested in having his children. (She’s not looking for an all-star donor – never mind that even if she were looking for the perfect specimen she could probably not do better than Sam himself.)

I fail to understand how getting pregnant by Sam wouldn’t be almost ideal. Her baby has a great biological father. The father is the guy she wants to spend the rest of her life with anyway, and who if he wanted to whose children she would like to have. The only loser here would be Sam. So the natural plotline here is that Sam takes his chances, and if she did turn up pregnant then it’s Tough Luck Sam.

I can’t figure out if there is something that I am missing here, if condom promotion trumps all, or if writers are so used to the typical contraception storyline (she says where a condom, he doesn’t want to, he eventually does) that they simply couldn’t see that in this storyline it just fit at all.

Category: Theater

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2 Responses to The Plot Is Wrong

  1. Φ says:

    This may not quite be what you mean, but in my old age I am increasingly appalled at how badly written most TV dramas are, even when the plot sounds like it has potential. Three shows I recently checked and gave up on are Almost Human, The Strain, and Tyrant. I couldn’t get past the realization that nobody acts and talks like these characters act and talk. (You can trade away a certain amount of verbal realism for verbal drama, a la Aaron Sorkin, but not for boredom.)

    On the other hand, I’m enjoying Halt and Catch Fire. It’s not Mad Men or Breaking Bad, but at least I don’t feel stupid watching it.

    • trumwill says:

      It is especially tragic when a good premise is ruined by bad writing. Tyrant was on my radar at some point, but fell off before I watched any episodes of it.

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