A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this comedy about new and impending parenthood isn't intended for kids. Topics include adult-oriented issues like parental identity and responsibility, as well as sexual fulfillment in a relationship, birth control, childbirth, and breastfeeding. While no actual sex is shown, there are references to things like oral sex and premature ejaculation. Many jokes are heavy with sexual innuendo, and there's frank talk about what pregnancy and breastfeeding does to a woman's body. Jokes are made at the expense of traditional mothers, while the main couple wrestles with -- and seems likely to succumb to -- traditional ideals.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY takes a comedic look at the challenges and surprises of pregnancy and childrearing. Narrated by the sarcastic and pleasantly charming Andrew (Peter Cambor) -- who's looking forward to being a daddy but is nervous about his increased responsibility -- the show focuses not only on the personal experiences of Andrew and his wife Lauren (Jennifer Westfeldt), but also on their relationships with those around them. Lauren is caught between two good friends as she navigates the path toward parenthood. Julie (Melanie Paxson), has embraced the mommy life whole hog, while Cooper (Rachael Harris) is a cynical divorce attorney who fights to keep her friend from joining the mommy cult.
Is it any good?
Full of rapid-fire quips and the occasional pratfall, this Los Angeles-set show taps into the worries and joys of new parenthood -- from losing your identity to providing for your family to choosing the right baby supplies -- with moderate success.
Notes from the Underbelly has an obvious demographic, and it's not kids or teens, but parents -- mostly new parents, or couples thinking about becoming parents. And for this specific group, the show hits a few bull's-eyes. But, for the most part, the characters are sometimes annoying and feel more like caricatures than real people.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how parenthood is portrayed in the media. Are TV and movie moms and dads realistic? Does the media make parenthood seem good or bad? Teens: Where do you want to be in your life when (or if) you become parents? What's the most important part of being a parent, as you see it? Parents: What was your experience like when you first found out you were going to have kids? Did you end up being the kind of parents you imagined yourselves to be? What do you wish you could have done differently?