Meredith O'Brien
Do you pay attention to how the mom characters are portrayed on your favorite TV shows? Loathe the so-called "mommy wars" on which the news media love to focus? Each week, Meredith O'Brien's Working Moms in Pop Culture & Politics column provides a reality check on how TV shows, movies, and the media depict moms. A longtime journalist and mother of three, Meredith O'Brien formerly taught journalism at the University of Massachusetts, is the author of A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum and writes the Picket Fence Post blog for GateHouse Media. Follow Meredith on Twitter: @MeredithOBrien

Caroline and Kirsten.

The black and white cover of a recent issue of New York Magazine consists of a close-up of Caroline Kennedy’s face with a single teardrop hand-drawn under one eye which appears to have been applied by a red Sharpie. To the bottom left is the headline: “The brief, bizarre political career of Caroline Kennedy.” more

Mamma Mia Indeed.

It’s the season of Really Serious Films. For grown-ups. (That means I’m not talkin’ movies about mall cops or dog hotels.) I’m talkin’ films that get major awards buzz which are typically released at the tail-end of the year in about five theaters in New York City and two in Los Angeles, and then gradually make their way to theaters throughout the rest of the country sometime in February or March, if at all. more

Super Sky High Expectations.

It’s presidential inauguration week and lots of folks are very excited, their hopes sky high, perhaps too high. more

Get Your Lipstick Tube Ready.

When I saw the first few episodes of Lipstick Jungle last year, I have to say, I wasn’t all that impressed. more

Marley & Motherhood.

If you go by its national advertising campaign, you’d think that the Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson vehicle Marley & Me is simply about an ill-behaved dog scampering around and destroying their furniture while they engage in wholesome slapstick amidst the wreckage left in the pooch’s wake. But in between the mushy, heart-rending canine moments, there’s a moms-and-work storyline that seems to have slipped in under the radar which, frankly, surprised me because I hadn’t seen that aspect of the film highlighted in reviews. more

Caroline Kennedy Qualification Question.

Harvard grad. Lawyer. New York Times best selling author. Multi-million-dollar fundraiser for one of the nation’s largest public school systems. Member of the boards of several non-profit organizations ranging from the Commission on Presidential Debates and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to the American Ballet Theater. Part of a three-member team which found a running mate for a presidential nominee. more

Golden Globe Nominations Hits and Misses.

I’m tempted to start this piece with some sort of play on words, using a form of the title of the film Mamma Mia! -- seeing as though this is a column about Golden Globe nominated actresses playing mothers -- but I just can’t because every time I start seriously thinking about that Meryl Streep movie I get strains of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” stuck in my head for the rest of the day. more

TV Parents Behaving Badly.

What is it about grossly ill-behaved men who are portrayed on
primetime TV as being crazy about their children, while the women in their
lives -- who perpetuate their own brand of maternal madness -- put up with
them because they're so gosh darned irresistible? more

First Granny.

I’m seriously coveting Marian Robinson. Certainly you know who Marian Robinson is, President-Elect Barack Obama’s mother-in-law who he called the “unsung hero” of his campaign, more

Primetime Adoption.

What is it about being a dedicated career woman and the prospect of adoption that it has suddenly popped up as a major storyline in three primetime programs? more

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