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

TV Dads: The Doting, the Dramatic and the Dreadful...

All over primetime TV there are fathers. Fathers who inspire and provide a steadfast guiding hand to their offspring and dads who can be mean drunks and blow of their kids to attend to their own selfish needs. more

Relating to the Funnies

I’ve been identifying closely, a little too closely I’m afraid, with the funny pages these days. As we hurtle toward summer and I’m trying in vain to keep tabs on our exploding family calendar - attempting to remember the end-of-the-season soccer parties and gifts for the soccer coach, the end-of-the-year school concerts, the end-of-the-school-year parties, the last-minute school projects and . . . what’s that, Father’s Day is a week from Sunday more

Checked-Out Parents

The new AMC drama The Killing is a merciless, riveting slog through despair and the unrelenting Seattle rain as two homicide detectives are obsessed with trying to solve the murder of a teenage girl and the girl’s parents are floundering in an ocean of grief, trying to comprehend what seems unfathomable. more

How Many Kids Should You Have?

Large families - think Kate Gosselin’s crew of eight, the Duggars’ 19-kid-family and Nadya Suleman’s dozen+ - have been depicted by pop culture as old timey circus acts, something for which you’d pay admission at a county fair in order to enter a shadowy tent and marvel at this oddity. These families got reality shows and the attention of the media because you just don’t see families as large as theirs running around anymore, given that the average number of children families tend to have these days is about two. more

The Political Wife

One of the big moments of this season’s The Good Wife was when betrayed political spouse Alicia Florrick decided to do a TV interview in which she said she forgave her politician husband for straying. Her interview was considered to have sealed her husband’s bid to recapture the state’s attorney’s office. more

The Good Wife has had Enough

She has finally had enough. The character modeled on the likes of the wife of the former New York governor, Silda Spitzer (who stuck by her husband after he resigned his office amid a call girl scandal) and other politicians’ wives whose husbands publicly cheated on them and humiliated them, has been pushed too far. more

Pop Culture Infertility

Characters struggling with infertility and those contemplating adoption seem to be all over the primetime TV landscape these days. And not many of them, at least as of this writing, seem to be succeeding in the family-building business. more

Friday Night Lights

It’s the swan song season for NBC’s underrated yet poignant series Friday Night Lights, the show about which I’m always telling my friends that while it’s ostensibly focused on high school football, most of its stories are about a heck of a lot more, namely, raising teens. Think of it as Parenthood only on a different socio-economic level and it takes place in Texas instead of California. more

Tina Fey is a Funnypants.

The day that Emmy-winning writer, 30 Rock producer/actress/writer and working mom Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants went on sale, I was right there in Barnes & Noble purchasing my copy.

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Mildred Pierce: Doormat.

So I’ve been watching that much-heralded HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, mostly because it stars Kate Winslet and I’m a sucker for anything that has Kate Winslet in it. more

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