The Wife:

I had to write about the final two episodes of SLOTAT together, because it was impossible to write more than a couple of paragraphs about either of them. The flashback episode, “One Night at Band Camp,” was one of the strangest things I’d ever seen. I thought it was just going to be Amy flashbackin’ on how she got into such a pregnant pickle, but, no, apparently, she was flashbackin’ for everybody, as not only did we learn how she met Ricky and apparently got pregnant from making out with him in the band camp cafeteria (what? they cut straight away from the promise of making out! that’s not even showing us the make-out and top-taking-off that leads to implied sex!), but also about how Adrian got her red convertible, how Jack first asked out Grace, Ben getting his braces off before high school started and Lauren and Madison scoping out the prospect of high school altogether. None of those things, outside of the actual band camp flashbacks, added to the episode at all and, in fact, just made things really weird. Just about as weird as the strange voiceover whisper of Amy’s thoughts as Ricky laid his signature moves on her. By the way, these moves are:

  • “You wanna move over to that couch? This bench is getting a little uncomfortable.”
  • “I could listen to you talk all night, or we could do this . . .” [Proceeds to make out with her.]

Smoove!

The only thing that was really well-achieved by adding all that stuff in was to stretch Amy’s labor and delivery process over two episodes, thus making it seem a little more realistic, as on practically every other show, the baby is always born in the very episode in which its mother goes into labor, making it seem as though the process took less than five hours. (Possible, but generally not for one’s first birth.)

God, I hope bitchface isn't genetic . . .

God, I hope bitchface isn't genetic . . .

Amy was also a total bitch in that episode, her brain addled by flashbacks and her body riddled with contractions, all the poor girl wanted was a greasy-ass hamburger from the Dairy Shack and no one would get it for her! While Ben’s offer of Kobe beef prepared by his chef was lovely, if a pregnant lady asks for a Dairy Shack burger, you fucking get her a Dairy Shack burger. This is exactly what Ricky ends up doing after she invites him to wait for his son to be born. My husband felt kind of bad for Ricky, being yelled at and shit, but I think that if he knocked the poor girl up and fucked with her life throughout her entire pregnancy, the least he can do is buy the girl the correct kind of burger.


“Would you two shut up? I can’t enjoy my Dairy Shack burger when you guys are talking about cows in Japan and stuff.” — Amy

I was also rather surprised at Amy’s complete ignorance of her situation. She asked her mother pre-epidural if she actually had a birth canal, which is a truly dumb question for someone with a vagina to ask. What surprised me most, though, is that Amy apparently hasn’t thought at all about what to name her son. Um, what? What girl doesn’t have secret baby names? We’re cultured to desire motherhood from birth (especially girls who are taught to call their dolls their “babies”), and I do not know a single girl who doesn’t have secret baby names for their future children. We start thinking about that shit when we’re like eight. Hasn’t Amy ever heard someone’s name and said to herself, “I really like that name. That’s a pretty name.” Or looked up the meaning of someone’s name and thought, “I like that.” Or even seen a movie or read a book or seen a play and admired the character in it so much that their name held special meaning to her? No? Apparently not.

In “And Unto Us a Child Is Born,” Amy’s baby finally makes his debut, at about the 30-minute mark, leaving a good 5 minute sequence of everyone oohing and aahing over the little guy and another 25 minutes of show thereafter. Prior to his arrival, however, all the waiting friends leave to go get coffee, Ben and Ricky try to figure out how to deal with being dueling daddies and Ashley and George reminisce about how much easier it would have been to deal with teen pregnancy back in the 1950s. (For example, Amy would go to “music school” in the Midwest for a year and Anne would fake a pregnancy during that time and then suddenly give birth while the family took a vacay to visit their prodigal daughter at music school. Hooray! Problem solved via a complicated lie. I immediately though about how horrible it was for Bobby Darin to find out that the woman whom he thought was his sister was actually his mother. Complicated lies are complicated.)

Ricky realizes that he doesn’t even deserve to have this child with Amy, but Ben talks him off the vasectomy ledge and convinces him that, between the two of them, the baby will be very well cared for. This is basically the weirdest teenage boy to teenage boy conversation I’ve ever heard, as Ricky assumes that its going to be difficult to split up holidays and birthdays and custody of the baby . . . as though thousands of adults don’t currently function that way without any major incident. It’s like he’s never watched a TV show featuring a divorced couple, or, for that matter, ever met one. Adrian buys Ricky coffee and tells him she cares about him and will be there for him for anything, and Grace tells Ricky she’s getting back together with Jack and reminds Ricky just how in love with him Adrian is.

The baby is born and Amy decides to name him John, because she didn’t think of any baby names and decides on about the most fucking boring name ever, which she and Ashley defend as “classic,” citing a list of famous people named John and launching into a stirring rendition of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” John Jurgens. Ugh. That is some unfavorable alliteration right there. Couldn’t she have gone for the slightly more modern Jonathan? He could still be a John, he’d just have the option of not sounding like he was born in 1952, as well as the comforting cushion of two extra syllables between those harsh initial affricates. The fake baby who plays John in non-close-up shots is incredibly creepy, by the way. Like, terrifying creepy. No one likes animatronic babies. No one.

That baby is so fake, this looks like an ad for a little girl's toy rather than a scene of a young mother not breastfeeding her baby. EVEN ANIMATRONIC BABIES NEED THE BREAST!

That baby is so fake, this looks like an ad for a little girl's toy rather than a scene of a young mother not breastfeeding her baby. EVEN ANIMATRONIC BABIES NEED THE BREAST!

Once Amy brings little John home, life goes on around the Jurgens home, but changes considerably. Ashley and George move into the house next door — close enough to stick around, but far enough away to remain separated. Amy finally gets some of that new-mom tiredness that I expected her to have after giving birth, stumbling around the kitchen in her robe heating up formula. That girl’s hair was far too perfect when she gave birth, so I’m glad to see a tiny bit of realism eke through in her messy head of hair in this scene. It distracted me from my outrage that she wasn’t breastfeeding for a few seconds. Apparently, Anne plans to take her to breastfeeding classes, but she better do that shit soon because I don’t know why “and my boobs are sore” wasn’t on Amy’s list of complaints about being a new mom. Girl, you got milk tits, and if you are not feeding your son or using a breast pump, those suckers are going to ache. Do the people who write this show have children? Have they ever met anyone with children? Do they have breasts? I don’t have children, but I fucking know that you start lactating after you give birth and that it hurts when your milk is stuck or when your breasts are heavy swollen with it. Clearly, I don’t know nearly as much as my friend the certified lactation counselor does, but I’m fucking appalled that Amy’s not breastfeeding and equally appalled that no one at the hospital bothered to take five minutes to give her a quick run-through. That girl should be breastfeeding that child, for its sake and the sake of her breasts.

And that’s it, folks! Ashley and George have their new home and are continuing their teenage-and-midlife rebellions, Anne continues to date her boss the architect and Amy’s already really tired of having a child. I hope someone buys her some books on mommyhood before next season, and preferably that she enrolls in a lactation class very soon. I’m worried for the future of that animatronic baby.

The Husband:

I’m currently sick at home with what may be whooping cough, so I’m sad that I cannot muster up enough brainpower to wrap up this season of SLOTAT. I will say, though, that while I think the show lost a bit of its realistic edge from season one — you know, that teenagers make ridiculous impulsive decisions and don’t talk like anybody of any age anywhere else — and instead focused on a lot of soapy Baby Daddy drama, I felt that it regained a lot of its momentum as Ricky became a better drawn character, Lauren and Madison disappeared for episodes on end, and Grace began to talk like a real human being with actual human urges. Even Ben learned to stand up for himself better, and I was glad to see that he learned one of those great lessons we geeks learn by the end of high school or midway through college — being an intelligent, well-spoken individual raises you above the class of smooth-talking meatheads who have nothing to add to our society, and our confidence in knowing that is the biggest step toward adult-hood.

But Ashley has now become my favorite character, and maybe one of my favorite characters on TV — a wise-beyond-her-years bit of rambunctious snark, the one sane person in a family of lunatics who distances herself from everything as long as she can. I can’t wait for her to start high school. It gon’ be hilarious.

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