Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What About Brian: Why You Should Watch This Show

If you’re a mom and you’re kinda imperfect, kinda don’t feel as though you always fit in with the cliquey moms, kinda find your way through life by the seat of your pants, there are two characters on “What About Brian” who are for you.

Deena, the former at-home mom of three, who recently started a cupcake business with friend Nicole:

Put aside her marital issues – she was separated, then getting a divorce, then dating, now reconciling with her husband – Deena is the classic picture of what it’s like to suddenly face having to re-join the paid work force after having lived years amongst the juice boxes and primary colored plastic toys in the pediatric set.

The latest episode of this endangered drama (which can be seen on the ABC web site for free), showed Deena trying to build her cupcake business. She took it from a home-based cupcake catering operation to a storefront with cafe seating, to mixed results. On one particularly hectic morning, she gave up and let her daughters have cupcakes for breakfast.

Nicole, Deena’s business partner and brand new mom to a baby, whose husband died in a car crash before the baby was born:

Though she tried to return to her work in the music industry after her daughter was born, Nicole no longer felt attached to that line of work. She didn’t fit in with the at-home moms in her neighborhood either, thus she decided to put her public relations and business savvy skills to work to help Deena run her cupcake operation.

The fresh episode featured scenes which satirized too-perfect at-home moms, with Nicole facing off against the group. The moms, who Nicole met at one of those Mommy and Me classes, not only mocked Nicole for working (“Sure, work is just more important to some people than it is to others. I’m sure the nanny is a fine substitute.”), but were also sanctimonious (“You NEVER wake a sleeping baby!”), as they warned of the dangers of processed baby food so they made their own. Except they didn’t bring any for Nicole’s baby.

Nicole, struggling to find her own way as a single mom, finally snapped under the pressure: “I’ve had enough of you ladies with your mean looks and your disapproval. Could you be more judgmental? Your way is not the only way to raise a child.”

While I’ve previously written about how this show provides an interesting look at re-launching one’s career after having taken time off to raise kids, the new episode – plus the season finale next week, Monday at 10 p.m. – have advanced this story line nicely.

ABC has all of this season’s “What About Brian” episodes on its web site in case you want to catch up. But just a word of warning: The show’s on the “bubble” and hasn’t yet been renewed for a third season. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

E-mail Meredith

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