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Arts and Culture

Pseudo-Reality Web Show Zooms In on Abortion Issue

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Posted on Feb 2, 2010
Bump
youtube.com

Would any pregnant woman want American viewing audiences to decide whether she should keep or abort her baby? Luckily, even the producers of the new Web-based show “Bump” know that that kind of programming wouldn’t fly, but they did go so far as to dramatize that idea by using actors in various prenatal scenarios to stage their stories for an online voting audience.

The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker describes the docudrama thusly: “Think Jerry Springer meets Oprah meets ‘American Idol’ meets Dr. Oz meets ... America’s conscience.”  —KA

Watch the pilot below:

Kathleen Parker in The Washington Post:

There are so many unappealing facets wrapped into this one package, it’s difficult to identify the core offense. That’s not so much the fault of the producers—who get some credit for seeking creative ways to advance rational debate—as it is a function of the culture. Media critic Marshall McLuhan was surely right when he declared that the medium is the message and that our media eventually form us. Thus, we find ourselves sitting before computers, inputting opinions about whether fictional characters should terminate a developing human life.

Although the idea is to humanize the debate, none of the characters is especially sympathetic. Each of the three women ostensibly selected from a “pool” of 300 is pregnant under varying circumstances with which viewers are expected to relate. To be clear, no one is really pregnant. The actors are all young and white, despite the fact that blacks have abortions at five times the rate of whites. The doctor, however, is African American—a man who combines the reassuring manner of Marcus Welby with the ethereal wisdom of Bagger Vance.

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By andrew, February 4, 2010 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t agree with this part , there is black humor! ‘‘none of the characters is especially sympathetic’’

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By goldnsilver, February 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is something icky about this program. It’s almost as if every concept has to filtered and pacified by tv now.

Also, the acting/writing is crap. If it’s meant to be a mockumentary it’s supposed to sometimes fool us. The candy girl character is particularly over the top. Kind of reminds me of a lame attempt at ‘The Office’ with clumsily handled moral issues.

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