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.