Why I won’t be watching Offspring

Friday, May 2, 2014 Permalink

Ads for the Aussie TV show Offspring have been appearing on our televisions for a month or so now and I gather it will soon return to small screens around the country.

But I won’t be watching.

Dr Chris & Nina – from S1

And no, it’s not because I’m pining for the loss of much-loved Patrick (killed off last season in case you didn’t see it or have no idea what I’m talking about). In fact, I must actually admit I haven’t watched the show since the first season when the delightful Don Hany (Dr Chris) was key character Nina’s love interest. And even then it was a challenge.

You see… My issue was (sadly) not really with the show, ie. It’s not you, it’s me. One of my (many) foibles, issues, idiosyncracies. Or worse. Something which makes me sound petty and pathetic – and something I need to get past to become a better person.

Life envy.

For my overseas readers or those not-in-the-know, Offspring features unlucky-in-love Nina Proudman. An obstetrician whose life is ‘apparently’ a bit of a mess. She has a (ummm) challenging family and is prone to doing and saying silly things. Which (sadly) many of us do. We’re privy to her thoughts throughout the show so we know exactly what nonsensical and irrational ideas and notions pop into her head.

However… she’s attractive, earns a good salary AND has been in love and married once already when we meet her in Season 1 (albeit to someone slightly psychopathic)! Although I really liked Nina (and actress Asher Keddie) I found myself sitting there, wondering why I should cheer her on to find love a second time. Jaysus… some of us are still waiting for Mr Right #1 to come along. And… she’s on her second. Well… as her (Season 1) love interest Dr Chris left the show, the now-deceased Patrick was in fact number 3!

Obviously I’m not trying to diminish her right to feel sad after the demise of her first marriage and distraught at the death of her lover, but still…. *pout*

However while I’d stopped watching the show a couple of years ago I have to admit that there is NO WAY IN HELL I’ll be tuning into the show now. Because of this:

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Pics from Offspring FB page

Oh yes…. It’s Nina’s ridiculously cute baby!

At least in the ads she or someone reminds her that she’s lucky to have ‘some’ family etc.

Again, I don’t begrudge Nina (or anyone) their children or happy families; and while I have (mostly) reconciled myself to remaining childless, I really don’t need it rubbed in my face. So while I *ahem* do realise the producers, directors, writers and cast *possibly* aren’t conspiring from afar to remind me of what I don’t have… I’m forced to admit I’m not really sufficiently gracious or evolved enough to watch the show (or ads) without feeling slightly bitter and twisted.

Are you an Offspring fan?
Do you suffer from life envy?

28 Comments
  • Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad
    May 2, 2014

    I have only recently been hooked into Offspring, mostly because I think Nina is a complete nutter and I enjoy the funny commentary in her head. Perhaps I like laughing at or secretly I am more like her than I care to admit. ?

    I do get life envy sometimes and I think people’s romanticised lives can be flaunted in front of us all too often via so many different channels. It’s easy to think if only or why isn’t that me. I guess I’m learning to filter it a bit more and to know that it can always look good on the outside but in reality lives often aren’t what they appear.

    • Debbish
      May 2, 2014

      Very true Vicki. I talked about that a while ago re Instagram – seeing so many happy pics but even knowing it was generally a (literal) snapshot of someone’s life – and usually the best bit… I ended up taking IG off all of my devices so I stopped thinking my life suffered in comparison (cos in reality I know it doesn’t!). 😉

  • Lee-Anne
    May 2, 2014

    I haven’t seen Offspring but a good friend says I’d love it, though after reading your post it does sound like Nina would make any woman a bit envious. Attractive doctors with nice love interests sounds annoying!?

    I know what you mean about ‘life envy’ – there’s just so much in society that we can be jealous of. I do try to avoid it though, as it’s so toxic but it’s hard to rise above it completely. I think Alain de Botton, that Brit/French philosopher nailed it with his book ‘Status Anxiety’ (and BBC doco) Basically there will always be richer, prettier, cleverer, happier people than you and always hankering after this makes people horribly miserable. He said we were calmer, happier and more content in the days of serfdom where everyone knew their place in the pecking order and didn’t aspire for more.

    Another essay…sorry Deb! 😉

  • Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    May 2, 2014

    Ironically as I started reading this post an Offspring ad came on tv! I love Offspring. I loved that Billie had an infertility story line because I was suffering right along with her. Incidentally I ended up being pregnant when Nina was. I was pissed at the end of the last season though cos I’d just given birth and my hormones were all over the place. I didnt even like Patrick but I was bawling my eyes out!

    • Debbish
      May 2, 2014

      I have to admit the departure of Don Hany was part of the reason I stopped watching cos Patrick just didn’t ‘do’ it for me! 😉

      Her family also annoy the crap out of me. I guess that’s the case with all families in TV dramas – they have so much going on!

  • lisa
    May 2, 2014

    I loved Don (& still do) so when Dr Chris went away I was devastated…I liked Patrick but preferred Chris. I am yet to watch this season so might have to get on the bandwagon again. Sometimes it is nicer to watch a character do the not so predictable things like get married & have kids xx

    • Debbish
      May 2, 2014

      I liked Don Hany in Serangoon Road (hugely underrated TV show!).

  • Ness
    May 2, 2014

    I’ve just realised that I watch Offspring but the whole time I’m actually inwardly rolling my eyes at how neurotic Nina is, having elaborate day dreams about her love life when she’s supposed to be delivering babies. How they always seem to have time for endless chats around the nurses station when most hospital staff would really be rushed off their feet. How there’s always another hot doctor around as a love interest. No doubt her baby will be conveniently asleep a lot. It really is fiction, isn’t it? Important to remember that when we do have that life envy, which I do, too.

    • Debbish
      May 2, 2014

      Oh yes… I don’t think families and people could have so many catastrophes (OR good fortune – depending on what you watch) as they do on TV. I know a couple of years ago I wrote something (didn’t post) about how many shows were on TV about extended families who lived in each others’ pockets (OffSpring, Packed to Rafters, Parenthood, Modern Family etc).

  • Vanessa
    May 2, 2014

    I have never watched it because that kind of show isn’t my thing, but I saw a loooong ad for it recently and thought “Wow, this is what people get so up in arms about! Why?”

    • Debbish
      May 2, 2014

      I enjoyed most of the first season but that was mainly the will-they / won’t-they love affair with Dr Chris. I like the idea of being privy to someone’s idiotic thoughts (the Bridget Jones books come to mind), but I got to the point I was a bit like… ‘Oh you poor thing with your great job, good money, nice apartment, boyfriend, caring but annoying family’ etc…

  • Julia
    May 3, 2014

    I think they’ve milked it enough. I watched Series 1 and enjoyed it, and one ep of Series 2. But I think one series was enough and it really didn’t need further exploring. It’s just food for the MammaMia set.

    Agree with you about life envy too. I have seen enough “perfect happy couple” snaps and “aren’t I beautiful?” Selfies to make me never want to leave the house again!

    • Debbish
      May 3, 2014

      Yes… killing off Patrick certainly livened things up, but the baby will probably keep things going for a bit.

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    May 3, 2014

    Oh lovely I do suffer from life envy, a lot. I don’t watch it, I’m more of a boring SBS, ABC doco type girl, I like to learn shiz in the very little spare time I have. x

    • Debbish
      May 3, 2014

      I don’t actually watch a lot of (any?) family dramas or comedies when I come to think of it. Am more of a crime drama / mystery kinda gal!

  • Lou Lou
    May 3, 2014

    I’ve never watched it obviously, as it’s not on here. I suffer life envy of anyone living in Australia. I cannot wait until we move. Yes you are right, that baby is ridiculously cute. Typical!

    • Debbish
      May 4, 2014

      I know.. Mind you I watched a show called Raising Hope predominantly because the baby was very cute. (And I didn’t even cry every time she came on screen!)

  • Grace
    May 3, 2014

    I actually never got into Offspring. I thought about it but I think it’s gone too long for me to catch up now
    I’m the same as Em and don’t watch any commercial TV. I think it just tires my cynical brain out too much.
    But. I must say, I saw that ad on a bus the other morning and it actually made me stop. I’m not actually sure what I thought of the photo but it didn’t necessarily make me intrigued or want to start watching the show.

    • Debbish
      May 4, 2014

      The ad of Nina talking to the baby on the bed kills me. Of course the baby is at that perfect age!

  • Susan Lattwein
    May 4, 2014

    I left Packed To The Rafters for the same reasons. Rebecca Gibney was too sweet and therefore only highlighted my inadequacies. I found Rake much more refreshing fiction, everyone was neurotic. 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 4, 2014

      Ha! Yes, that’s probably why I could watch shows like Sex & the City: as glamorous as their lives seemed, I wouldn’t have wanted to trade places! WAY too much baggage! I’d much prefer to suffer through West Wing envy or the like! 😉

  • EssentiallyJess
    May 4, 2014

    I’ve never watched it, but just because I have enough shows that I adore. I can totally understand your reasoning though. I think I’d be pretty much exactly the same.

  • Trish
    May 8, 2014

    I used to shy away from shows with babies. I don’t have time to watch it – we have watched a few episodes but it’s a bit too much fantasy for me.

    Still it is funny – I only imagine the stereotyped parenting fails Nina will encounter.

    • Debbish
      May 8, 2014

      Oh yes I can only imagine – there’s a whole new storyline waiting to happen!

  • Pinky Poinker
    May 11, 2014

    I have never watched it either. I’d rather watch something like “Game of Thrones” where everyone hates each other/wants to kill each other and are horrible unfortunate misfits.
    More like my family really.

    • Debbish
      May 12, 2014

      I’ve only seen S1 GoT when it first came out so am a bit behind. I really must join a video (?!) DVD Library so I can borrow stuff we don’t get on free-to-air TV.

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