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TV Series - A chance to weigh in!

2Tired4Drama's picture

I am double-posting this in case you don't see it on the General Discussion section, since those of us who frequent the "Adult" section have been in the trenches and have lots of wisdom to share. 


Some of you may already be aware of this but I just saw it this morning.  It is a new “comedy” series slated to begin this Fall on CBS, called “The Unicorn.”   Below is a description and link to the trailer:

The Unicorn - CBS (Premiere Sept 26, 2019)

"A tight-knit group of friends and family band together to help Wade embrace his new normal in the wake of the loss of his wife a year earlier. As a sometimes ill-equipped but always devoted single parent to his two adolescent daughters, he is taking the major step of dating again. To Wade's amazement, he's a hot commodity with women, and his friends explain that he's the perfect single guy: employed, attractive and with a proven track record of commitment. With his daughters and best friends rooting him on and hoping he'll find happiness, Wade and his healing heart are ready to try life and love again."

I think this is a PERFECT time to weigh in and CHANGE the perception of dating/getting involved with someone with kids.  Particularly a man who has two pre-teen daughters!   If you watch the trailer, it is obvious the writers are basing this series on a bunch of inaccurate stereotypes about how “hot” a “single” man with children is.  The premise is that all the “hot” women are falling all over themselves to date this man, and take on his two darling daughters. 

Perhaps CBS should be educated that this kind of environment is not “comedy” – and in fact, is often tragedy for those of us who actually have to live this day-to-day.   

I especially like the scenes in the trailer where the family dog(s) is allowed to lay on the countertops and kitchen table.  Yep, I can imagine a woman who comes into that situation and tries to change it!

What do you say – should we give the producers a hint of what REAL life is like, with a man with kids?  The selfless choices stepmoms must make, the incredible hurts we experience, the financial sacrifices we make?   How we walk (honestly ignorant) of how incredibly difficult and heartbreaking it can be? 

Here is an opportunity to educate people what life is really like dating/marrying a man with children.  I think there are many of you here on Steptalk who can provide CBS a synopsis of YOUR personal experience of what it is like.  I fully intend to contact the leadership at CBS and let them know that this series will do nothing to help the challenging stepfamily situations of MILLIONS of people, and in fact, will only continue to fuel erroneous stereotypes of how blissful a relationship with a person with children can be. 

In particular, it’s time stepmoms are heard.  It’s time we change the story.  It’s time we see ourselves TRULY reflected in popular culture, and slam the door on the blanket stereotype of being “evil” stepmothers.  This has been going on for centuries now, and it’s time to start getting the truth out there.

Maybe as an equal time measure, CBS should begin a series from stepparents’ perspective called, “The Dodo” – about a soon-to-be-extinct defenseless, flightless bird (man/woman) who is abused, attacked and eaten by stepkids.    

What do you say?  Should we storm CBS with info about stories of our reality?  If you do, here are a few e-mail addresses at CBS you can start with:

I know I am going to be dropping them a note!



ITB2012's picture

Why not a hot single mom? With a teen boy and girl? Because no man wants to marry into that, but women will fight to date the guy?

Id hope some of the storylines are real, like getting dumped because the girls eat like barbarians and cuddle too close to daddy. 

This is a long standing theme in TV. My Three Sons and Full House come to mind right away. 

And what the hell makes him a hot commodity? Is he rich, fabulous in bed, cooks, does his own laundry, cleans, has no debt, is willing to find a new house with a new SO, and his daughters are off at boarding school in another country?

2Tired4Drama's picture

to tell them what a REAL storyline should be.  Rather than hope it changes, why not try and influence it yourself?  Let them know your thoughts and who knows ... maybe they would incorporate them. 

susanm's picture

I agree that this show looks ridiculous.  I saw the promo for it and just rolled my eyes.  But unfortunately no one is going to want to watch a tv show depicting real life with the standard skid issues toward the GF/SM.  Hostility and resentment toward her and daddy encouraging mini-wife behavior either because the kids had been in a caretaking role and can't go back to just being kids or because he enjoys having all attention focused on him does not make good television.  It will actually make most people pretty uncomfortable.  They much prefer Hallmark-style commercials where dad is asking a beaming 7 year old boy "permission" to marry his mom while holding out a sparkling diamond ring for his inspection.  

I wish you luck if you want to try to get a letterwriting campaign going.  I might drop them an email, not suggesting a plot change, but just saying that there are legions of women simultaneously rolling their eyes and predicting that it will not last a season.  Because that is how they are going to measure success or failure.  I can't see anyone outside of some lonely 40+ unmarried women who still buy this myth being interested in watching this silly show.

Dovina's picture

some of the amazing veterans on ST who are skillful writers weigh in on this and write the producers...for example..Idvilen can rewrite the episode where the (not so) hot single dad finally heads down the aisle! A few other members on here also come to mind can use use their quick wit and honesty to change the direction of this "modern day" brady bunch!

Good grief....I dont even think I could watch the trailer.


ldvilen's picture

Yep!  Here's my two cents.  It is pa-pa's wedding day to soon-to-be SM.  SM, who has already spent thousands of her own money on the event, to find the perfect wedding gown (she went to Kleinfeld's of New York City!), etc. is so excited to finally be marrying the man of her dreams!  The last few years have been a struggle for future-SM, tho., because his teenage girls haven't been the most helpful.  But, SM stuck it out, sucked it up and took it, and now SM is sure that after the nuptials, they will all be the happy family she had always hoped for.  She closes her eyes, makes the sign of the cross, and thinks to herself, "Just two more hours!"  "In two more hours I'll be forever Mrs. Secondbest."  Future SM can't wait to marry her hunky, fat he-man.  

Flash to the groom in his room making last-minute preparations.  With only about 10 minutes to go, his two daughters, the girls come in to confront dad and talk him out of it.  "Dad!," they say.  "This woman isn't right for you!"  "What can she do that we can't do for you."  "If it is s-e-x that you want, there's the local bar."  With only minutes to spare, the girls go on and on.  Dad says, "I thought you girls were all happy with this!  That is what you told me weeks ago!  That you and SM-to-be had worked things out!"  "No," says the girls.  "We were just putting on a show for you.  We really can't stand her.  She wears her blouses too low, for one thing."

With only two minutes to go, dad stops and takes a deep breath.  He sighs.  "Okay my #1 sweetums.  I guess if you don't think it is right, maybe it isn't.  You are the loves of my life, and if you are not okay with this, then I'm not either."  They all look at each other and start to cry.  "Group hug!" they all say together, and they all hug and cry and laugh together.  Suddenly, there is a knock at the door.  It is the minister telling at-one-time future hubby it is time for him to marry the love of this life.  "No!," dad answers back.  "I have the loves of my life right here."  They all laugh.  Dad has his arms around each daughter.  "Look," says dad.  "There is a back entrance.  I'll race you to the neighborhood bar!"  

Dad and girls look at each other and rush for the back door.  Meanwhile, soon-to-be-SM is waiting to get the word that the processional is about to begin.  She is beaming.  Then, she sees the minister down the hall looking like he has just seen the devil himself and wiping his brow with his fancy-looking kerchief.  "Oh, oh," SM thinks!  "What's happened now?  And, where are the girls?!  I was so hoping this day would be as magical for them as it was for me!"

Meanwhile, back at the bar, dad and his girls are all drinking, klinking glasses, when one of the step-daughters turns to dad and says, "Dad, I'm so glad this day wound up being magical for me after all."  Meanwhile, tipsy dad is starting to eye one of the local hos that just walked into the bar.

Dovina's picture

Well done!! Too funny, but sadly so close to many a SM"s reality!!

This is what needs to be aired.!

ldvilen's picture


Fast-forward two 1/2 years.  Past almost-SM is getting ready to get married to a new man.  The first year after her fiancé (the girls’ dad) left her at the altar was quite the struggle!  She couldn’t believe it!  It was almost like some sort of conspiracy was going on, not only between the girls but her future husband as well!  SM had no where to go!  No one seemed to understand what she was going through!  Her other married GFs just said, “Well. . . kid’s first!”  SM just knew that couldn’t be right.  That didn’t make any sense to her at all.  After all, why would anyone marry a man expecting to come 2nd or 3rd, last in the relationship?

Months later, SM was still at a loss.  She went to see a counselor, and the counselor told her basically, “Too bad.  He’s just not the man for you.”  SM thought, “Then, who the H- would be the right woman for this man?  Who would want a man that, quite frankly, acts like he is married to his daughters.”  Nonetheless, SM kept looking for resources.  THEN, one day, it happened.  She came across a website called StepTalk!  This site saved her life.  She saw discussion after discussion, page after page where SMs or to-be SMs had real value!!  No one there spoke about SMs having to take it up the wazoo for someone else’s children.  This site gave SMs validity and mentioned over and over that a wife had the right to be treated like a wife, regardless. 

SM was so thrilled and happy to finally be getting the support she needed.  At first, she felt a little shy posting or commenting.  But, within months she was starting forum topics herself, feeling empowered and learning to say No and mean No.  Then, about a year or so later, she found herself feeling so good about herself that she could give advice to other SMs or to-be SMs. 

It was about that time she met the REAL MAN of her dreams.  He was darn near perfect.  Better than that fat horse she almost married earlier, that’s for sure.  This man knew what responsibility to his a wife or long-term SO meant and knew how to set his priorities.  He never expected her to suck it up and take anything.  He knew how to help others succeed and how to lift people up instead of dragging them down.  It didn’t take long for this now well-matched woman and man to click.  And, now a little over one year later, here they were getting ready to walk down the aisle.  SM had the most lovely store-bought gown for the event on, one that showed off her figure to the max.  That other, over-the-top gown she got at Kleinfield’s, she threw in the horse stall one week later after she was left.

Current.  The processional was now starting, and she could already see her one-and-only groom down at the other end of the aisle grinning and taping his toes in unbridled anticipation of marrying this woman, the lover of his life and the one he planned on growing old with.  Neither one could wait to take the other into their arms.

Meanwhile, almost-SM’s ex-fiancé is at the local bar, drunk, trying to hook up with up another woman.  His daughters have since grown, found BFs/ husbands of their own, and moved out of state.  One even has a child of her own now, but he doesn’t see ‘em much.  “Damn!,” he thinks.  I really miss my girls.  They were everything to me.”  Dad takes another drink, and the bartender tells him he is going to have to stop serving him soon.  The bartender adds this is the third time this week, dad has been over or near his max.  Dad wonders sometimes about that women he almost married. . . what was her name?  Ah, well, anyway.  He still has his girls-----not.

And, here is a question:  Do you think the REAL MAN above had any children?  The answer is, it doesn’t matter, because if you are a real man you are quite capable of treating your wife like a wife and any children like children. 

sandye21's picture

Just LOVE this!!!!  YOU should write a new series!  You write a lot better than me.  I would love to see you continue this story with a future episode where Dad meets another woman who he falls madly in love with.  But this woman recognizes the meanness of SDs right away and gives Dad the choice of making his future marriage a priority of losing her.  He chooses her and tells SDs they must respect her as his wife.  SD's punish and alienate Dad.  Won't communicate or answer his phone calls.  SD's underestimate SM and Dad's relationship.  Dad believes has a right to truly be loved unconditionally.  After a while Dad decides he's much happier without all of the drama.  Sad, but this really happens.  Most of it is my story.  Can't wait to read your next episode!

TX2step's picture

The previews made me want to vomit.

Rags's picture

Fostering the usual stereotype of blended family life.

I won't watch it.

sandye21's picture

Is this guy supposed to be a hunk?  LOL LOL LOL  How about they make a comedy about a SM who is hot and the only thing that seems available is a working man with two teenage girls - and the reply she gives this guy about consulting his kids before dating her or marrying her?  How about demonstrating how the marriage becomes first priority, the man supports his new wife and expects the skids to respect her as his wife?  Oh wait!  If they tell the truth it wouldn't be a comedy would it? 

Ya, that's all we need - another Brady Bunch or Parent Trap.

susanm's picture

But don't forget that in The Parent Trap the bio-parents get back together after the girls "show the father that he really doesn't love his fiance."  (barf)

sandye21's picture

You're right about the Parent Trap.  And rigth again - "Barf"

ldvilen's picture

Ha!  To me from what you said, to most women, that guy would be about as appealing as a old sailor with syphilis!  It is obvious that TV is trying to appeal to all the men, single-dads out there.  And, pretty much every sitcom I've seen, the man of the house looks like a fat horse, while the woman (wife) of the house looks like Angelina Jolie from the early 2000s.  

I'm sure they'll do the ever "hiliarous" role reversal too where the children, daughters in this case, act like and are treated more like little wives to dad, while any potential adult GF is treated more like a child who is ever-expected to cower down to dad's true, higher loves--his girls.

That description/ synopsis from CBS sounds very sexist, by the way, but unfortunately, what else is new now.  Our country has really been taking a step back, way back in time as far as how women and other minorities are currently being treated.

sandye21's picture

"And, pretty much every sitcom I've seen, the man of the house looks like a fat horse, while the woman (wife) of the house looks like Angelina Jolie from the early 2000s."  And doesn't this get a bit stale?  I'm an average woman and know an appealing man when I see one.  This show is definitely written by a man who has lost touch with the reality that the 'average' man will not attract a 'genius model' unless he is rich.  Look at the news anchors.  The women MUST look like models - once they reach 40 they're gone.  The men can get old, fat and bald but they stay.

Ya, it's going to be a continuous parade of Barbie dolls who seek approval from the two mini-wives.  But hey!  It's supposed to be cute comedy instead of what is obviously puke worthy to us,

I agree we seem to have taken a step back.  Sad.  We really need to take 2Tired's suggestion and write to the producers of this farce.  This crap will go on forever if we don't.


Harry's picture

To see a real step family.  It’s not funny what goes on in a real stepfamily. No member of SF is ROFL.  I think everyone in a SF starts out with the best intentions to be a family. But people have unreal expectations of other members of the family. I always felt there was a movie going on call life.  The BF was removed I was inserted, and life was to go on.  Even through I miss most of the beginning 

Rags's picture

I like this version.

FDH and FBride are at the alter and the StepSpawn are pouting and doing their best to interfere in the couple's moment.  FDH asks the minister to pause for a moment, steps to the StepSpawn, grabs them by the scruffs of their necks, marches them to opposite front corners of the church, plants each of their noses in the corner, swats them each on the rump and tells them to stand there, be quiet, and not move until he comes back for them.  The StepSpawn stew in shame and humiliation in front of all of the guests but dare not move because they know daddy will make them experience complete and unpleasant consequences if they make the mistake of testing him further.

Then FDH returns to alter, turns to the wedding guests and apologizes for the abhorrent behavior of his ill behaved spawn, turns to his bride and commits to her as his soul mate, equity life partner and the love of his life... after apologizing to her for not getting his spawn in line much sooner than their wedding day.

They go on to a marriage and life of adventure raising the StepSpawn with strict standards of behavior and performance, launching the StepSpawn into adulthood to sink or swim on their own while StepMom and DH live an amazing life together.

The Skids, having been raised by a confident father and SM within a quality and close committed and prioritized marriage go on to quality lives as viable adults, raise their own children within quality marriages with standards of behavior and performance while maintaining close mutually respectful relationships with their father and SM. And so on, and so on, and so on, .......

The drama and triumphs in each episode in the series would be how the dad and his bride deal with the attempted interferences from the Skid's BM's family, the intrusive influences of a fantasy perfect deceased BM, unwanted intrusion by his family, and hers (BM's), and continually guiding the Skids through the mine fields of extended family PAS, emotional manipulation, and seemingly incessant drama around blended family life.

It can go the same for a widowed BMBride and SDad.  Reality will be far more entertaining than the fantasy that seems to be the premise for the actual show.

Yep, I like this one... a lot!

Just my thoughts of course.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I like it, Rags!  It could be kind of a mash-up of Courtship of Eddie's Father, Mama's Family, and Father Knows Best!

All three of those were hit shows, so this would certainly succeed!

Rags's picture

Plot update!

BM is held on the curb outside of the Church in handcuffs during the wedding of her X to BM while the Skids are standing with their noses in the corner.  She is over the hood of the car as the guests exit the church and are throwing rice for the happy newlyweds.

She attempted to invade the wedding but DH and SM being intelligent and confident had their Police friends on standbye.

I need to quit thinking about this or I will have hundreds of episodes outlined all influenced by STalker experiences addressed with my usual behavior/consequence model.