It's Never OK to Hate Your Teenager

I Hate My teenage DaughterI have five words for the creators behind the new Fox sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter. Didn't your mommy ever tell you "hate is a strong word"? Based on the title alone, it sounds like they're about to justify being an overbearing, judgmental mom by adding a laugh track.

The folks at Fox are already backpedaling on their outrageous title. A press release sent to The Stir this week admits it "sounds harsh," but "this show represents a typical mother-daughter relationship and the trials and tribulations they may experience in their daily lives." OK, fine, mother and daughter fighting is legendary! But still: hate?

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Whatever happened to "worried about" or even "scared of"? Only the really narcissistic moms can't accept that their teenage daughters are a mess of raging hormones and will probably snap out of it about the time they have to start paying an actual bill or two. As many a grandmother has said: grandchildren are a grandparent's best revenge. We are half of our daughters' gene pool, and now we're finding out what we were like 20-some-odd years ago.

The Fox show itself doesn't sound all bad. It's got the hilarious Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran (from the cancelled way too soon Wonderfalls) cast as single moms who were the classic picked last for everything geeks back in high school. Their daughters, on the other hand, are pretty and popular: the exact type of girl that made the moms squirm back in the day. Imagine living the horrors of high school all over again. NO thank you!

We need authentic mother/daughter relationships on TV, and it's OK if they're treated with humor. Consider it the teenage parent's equivalent to those naughty parodies of children's books that allow parents of toddlers an outlet for their angst.

But there's a trick to making humor therapeutic. It's OK to feel a little guilty for laughing. But it's a total fail if you walk away feeling worse. Saying my daughter drives me nuts makes me feel like I'm human. Saying I hate my daughter would make me feel like I don't deserve to be her mom.

Here's hoping the show is something like Cougar Town -- crap title, but decent content. I will say the premise hasn't turned me off; I'll probably tune in on Wednesday nights to see if they can pull it off. How about you?

Am I overreacting here? Have you ever said you hate your child?

 

Image via Fox

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