Will Network TV Ever Offer a Childfree Adult Who Doesn't Change Her Mind?
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM FOX'S 'LAST MAN ON EARTH'
Last Man on Earth (cast shown above) is a ridiculous show built on a ridiculous premise that, for some ridiculous reason, works. It started, I think, as a platform for the stupid humor of Will Forte and quickly became a post-apocalyptic adventure of unlikely survivors that has lasted four seasons on FOX so far.
Among the survivors is Melissa, played by January Jones. Throughout the show, her character is shown falling in love with the second-to-last man on earth, Mel Rodriguez’s Todd (see left). But,over the course of the last few seasons. these two have butted heads over a topic many readers of The NotMom are very familiar with: Have a baby or don't?
Within the circumstances of the show, it’s pretty easy to see the answer. The human race is wiped out and as far as any of our characters know, they’re the last people on the planet. It makes sense that they would need to work on re-population. Melissa, however, has steadfastly held to her decision not to be a Mom. Commitment is important to me.
I was one of many viewers crushed when Bernadette on CBS' The Big Bang Theory (below) didn't want kids in Season 5 but has given birth twice by the end of Season 11. I need a character to stick to her childfree convictions.
In the episode of Last Man on Earth premiering on March 25, 2018 (Season 4 Ep 12) titled Senor Clean, I was certain the renewed conversation about Todd and Melissa having a baby would result in the frustrating but predictable outcome. Todd wants a kid, Melissa doesn’t, and the world is ending.
Instead, Melissa decides to compromise, which. in most fictional relationships. means she will give in and have a baby.
When that didn’t happen, I was shocked AND excited. Melissa restated that she has no desire to be a Mom. She just wants to be “the Aunt,” which is also a sentiment that many NotMoms can relate to.
So the question becomes – what happens next? How do Melissa and Todd navigate this process? (How do couples navigate it in real life?)
This episode ended with the pair approaching Erica, another survivor,(played by Cleopatra Coleman) about possibly carrying Todd’s baby. This scenario, in an end of the world story line, makes sense to me. Why couldn’t a surrogate pregnancy work out for all the survivors? More children means a future for the human race. Todd can experience fatherhood, the group can co-parent the children, and Melissa can be satisfied being the community's aunt.
Here’s hoping Last Man on Earth keeps Melissa childfree, by choice. Meanwhile, this childfree woman is thankful for the representation, even if it is in the most unlikely of shows.