Observations from 3/23 ep

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Random observations from last night's show:

1. My wife (who knows firsthand about these things) observed that the breast pump Carol was using is quite expensive; $200 compared to the $50 she paid for hers. Did Carol buy this breast pump on her nurse's salary, or did she get it from a generous, well-paid doctor friend at the baby shower? Hmmm.

2. When Morris Chesnutt rips off his shirt, I was, well, expecting more. Not that I have anywhere near a bod like his, but his character is doing all these extreme exercises anyway, so it should show up in his physique. For reference, see Henry Simmons' finely-chiseled body in "NYPD Blue." Even with a shirt on, he looks like he's got 80-inch shoulders and a 12-inch waist....

3. The first thing Haleh says to Carter when he arrives is "Welcome back, Carter." Is it just me or did anyone else think of a certain '70s sitcom when she said that?

4. It's been mentioned previously that Eriq LaSalle wanted Benton out of the relationship with Corday. My understanding of that was that the writers put him in one dysfunctional relationship or another until he started dating interracially. He wanted the writers to put Benton in a "normal" relationship with a black woman, and he really didn't have a thing against the fling with Corday. But that's neither here nor there.

The one constant thing about Benton's women: They must have curly hair (or did anyone else notice that?). Perhaps it's written into his contract....

-- Victor (mata9@flash.net), March 24, 2000


In response to #1: Somehow, some way, Carol is loaded. Expensive breast pumps, nannies...either a certain somebody is sending her a lot of checks from the Pacific Northwest, or she's knocking off banks in her spare time.

-- Leigh (WillnGraceNYC@yahoo.com), March 24, 2000.

or maybe its just TV and we have a big budget (like her falling apart house is now ready for house beautiful.)

-- Casey Steinberg (steinbec00@netscape.net), March 24, 2000.

In response to question #1 - The breast pump Carol was using looked like the Medela "Pump in Style". This piece of equipment is a must for working, nursing moms. I know because I am one of them and I have the same pump. The price is actually around $300. It wouldn't be practical to have a cheap one if you are going to continue with breastmilk. Most hopspitals have home healthcare stores so maybe she bought it there and got a discount.

I liked the breastfeeding issue in last night's episode. Most people don't realize how much work it is. My question is why the writers chose to have her hire a nanny? Doesn't the hospital have a daycare center? Reese Benton attended one on site. It may have been easier for her to nurse her kids on her breaks. But maybe the nanny is more flexible since she works all kinds of hours.

But back to the pump. I know that nursing is not a secret thing that women hide anymore. But pumping in the lounge where anyone could walk in? Most hopitals also have lactation rooms. I guess it was done last night for effect.

-- Lisa Yasuk (lisayas@yahoo.com), March 24, 2000.

I think you can also rent or borrow breast pumps from your local La Leche League.

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), March 24, 2000.

Doesn't everyone on TV seem to have lots of money, even if they don't work at all? But as Carol is an RN/MSN, she probably makes quite good money and hopefully Doug is helping out. The only doctor I've seen on the show who seemed to be in a realistic financial situation was Anna Del Amico -- she had huge med school loans and was living in a dump.

-- Cindy (tailchasers51@hotmail.com), March 24, 2000.

I did, I did!!! Notice the hair thing, that is. I mentioned it a couple of months ago but this is the first time I've seen anyone else pick up on it.

-- joy (joygirl01@yahoo.com), March 24, 2000.

WEll, if any one remembers, the first time Carol returned to work after the babies she was sitting in the break room with an Evenflo pump, the cheapest and worst pumps you can buy! I thought that was very unrealistic if she is pumping for twins! Seeing her change to the Medela was much more realistic for her needs. And, I don't think there is any where else for her to pump except the break room.

-- Danette (bjpind@telelvar.com), March 24, 2000.

The expensive breast pumps do the best job...showing Carol's commitment to having enough milk for her babies so they don't have to have icky formula...

SuperNurse's chest was AOK by me... if you want to complain about chests, the one that went up in flames was just about the worst...I loved everyone's crinkled noses...

I did think of Gabe Kaplan when Haleh said hello to Carter. I'd like to think the character's heard that a million times before...

-- nancy (ntc72@mailcity.com), March 24, 2000.

Thank you, Victor, for your #4 observation. Many who have written here have shown immense disapproval of Eriq LaSalle's request to have a normal, POSITIVE, romance with a black woman- which has never bothered me at all. I don't think he has ever had a problem with Corday; but look back at all the other relationships the writers have created for him- including the one with his own sister. And yes, I've noticed the hair prerequisite.

-- Chris A. (movibuf@juno.com), March 24, 2000.

Back to the breast pump question: My wife's pump is made by Avent, which she chose for various reasons besides price. First, it was more comforable to operate for her; second, it does a good job of pumping milk (which after all, is a really good reason); and she needed a manual pump due to the woeful lack of facilities for pumping at her job.

She also recognized the Medela pump right off. But when you think about it, Carol would be more connected to health providers than most working mothers, so she could have gotten or borrowed it from someone at the hospital. Or else, Medela just paid TPTB for product placement in the episode.

BTW, my wife has to do her pumping in the restroom at work. Sad, isn't it?

-- Victor (mata9@flash.net), March 24, 2000.

Victor, yes it is very sad that women are often relegated to the dirtiest room in the workplace to do something that is so wonderful and beneficial for their children!

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), March 24, 2000.

Re #3:

They seem to enjoy getting mileage out of the "Welcome Back Kotter" angle. Remember the first episode of the second season was titled "Welcome Back Carter." Maybe one of the writers/producers was a fan of the old sitcom?

-- Jason Jarvis (jasonaschejarvis@hotmail.com), March 24, 2000.

Did nayone notice the Gateway sticker on the front desk computer? It was showed about six times! Free advertisment in exchange for computers?

-- Nica (nicamom@excite.com), March 24, 2000.

Very sad Victor. I hate it that people in America are so obsessed with being anal about breastfeeding. I think we are the only country in the world that has such a problem with women feeding their children.

-- 2222 (rachelrr@ivillage.com), March 24, 2000.

Regarding # 1, I guess we sometimes think of television as different than the real world. In the real world a lot of people have a lot of things that they might not seem to be able to afford...and often a lot of credit card debt as well. Also, I have a friend who used to work in a doctor's office and she had free lunch on average of twice a week from the drug company reps, plus all kinds gift--videos, CD's, free movies on Saturday morning when the drug company rented the entire theater for their guests!--I know because I went a couple of times. They also left lots of samples for the doctors. I don't know for sure but it sure seems like it could be easy for a nurse to get a comped (nice) breast pump...or at least a big discount through the hospital. Regarding the nanny, I know that's expensive but you might be surprised at how little she'd pay her per hour. And she must not be a very good one considering the number of times she called the hospital in this episode. There's another thread here somewhere that discusses nurses pay, and Carol might not be so destitute as might have been thought.

-- Diana (Dilynne@juno.com), March 24, 2000.

Just FYI, I rented a $250 breast pump when I had my first child, it was fairly reasonable. That was 8 years ago, so I don't remember the details!

-- Traci (momjkj@aol.com), March 24, 2000.

the hospital i used to work at let us use their medella pump all the time, we just had to have our own attatchments. why does everyone think nurses are so poor? they make tons of money! especially at county, especially at ER!

-- Alexis (lexicat1@webtv.net), March 24, 2000.

Ah, this brings back memories of sitting in the ladies room at work with a thin baby's blanket and my Evenflo. If you are going to nurse twins, splurging on a good pump is very smart. Forget about all that co-ordinated nursery bedding, lamps and wall decorations! I don't see Carol as the "working Poor" I mean she's been at County for a good twelve years. And I certainly hope she's been getting checks from a Pacific Northwest Bank!!

-- maryann (map5860@aol.com), March 25, 2000.

Most, if not all, hospitals have lactation lounges in their maternity wards - I bet even CCH would - all it takes is a small quiet room, a chair, and maybe a pump. Discharged mothers of preemies have to be able to pump milk while they're visiting. When I was breastfeeding eleven years ago and working at a hospital, the hospital's lactation consultant "donated" part of her office as a lounge - basically she would allow anyone who wanted to to come in and pump - she would even leave the room if someone wanted to be left alone. I hope since then the hospital (a well-funded university hospital located in Chicago!!!) has sprung for another room!

-- prn (prohwer@nih.gov), March 25, 2000.

I had never realized that all of Peter's girlfriends had had curly hair (Jeanie, Carla, Elizabeth, and Cleo) Maybe it's sort of like Carter's blonde girlfriends (Anna, Elaine, Roxanne, and [some might argue] Lucy)

-- Teddy (richarr@earthlink.net), August 09, 2001.

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