‘You, Me & the Apocalypse’: My Take on the Adoption Storyline

Are you watching You, Me & the Apocalypse Thursday nights on NBC? A dramedy following multiple characters facing the end of the world from a comet strike, it boast a famous cast: Megan Mullally, Jenna Fischer, and Rob Lowe all have prominent roles. One of the story lines that has sparked my interest involves a man named Jamie, who in a case of mistaken identity is arrested and accused of being a renowned hacker. Soap opera twist:  The real hacker is his twin brother! No! What? Insult to injury, Jamie didn’t even know he was adopted!

Uh oh. As an adoptive mom, this is where I braced myself for the worst, because I frankly don’t trust television and movies to be fair when it comes to adoption. I put my adoptive momma shield on and prepared for an onslaught.

But the thing is, it hasn’t been bad.

But it hasn’t been great, either.

I’m feeling torn about what the show has given us. It would be easy to write this article if it was something I could be mad about or be in love with. But what we have instead is a grown man asking for answers and his adoptive mom openly admitting her role in the deception. She apologizes and admits she always meant to tell him but was worried she would lose him. (This was a lame excuse, by the way. We need to learn to trust our adoptive loved ones with their ability to love many. No one has ever suffered from too many loved ones in their life.)

After a brief conversation about how they would always be a family, Jamie’s mom then provides him with the information she has on his birth mother: an address.  Not a perfectly scripted ideal adoption moment, but it was also not Meredith Grey sneaking a child out the basement hall of a hospital. (Thanks for that crazy adoptive mom moment, Meredith! Sigh.)

As the adoption story line continues, Jamie is not given the greatest impression of his birth mom by other people and says several hurtful things about his birth mom. Things that make me flinch and involuntarily scrunch up my face, real emotional low blows. Not cool, Jamie. The few hints we are given do lead us to believe she never forgot about Jamie and we know at one point she even went to try to visit him. Alas, it isn’t fun to write hopeful stories and so we are left with harsh words cast against character we haven’t heard directly from yet. I wish the writers would pump the brakes a little bit on the “clearly she didn’t love me because she abandoned me” zingers. Let’s give the story a chance here.

In the latest episode, which aired on Feb 18th, we  finally get to meet Jamie’s mom. In a mental institution. Sedated beyond interaction. Oh bother. However, she did recognize Jamie and was able to call him by name and he did feel a connection to her and saved her from the institution, giving us the chance to see what she has to say when her sedation wears off. Here is to hoping that this birth mother gets redemption and finds her way to a healthy relationship with her son. Even if they only have 24 days to do it.