News

'The Baby Borrowers,' premiering Wednesday on NBC

Verne Gay
Newsday (MCT)

THE BABY BORROWERS

9 p.m. EDT Wednesday

NBC

REASON TO WATCH: There was some notoriety over this when the BBC version aired it last year, while the name alone does suggest something untoward, slightly off-center, perhaps illegal ...

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Oh, yes, that name? Forget it. This is the baby/toddler/tween/teen grandparent borrowers, which isn't catchy but far more accurate. Five couples of young adults over the age of 18 move into separate homes on a cul-de-sac in Boise, Idaho. Over the next three weeks, they take care of babies for a few days, then toddlers, then tweens (and their pets), teens, and finally seniors. At the end of three weeks, they've either grown up or grown stark raving mad. The kids are over 18 because in their faux parental mode, they are also allowed to share the same bed.

You're already asking by now - what sort of parent would leave their baby with complete strangers? Good question, and "Baby Borrowers" doesn't exactly answer it, other than to mollify critics by establishing quickly that nannies, living with the newbies "will step in only in the event of emergency ..."

Diapers are changed, groceries are bought, babies are fed, tears are shed - by babies and by teen caregivers.

BOTTOM LINE: The conceit, and joke, of "The Office" is the idea that a documentary on office life is an absurdity wrapped in an inanity. What happens in an office? Well, people push paper around, and gossip, and go out after work, and ... In a sense, "Baby Borrowers" has embraced this conceit without embracing the absurdity. What is it like to raise a baby, whether you're a teen or adult? Well, it's really hard work, and babies burp and cry and you don't sleep much, and ... Yes, this is life, and yes, as subject matter for television, this is also boring. NBC clearly has serious intentions here (producer Tom Kelly, a "Survivor" alum, is a master of the form). Teenage pregnancy does exist (have you heard?) and this show wants to serve, on some level as a reality check. Such checks are fine. That doesn't make them watchable.

MORE REALITY SHOWS

Thursday:

"Hopkins" (10 p.m., ABC) - Docusoap focuses on residents at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Friday:

"Dance Machine" (8 p.m., ABC) - Six amateur hoofers compete for a $100,000 grand prize.

Sunday:

"The Singing Office" (9 p.m., TLC) - Workplace colleagues show off their vocal chops in this competition hosted by Joey Fatone and Mel B.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.

Music

Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

A Lesson from the Avengers for Our Time of COVID-19

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Music

Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.

Music

Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

Reviews

HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.

Music

Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Music

How Lasting Is the Legacy of the Live 8 Charity Concert?

A voyage to the bottom of a T-shirt drawer prompts a look back at a major event in the history of celebrity charity concerts, 2005's Live 8, Philadelphia.

Music

Jessie Ware Embraces Her Club Culture Roots on Rapturous 'What's Your Pleasure?'

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.

Music

Paul Weller Dazzles with the Psychedelic and Soulful 'On Sunset'

Paul Weller's On Sunset continues his recent streak of experimental yet tuneful masterworks. More than 40 years into his musical career, Weller sounds as fresh and inspired as ever.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.