Bump+ is getting more intense with each passing week. Katie and Denise, at least, are facing appalling situations now. I suppose they were always facing these situations, but the last two episodes really brought it all home to me.
Poor Katie. Her husband, John, will be home in less than two weeks. Understandably, she wants to take care of it—now. “I just want it to go away,” she says. I was touched by Dr. Patterson’s genuine concern for Katie. I love that he was willing to defy the producer for her sake. That is exactly what a doctor should do.
Denise—with each new episode, my heart breaks a little more for her. I admit I was surprised when we met Buzz. With a name like that, I was expecting a fat, ugly, little man. He is certainly much more appealing than I anticipated, but only on the outside. Buzz scares me. His behavior toward Denise—I suppose it’s called manipulation. It’s terrifyingly effective; Denise seems completely under his spell. She’s trapped. And so are her kids.
I’m also becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the producer. Insisting that Katie have the ultrasound, despite her obvious distress, seems so heartless. And then the home visits! To show up unannounced like that is a horrible invasion of privacy—especially for Denise. The producer says it’s to give us more insight into the women. Really? It feels more like pure entertainment to me, if you can call it that…
The big news in the wide world of the Internet is the article Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote about Bump+ on Salon.com. Ms. Williams is wondering how much Yellow Line Studio is committed to true dialog. It’s a fair question – but her article skipped a few important facts. It is true that the Bump+ script was acquired from a former student at John Paul the Great Catholic University; but Yellow Line Studio is completely separate from the university. The company is privately funded by investors, not donors. Two of our three bosses here at Yellow Line are not even Catholic, and neither are many of the Bump+ cast and crew.
Because I work here, I know that Yellow Line Studio is a group of artists from many different backgrounds who want to have a positive influence on society through entertainment. But this article makes me think. Should artists be required to label their art with their religious and political affiliations? (I noticed Ms. Williams does not begin any of the articles she writes by disclosing that information about herself.) Does a writer, director, or producer (or even a doctor, pilot, or journalist) have a responsibility to explain exactly what they believe to everyone? Or should we simply judge their work on its own merits?
I have to say again that I’m touched and humbled by the comments—by the discussions—that we’re getting here at Bump+. It’s true, some of the comments have been edited and a few have been deleted. We do that only in order to keep things civil. I must say, however, that I have been very impressed by the love and understanding I’ve seen here—on both sides of the issue.
Next week, the producer pays a visit to Hailey and Jason, and follows Katie to Dr. Patterson’s house. What is Katie doing there? And how will Dr. Patterson feel about the camera crew invading his personal life?