From “Mad Men” to “Big Little Lies,” TV has stressed the difficulty for women trying to maintain a successful career while raising children.
Pay too much attention to the job and grandma will end up raising your kid. Pay too much attention to the kid and you’ll end up losing your cool at work – and your job.
The preoccupation with the good mom versus career woman storyline is understandable. Most women who walk this line in real life know it takes sacrifice on all ends, including wearing the same clothes two – maybe three days in a row – and eating your kid’s leftover mac and cheese for breakfast.
“Mad Men” and “Big Little Lies” explored the idea from non-traditional angles, calling attention to the double-standard working women have been held to on TV, and everywhere else, since the 1950s.
ABC’s mystery-crime series “Ten Days in the Valley,” debuting Sunday, had the potential to view the career-mom narrative through a fresh filter. But the 10-part series is so half-realized — at least in the only three episodes available for review — that it ends up reinforcing the very tropes and stereotypes it presumably set out to challenge.
Jane Sadler (Kyra Sedgwick) is a celebrated documentary filmmaker whose research on police corruption and crime is the foundation for her first scripted drama series, which she’s developed and is shooting with her own company. But her life becomes as dramatic as the show she’s created when her 8-year-old daughter Lake (Abigail Pniowsky) is snatched from her bed in the middle of the night.
How did it happen? Jane was working, of course, instead of paying attention to her daughter.
She had a late deadline and stole away to her backyard office/shed, 10 feet from Lake’s bedroom, to rewrite a scene for the next day’s shoot. In only thinking about herself, she left the sliding glass door open. Selfish Jane.
Jane is sure it’s the work of her ex-husband,…