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The Lottery, Lifetime's attempt to get your Aunt Gladys interested in hard science fiction, premiered Sunday and it's a slow motion, lobotomized Children of Men: welcome to a dystopian future where babies just aren't getting born. That's unfortunate because as regular Lifetime viewers know, pregnancy is magical. Hell, even getting your eggs fertilized outside your body is apparently a mystical experience (see clip.)
Luckily one scientist has fertilized 100 embryos, which are immediately seized by grim government bureaucrats who want to appease the masses by holding a "lottery": 100 lucky women get to carry the babies to term as surrogates.
Whether or not those lottery winners then act as parents is left pretty vague, but the language seems to lean toward the zygotes as the permanent property of Uncle Sam. The full season promos also show lucky winners being congratulated on becoming "surrogates," not moms. This is because in a world with no children, being pregnant is apparently considered more fun than 9 months at Disneyland, buzzed.
Real talk guys: there's nothing more beautiful yours and my eyes will ever see than a pregnant woman but there's a hell of a lot of personal sacrifice that goes along with being the oven for a bun. I can't speak to firsthand experience, but even my girlfriends who were most stoked on incubating little angels started getting way over it around month seven. We can all agree that babies are the best but sciatica, nausea, volatile hormones, rapid weight gain, people coming up and poking your abdomen etc. are not.
Even in a child-starved fictional world. Maybe especially in a child-starved fictional world because these women can probably guess the federal Fertility Commission is going to snap that ish up as soon as it crowns.
And still, conceptually, this doesn't seem all that far-fetched. Certainly we are at a cultural moment, even without the dystopia, where we fetishize pregnancy. Thanks to Facebook the world has never been more informed of the fertility of it's nearest and dearest. How many "Our family is growing by two feet" / gift ribbon around a tummy/ chalkboard bump update photosets have you absorbed in the last two weeks?
What does it mean that we give a starring role to pregnant women and then provide no mandatory paid leave for recovering new moms? Why are we so excited about expectant women and then in a rush to judge frazzled new mothers? Is pregnancy the last chance to play pretty pretty Princess before you're a "mom" and the requisite cultural de-sexualization kicks in and you're handed your roomy relaxed jeans and a spit up cloth? I just don't know. But to me this "national lottery for being a celebrity pregnant woman" concept is a big indicator that all signs point to yes.
Also, between you and me, The Lottery is boring as eff.