A TV Mediator?

A few weeks ago, I went to see my dentist who mentioned a show in which one of the characters is a mediator. He told me the name of the show which I promptly forgot. Last week I was scanning On Demand when I came across "Carpoolers." ABC describes it as follows:

"Four guys who carpool to work every day come to savor their commute as the only safe time to commiserate about jobs, families - and secrets. Even though 'what happens in the carpool stays in the carpool,' they'll go beyond the boundaries of this fast-moving commuter confessional to get involved in each other's lives and develop friendships."

It sounded familiar so I decided to watch an episode. I quickly discovered that one of the "four guys" was a mediator, and, as it turns out, another was a dentist.

After watching the first episode I came to a few conclusions: 1) The show is relatively funny at times 2) I hope no one mediates like him (he had a child in the room when parents were yelling at each other, he allowed interruptions by outside parties, etc.) 3) The one family of color on the show is stereotypically portrayed with a house full of 7 out-of control-children and a presumably lazy African-American wife (we only ever see her legs) who watches TV all day while her husband carpools to the office (he's not the mediator or the dentist and it's not clear what he does for his profession).

While I was excited to discover that mediation had "evolved" to a legitimate enough profession to be portrayed on TV, I was disappointed with the product. Come on: mediators aren't like that! I guess I can finally truly empathize with doctors, lawyers, detectives and criminal investigators. Yet what does it mean that the only mediator currently portrayed on TV airs on a sitcom rather than a television drama. Are we not ER/Law & Order/CSI worthy? Is our profession not to be taken seriously? Generally speaking, mediators love drama and have a lousy sense of humor.

Is this character misplaced or apropos?

By Laura L. Noah
Published on pronoaimediation.blogspot.com
Send comments to: toread@noahmediation.com

Update: this program is no longer on the air.