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'Graceland' Character's Miscarriage Resonates With Women
byEricka SouterAug 17, 2015
It's easy to rattle off a list of iconic TV moms. Immediately names like Carol Brady and Clair Huxtable come to mind. They were the kind of perfect maternal figures we were all supposed to admire and aspire to emulate. Just one problem - real life parenting is far from perfect. Thankfully we have a new crop of wonderful, yet imperfect TV moms to watch. Take Allison Janney's brusque Bonnie on "Mom" or Betty Draper, cooly portrayed by January Jones on "Mad Men." Sure, they make a lot of mistakes, but so do we. And isn't that what makes a character so beloved? We want to see situations we can laugh at, cry with and relate to. That is why I think gritty, undercover agent Charlie on "Graceland" (Thursdays, 10/9 central on USA) resonates so much with viewers.
Deftly played by actress Vanessa Ferlito, Charlie has faced and endless list of dangerous scenarios. However, this season may be her most emotional yet. She suffers a miscarriage while working a case. Though most of us will never spend our days taking down drug dealers and various other criminals, many women know the pain of losing a pregnancy. According WebMD, 15% of known pregnancies will end in miscarriage, yet it's something we don't talk very much about. That's why Mark Zuckerberg's recent admission struck such a chord. The Facebook founder released a statement announcing that he and his wife were expecting their first child, but that they had suffered several miscarriages while trying to start a family. "You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child," he wrote. "You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience." Indeed it is. Thus is why seeing people (even fictional characters on TV) go through it can be so important. It reminds us that we are not alone.
Ferlito admits, she expected this turn of events for Charlie. "I knew it was coming at some point," she tells Mom.me. She also knew she had to bring realism to the moment. "She loves her job so much, but there were consequences. Some people will curl up and hide in the house, others will throw themselves into work. Charlie goes back to work."
She credits being a parent herself for the ability to bring so much emotion to the role. "Being a mom is the hardest thing in the world," says Ferlito, who has a 7-year-old son. "Anyone who enjoys every thing about it, is probably not being totally honest. What makes it so hard is that you have to take a look at yourself and change for them. I don't have a spouse, so he comes with me everywhere. Like a lot of people, I'm winging it but I take pride in that he's smart and kind. Being a mom - it's tough, but it's supposed to be. That's real talk."