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Christina Applegate in 'Up All Night': How 'real' is new NBC comedy?

BOOSTER SHOTS: Oddities, musings and news from the
health world

September 14, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
  • Christina Applegate, a cast member in the television series "Up All Night," answers a question as fellow cast members Maya Rudolph, left, and Will Arnett look on at the NBC Universal summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
Christina Applegate, a cast member in the television series "Up All… (Chris Pizzello / Associated…)

Christina Applegate and Will Arnett's new TV comedy "Up All Night" may bring the funny -- but part of its draw is probably that it's dealing with the real challenges of being a new parent, the star of the sadly short-lived 'Samantha Who?' told EW.

Granted, the set-up is a little extreme compared with the average parents. Applegate and Arnett (of "Arrested Development" fame) play a couple reluctantly adjusting to parenthood, no longer able to indulge chain-smoking, hard-partying ways anymore. (Hangovers and crying babies, for example, do not mix well.)

But many of the challenges they appear to tackle -- managing sleep deprivation, active and involved fatherhood, juggling work, relationship and childcare -- are issues that have been studied extensively, and in different contexts. (Perhaps that's because the TV couple and their co-star Maya Rudolph are currently all parents of young kids.)

Take a 2004 study published in the journal Biological Research for Nursing, which found that women tend to suffer more sleep disruptions than the men do after childbirth. Or 2010 research in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., which found that women aren't the only ones who suffer from post-partum depression -- new fathers struggle with it too, as health writer Shari Roan explains.

Also perhaps notable for parents (and perhaps stay-at-home dads, like Arnett's character) is how caring for a child changes a person. For example, a new paper out this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that men's testosterone levels drop after they become fathers -- and the more time spent with the kids, the lower the hormone level goes. It's a finding showing that men evolved to be good parents, the researchers say.

What do you think are the most important health-related issues a show like "Up All Night" -- which premieres tonight on NBC -- can tackle? Post your thoughts below.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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