Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Big Bang Theory: TV and Autism Advocates

It seems every time I address a group, someone asks about "The Big Bang Theory." Even after I explain that I have never watched a complete episode — and until recently not even most of an episode — I am asked about the characters. The common questions include:

Q: Don't you just love Sheldon Cooper?
A: I didn't know who he was until recently. I Googled the name, honestly.

Q: Couldn't you tell how much like those characters you are?
A: No. I found them annoying. I don't like most science fiction or comic books, either. Though I do appreciate references to obscure scientists.

Q: Didn't you go to CalTech?
A: No, I went to USC. I'm a fiercely loyal Trojan. A friend from USC married a Ph.D from CalTech, but that's as close as I get.

Q: Don't you have several degrees? Wouldn't you like another degree?
A: Possible evidence that I make dumb choices.

Q: Aren't you a genius?
A: It doesn't make me funny, either. I guess I do share some traits with TBBT characters.

I am often asked if I watch any of the popular shows with characters celebrated within the autism advocacy communities. I don't believe so. I find "Bones" annoying, have never seen "Parenthood" or any other shows people mention to me, and I am losing interest in "Modern Family" after seeing six or seven episodes with my wife. I can relate to Manny on "Modern Family," mainly because I wanted to be an adult, not a child.

Tonight I watched "Life After People" and "Mythbusters." Television is okay, but I prefer the educational and non-fiction cable networks. I love things like "Mutant Planet" and "America: The Story of Us." My weaknesses are TLC, Discovery, History International, and the Science Channel.

I do enjoy some USA and TNT shows: "White Collar" and "Leverage" are interesting. The notion of being able to adapt, like a chameleon, to social situations fascinates me. I would love to have the skills of a Neal Caffrey or Nate Ford.

What I really miss is the old A&E lineup of classic BBC mysteries. A&E is reality garbage, now.

There you have it. More blunt answers to common questions.

3 comments:

  1. Awesome!

    I love Big Bang Theory. If I went to school with them, I probably would have hung out with them--if they had let me. I'm not as bright as they are which would have been a problem. I enjoy that show so much. I mostly feel like I'm laughing at myself.

    Our family doesn't watch a lot of the newer shows. Partly because we don't have cable and partly because we don't like swearing and sexual content. So...we do a lot of PBS.

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  2. BTW, I love science fiction and fantasy and comic books--even though I don't read them. I have since I was a young child.

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  3. I get the same common questions!

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