Monday, August 11, 2014

Bad Name, Promising Show

I just ran across this British TV series called The Specials, a reality TV show about five young men and women with intellectual disabilities, who share a house. The show will be coming to the OWN Network here in the U.S. in September. There is also a Web Series on YouTube.

It’s a terrible name … “The Specials” ... which I very much hope is meant to be ironic. What little I have seen of the show suggests that it probably is, because although these peoples’ disabilities are quite apparent, they are not shown to be either helpless or one-dimensional. The other thing that occurs to me is that there is something about British language and culture that seems to help keep sentimentality under control. It’s not cynical or anything, and there are some scenes between these supportive friends that do look heartwarming, but not in the revolting, gooey way a similar show would likely turn out here in the U.S. I can’t prove it, it’s just a feeling.

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