Thursday, September 24, 2009

Escapism

clive owenWhile waiting for a certain call from a certain social worker that may or may not come, that may or may not bring good news, I've been escaping. Old BBC mystery crime dramas seem to be the choice this week.

Four shows, each two hours long, each a classic Whodunit, each starring Clive Owen. Combine this with some Gardettos and how can you miss?

Second Sight tells the tale of a hotshot police inspector, Ross Tanner, who's slowly losing his eyesight and trying to keep it a secret so he doesn't get canned. Despite the fact that every crime drama or cop show uses this theme for at least one episode, this one carries it through the whole season and actually works it pretty well, keeping the slush (and the ESP) to a minimum. I was only disgusted with the certainty that he would lose his job if anyone found out; realistic, but frustrating when he could obviously do the work just fine, solving one complicated crime after another.

clive owen and tom felton in hide and seekThe show provides an interesting peek at some well-known actors "before they were" such as Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy on all of the Harry Potter movies. Even the secondary actors did a good job, though and the plots were the usual British crime drama level, a notch or two above American shows. I enjoyed the twists and turns, as the audience is invited along with Tanner to solve the mystery and to try to beat him there, which I'll brag and say I did once or twice.

clive owen in second sightI think my favorite aspect of each show is how the writers had Tanner turn his disability into an asset rather than a hindrance, forcing him to think about the situation from a different perspective and giving him insight he normally wouldn't have paid much attention. In my experience, this is exactly the benefit people discover who have a disability. A new angle, a deeper level of thought, greater care. In talking with friends who have disabilities these results, while not exactly outweighing the inconvenience of diminished sight or hearing or chronic pain, still add an interesting side effect to what others might consider wholly a tragedy.

So in keeping myself from thinking, I'm finding myself thinking. Just along different lines. I follow several disability blogs (Patricia E. Bauer being one) and I have found myself pondering this week what it would be like if everyone in the world thought about life in the practical manner that looked not at disabilities but at abilities. People with Autism would have jobs who wanted them, doing tasks suited to their temperament and care for detail. Those in wheelchairs would be greeted at restaurants and conversed with face-to-face rather than stares and a quick comment to a companion. And Tanner wouldn't have to worry about losing his job when his supervisor found out he was going blind.

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