Sorry for another TV post for the second day in a row, but I’ve started work on the 3rd book in my children’s book series “The Adventures of Baseball and Zooey“, which means a lot of sitting and drawing – and I like to catch up on shows at the same time.
It took me a while, as it does with the beginning of most shows, to really get into Perception. But as you will see, I really got into it! First of all, the cast is great. I love Eric McCormack, and I’m not going to lie, the nerd in me really enjoys seeing LeVar Burton on tv again. Secondly, it’s not just a crime drama, it’s about psychology as well – the main character Dr. Daniel Pierce, is schizophrenic and also a neuroscientist. This combo is interesting because it introduces you to a world that hasn’t really been addressed on television in this way before. They really seem to take care to make sure that the mental illnesses addressed and those who suffer from them are treated with respect (that doesn’t mean they’re always innocent, however!). Yeah, they throw out some pretty rare conditions, and I’m sure there are stereotypes and exaggerations thrown in there as well – but that’s part of television, right?
All in all, I really I love this show. It makes me think and it gives me hope that there will be acceptance for those who have mental illness. There is a moment in one episode, where Dr. Pierce is talking with a schizophrenic about life after deciding to manage his hallucinations with medication and he says, “The person I cared about most wasn’t even real. But I still miss her.”
That moment, and the scenes that followed, really opened up that world to me. I can’t imagine how scary it would be to live in a world that felt totally and completely real to you, only to be told later that it was all a dream. That you had to start taking a pill every day, and the reality you knew would change, even some of the people you “knew” would disappear – that you were going to have to start all over, learning a brand new culture. Now imagine that you have to make this transition with an extremely limited support system, little to no resources, and 90% of the world judging you, calling you crazy.
Now not everyone who suffers from a mental illness has such an “extreme” case, and anyone who’s taken a college psychology class knows that it’s a spectrum. A pretty broad spectrum, in fact. Chances are, someone you know is suffering from some form of mental illness, whether you’re aware of it or not.
This is why compassion is so important. When you step out into the world, you have no idea what the lives of the people around you are like, what kind of realities they are experiencing. You might both be vying for the same parking spot in the grocery store parking lot, but where you’re coming from might be completely different.
Perception airs on TNT, Mondays at 10/9c, after Major Crimes.
Have you been watching Perception? What do you think?