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Portrayal of Aspergers on TV/Film

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Spiderman0_2

Just watched an episode of ER where there was a teenage girl with aspergers who decided to strip off naked for no reason. I think this gives totally the wrong impression, and will make those watching it believe that people with aspergers are insane and can't function in 'normal' society.

 

I just wandered what you all think about how TV and film portray people with aspergers

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Boobookittyfrag

Sheldon from Big Bang Theory sticks out, and the guy in Alphas - but I think Abed from Community is the best. They only show Sheldon being selfish and annoying on Big Bang Theory, whereas they celebrate what makes Abed different and don't make fun of him in Community.

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Willow

Well - Temperance Brennan in Bones is the one I enjoy the most. She's not actually got AS but they base her personality and what not on AS, I think (I think I read it somewhere). She's around other like minded people though so it doesn't stick out as much - and as a long running, main character, everyone is just used to her - the audience, I mean. They have progressively made her more AS as the seasons have gone on, up until recently where she's started to look more at why 'normal' people do what they do and is trying to apply certain things to herself.

Other than her, I don't know - there's the odd character that pops up for an episode or two of a TV show that is meant to have Aspergers, but they rarely get it right. In Glee, a character shows up with AS and she says mean things and then adds 'sorry, Aspergers' at the end, like that's supposed to make it okay. But, she became a permanent fixture and so after her pilot episode, the AS just disappeared...

 

I liked the film 'Adam' but he seemed a little extreme for just AS.

 

I feel like they google AS and bunch all the symptoms together and make them portray all of them at once, regardless of the situation - where some symptoms are obviously only apparent when we're stressed or excited, the characters on TV seem to have them constantly.

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iggy

I feel like they google AS and bunch all the symptoms together and make them portray all of them at once, regardless of the situation - where some symptoms are obviously only apparent when we're stressed or excited, the characters on TV seem to have them constantly.

Of course! Why would they bother doing any research into a real person, when they can just google for their answers? :P that would be too much effort when they are focused on strange stories and getting scripts out fast enough. [/sarcasm]

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Toran
Of course! Why would they bother doing any research into a real person, when they can just google for their answers? :P that would be too much effort when they are focused on strange stories and getting scripts out fast enough. [/sarcasm]

Thats the problem aspergers people are just portrayed in a way that the uneducated percieve them to be. They play to their audience rather than the true nature of the condition if they did they would have a documentary on the facts and how it effects the lives of the individual and the family. They want entertainment factor to sell the show and if it was acurate you wouldnt get the feel good factor they want.

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mary

I think one of the biggest problems they have with portraying anyone with AS is that so many different people present in so many different ways.

 

The only character I have seen is Sheldon on BBT.  With regards to the 'Sheldon' character he doesn't always come across as selfish, and can come across as fairly warm, just not as often as his 'typical' and overexaggerated, at times, AS traits.  There are also times when he is shown to be trying to fit in, although he doesn't really do too well at that.

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Sofi

I agree films and TV tend to generalize AS/Autism symptoms, such as in Rain Man. 

 

A good film about an autistic man is called 'Mozart and the Whale' which I feel is a lot more realistic to an autistic person you'd see in the real world! The autistic man is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. 

 

The Temple Grandin film of her life is obviously realistic as it is based on her life and the actress portrays her really well. I love that film. I like Temple Grandin in general. 

 

I feel Sheldon in BBT is fairly realistic but I'd say still quite far-fetched, but I suppose they have to make it that way as he is such a strong character and kind of part of the comedy of the show! In the later episodes, he does seem to learn a little bit about relationships, like with Amy. 

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mary
The Temple Grandin film of her life is obviously realistic as it is based on her life and the actress portrays her really well. I love that film. I like Temple Grandin in general.

 

 

 

I was trying to find that to buy relatively inexpensively in case I didn't like it... sounds like it was pretty good though!?

 

I think with any comedy they'll exaggerate things because they think it makes for laughs and the comedy factor.  I think it's fair to say I see quite a bit of myself in Sheldon's character and it may be why I find him so amusing, even before I realised I had AS... and since I've found out I haven't found the portrayal of the character to be offensive or annoying.

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Sofi
I was trying to find that to buy relatively inexpensively in case I didn't like it... sounds like it was pretty good though!?

 

I think with any comedy they'll exaggerate things because they think it makes for laughs and the comedy factor.  I think it's fair to say I see quite a bit of myself in Sheldon's character and it may be why I find him so amusing, even before I realised I had AS... and since I've found out I haven't found the portrayal of the character to be offensive or annoying.

 

I was lucky enough to catch the Temple Grandin film on TV, it was on a random Sky channel a while ago and I taped it so I still have to saved on the TV (I think, if nobody has deleted it!) It might come on TV again, or you could try to download it. I would recommend it for you to buy though, it's really good and something I'd watch more than once so it would be worth the price of buying it. It would probably be fairly cheap on Amazon or Play.com. 

 

Sheldon's symptoms definitely are exaggerated (although, they've never explicitly stated he is anywhere on the spectrum!) which is what makes it funny I doubt there is anyone with AS who would be exactly like Sheldon and think up such phrases on the spot?! It's TV, it's not real life 'at the end of the day'. I see a lot of traits of me in him too, although he says things which I've learnt are not appropriate for social situations, but is what I'm thinking! He does appear selfish sometimes and it is often what I would think too.... but wouldn't say! 

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Nesf

Has anyone seen the film Ben X? This has to be one of the best films I've seen dealing with the subject. It's based on a true story and somewhat more realistic than others I've seen, I could relate to this more than I could with other films I've seen with ASD characters. Though I can relate to Temple Grandin a lot.

 

http://www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt0953318/

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