I have what I would describe as a love/hate relationship with the show Parenthood on NBC (Tuesdays at 10pm). Maybe “relationship” is a bit of a stretch, but I both love and hate that show.
I love that it is one of the few, if not only, shows to have a character with Asperger’s. I really think the writers have done a wonderful job in capturing the Asperger’s side (Max) and the parental aspect of having a child with Asperger’s. While we are not at the point to where we are ready to talk to Kaitlyn about her Asperger’s, the show has provided a loose guide, both good and not-so-good ways to approach that day.
And, for the almost the same reasons, I don’t love the show (hate is probably too strong of a word to have used). There is no sugar-coating with any of the situations the writers place Max or his parents. Max is isolated, picked on, and made fun of at school; his parents do their best to balance protecting him and interfering. His parents struggle at times with Max’s eccentric traits.
Because of the above, there are plenty of times where, over the course of one scene, I will bounce between laughing, sharing the knowing nod with Amber, and having my eyes fill with tears because I know there will be more days where Kaitlyn will be treated like an outcast by students who just do not understand her.
This coming Tuesday, November 28, will be another one of those episodes where I will laugh, probably tear up, and may even get upset. From the previews, I know that Max will wander and be on his own. He will approach strangers with innocent trust, and it appears he will be taken advantage of.
If you have not watched a single episode of Parenthood yet, Tuesday is a great time to start. Any opportunity that presents itself to me to enhance my understanding (as it is) of Asperger’s is one I will not pass up.