What fun! A brilliant college professor who just happens to have schizophrenia. Or is it someone with schizophrenia who just happens to be brilliant? We’ve seen it before – sometimes it’s as if everyone on TV is a genius. They’re everywhere, solving crimes and Making The World A Better Place.
Please forgive the cynicism. I’m sure there ARE brilliant people making the world a better place by solving crimes and confusing those around them with their behavior. Some of them don’t even have a mental illness. Some of them are just eccentric, which is what we call someone with mental illness who has money.
I’m all for having people with mental illness have Important Jobs and Being Geniuses. It’s not common enough, if you ask me, and while there’s little we can do about the genius part, it would be rather fabulous if more people with a mental illness could have good jobs.
But this is TV, and we don’t expect reality. And he’s written FOUR books! I’m not saying this isn’t common, it’s just not as common as finding someone with schizophrenia living on the street.
Routines! I like how they, meaning the TV characters, talked about how someone with schizophrenia needs to be on a schedule. It helps, having a schedule, a set routine. It helps keep one centered, knowing what just happened, and what’s supposed to happen next. Then they show us a hallucination which looks just like real life. That’s why they’re so scary – they look real to the person having them, and if they’re not all puppies and rainbows, which they usually aren’t, they can be pretty scary.
But here’s the thing: he’s not on his meds. And why is he not on his meds? Because they affect him in ways he doesn’t like. He’d rather have hallucinations, and Natalie (who is very well acquainted with these sorts of things because she is one) tells him his hallucinations are telling him things for a reason. Well, sometimes hallucinations are just hallucinations, aren’t they?
I suppose unless the hallucinations and voices are telling you to kill yourself, like Stew’s did, they’re not something to avoid, and instead turn into something to embrace as a Positive Thing To Help One Solve Crimes. Interesting premise, though generally inaccurate. People with schizophrenia aren’t usually running around with a clear head and Getting Things Done. Generally speaking, hallucinations are not a good thing. Generally speaking, going off your meds because you think meds slow you down is not a good thing. It could be a very bad thing, but let’s not confuse the issue with facts.
And the human lie detector? Is this something I’ve just never heard of? Granted, I haven’t done nearly enough reading on mental illness, so if anyone has heard of this, please let me know.
So far, it looks like mental illness is sprinkled throughout the show as a convenient plot device. The eccentric professor, the victimized wife, the human lie detector, plot devices. It’s only the first episode though, so I’ll keep watching to see what else comes up. Maybe the schizophrenic will turn out to be a guy who just happens to have schizophrenia, and not the embodiment of his illness. The good news is, while it seems to romanticize going off one’s meds, everyone committing crimes appears to be mentally healthy. It’s only the first episode though, so I’ll keep watching to see what else comes up.