Television is not a social story

Hands in the air if your formative years were shaped by sitcoms and dramas that helped you navigate life in a world that at times made no sense. I personally would like to thank the following shows:

The Brady Bunch

Scooby Doo (no not really but I loved it)

Beverly Hills 90210

Melrose Place

Friends

Everybody Loves Raymond

Now Everybody Loves Raymond was something I watched regularly in my newly married years. My poor husband, he must have thought he had married a complete stranger or a fraud.

I thought our lives had to look like the Barone’s. From a logistical point of view, we had no kids, no family living close by and my husband didn’t try and sneak off to play golf every chance he could. In fact we were nothing like the Barones. Didn’t mean I didn’t take on the persona of Debra Barone. I thought that was marriage. Fortunately we got into our own groove and I don’t rely on television to shape our marriage.

The show Friends really pissed me off. There was no convenient cafe with a large couch anywhere I could find. My friends and I certainly did not bicker and treat each other the way these friends did. Being autistic I would rather swim with sharks than deal with confrontation.

Now I watch shows like Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries and feel an ache for my younger neurodivergent family.

It’s so difficult to not turn to television if you’ve been flying under the radar and masking. It sets us up for failure time and again. I’m not even going to delve into my failed dating life.

I don’t have any sage advice to offer about television but it is all scripted. Neurotypical writers, wrote the lines for these actors. They are in character and they go home to messy unscripted lives. We only see what’s in the frame of the camera. Behind that camera is a sound stage with staff all paid to make that television show watchable. Watch and enjoy. Turn to your neurodivergent tribe to wade through your confusion. Our lives don’t have to be tv worthy.

© Laura Lewis Autism Mentoring 2020

One thought on “Television is not a social story

  1. I haven’t watched tv for 10yrs. I only read news/politics online & listen to ABC Radio National ABC News 24. It’s because I don’t feel I have the time to “waste” on tv shows I’m intent on knowing what’s going on in the world. However, every couple of days I have to step back due to my mental health

    Like

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