22 July 2010

Lie to Me

Lie to Me is my new favourite show. Well, I say "new", it's actually been just over a year since I sat and watched the whole first season in the space of 2 days because once I'd started watching I couldn't stop (like televisual Pringles). But calling it my "new favourite show" is my way of trying to explain that it's beaten CSI to the number one spot in my heart.

It seems to have slightly hit that difficult second album thing that musicians know too well with season 2. Season 1 was this wonderfully original show that looked at truth and lies in a way that had never been seen before on TV. Season 2 so far has just been all about the adrenalin: More episodes have had at least one of the main characters in mortal danger than not so it's no longer the original and unique series it was, because holding a major character at gunpoint is something you see pretty much daily on American TV (though I have a funny feeling the network demanded more danger in the hopes that the adrenalin would make it more popular). It's still damn good though, but if I was a teacher marking season 2 I'd write "could do better" in red ink on it.

Over the course of nearly 2 seasons Cal and the team have met quite a few disabled people: A guy with MS in 'Life Is Priceless' (though the ep was poorly researched and contained bad info about the mortality of folks with MS), several women who'd been blinded by a rapist in 'Blinded', a woman with multiple personalities in 'The Core of It', a paraplegic in 'Black Friday', and a veteran with PTSD in 'React to Contact'. In all of those episodes disability was used as a plot device and it hadn't been explored how disabled people could be harder for Cal to read, until last week.

In 'Teacher and Pupils' Cal is asked to help a police officer who has been shot and is now locked-in to identify his shooters.

I've had this little fantasy for a while where Cal is asked to investigate a crime in a segregated environment - probably a special school - and is faced with a difficulty in reading impaired faces/bodies: The face and arms that move constantly because that person has CP would be a barrier for Cal, the person with autism who never makes eye-contact whether they're lying or not, the person who seems constantly distracted because they have ADHD and not because they're in a hurry to get away because they're trying to hide something, not being able to follow the gaze of someone with nystagmus, and so on. Cal has often commented that he likes a challenge and investigating people with bodies and brains that work slightly differently to the ones he's used to reading would surely be a thrill.

And, of course, I'd ultimately want the episode to be an antidote to the CSI episode 'Sounds of Silence' which had a strong subtext of "segregation is good. If only he'd stayed in the safety of segregation and not gone out among those non-disableds he would never have been killed."

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