Monday, July 23, 2012

Media Monday - Perception

I'm loving my Comcast On Demand tv because no matter how much I don't watch tv on a regular basis, if I do want to watch something, I want to watch it on my own time.  
Lots of folks have recommended DVR to me, but I've just not gotten on that train yet. With On Demand, I can login at night, review what's been on where and decide then what I want to watch.  DVRing means I have to know something is coming on at a certain time on a certain date...that so isn't happening for me right now.  

Through my On Demand, I caught the beginnings of the new tv series, Perception, starring Eric McCormack of Will and Grace fame.  Dr. Daniel Pierce is a genius and professor of neuroscience at what looks like an Ivy League college somewhere in Chicago.  His is a popular professor, absolutely and incredibly in tune with his students in the classroom and makes his professional content area reachable to them.  Outside the classroom though, Dr. Pierce exhibits schizophrenic characteristics.  He is not a dangerous man, by any stretch of the imagination, and uses his professional knowledge to work through his mental illness, struggling at times with his own ability to see reality vs imagination.  Thankfully, he is working within an environment that supports his impeccable work despite the drawbacks of his condition.  His loyal sidekick is graduate student/TA, Lewicky, who keeps Dr. Pierce on schedule and makes sure his daily routines are carried out to lessen Dr. Pierce's "episodes."


Kate Moretti is a former student of Dr. Pierce and working with the FBI.  She consults with Dr. Pierce whenever her caseload involves understanding the neurological nuances of the brain in either the victim or the criminal...or both. 



I'm always scared to fall in love with a new series.  Just my luck, I'll be the only one falling in love and it'll get yanked before I get my fill.  :p 
But, I'm falling for this one.

Eric McCormick is in his element in the classroom as Dr. Pierce.  He is utterly believable as this uber intelligent/professorial type, one who under normal circumstances would have his female students falling at his feet. 



His classroom lectures are where he pulls me in the most.  What can I say?  Once an academic, always an academic.
While I'm not a fan of the lecture itself, Dr. Pierce is somehow able to pull his students into a real world conversation where they actually begin to understand the connection between the giant words he's using and the very complicated workings of the human brain.  Cool.



Outside the classroom, on the case, there are times where I can't help feeling sorry for Dr. Pierce (even though he never feels sorry for himself, nor wants anyone else to feel sorry for him).  The misfirings in his brain manifest themselves into hallucinations..."characters" who come to life in order to help him work through the puzzle.  What makes me sad is that sometimes he's not sure what's real and what's not and gets confused.   When he feels like he's losing it, Dr. Pierce dons headphones and conducts the classical music he's listening to.  To me, this seems like a cognitive behavioral strategy to distract his brain from "freaking out."  A little strange and definitely noticeable to those around him, this eccentricacy is the weirdest part of Dr. Daniel Pierce to me.



Despite the drawbacks of his condition, Dr. Pierce is a genius...truly a genius.  The ways he works through puzzles, whether crossword puzzles, anagrams, or the crimes themselves, is astounding.  He needs these puzzles to exercise his brain, so they're a welcome challenge; however, his brain will not let go once it gets started.


If you like mystery/detective stuff with some heavy thinking embedded as well as are interested in mental illnesses and specifically how people with mental illnesses can and are still an integral part of mainstream society, then join me tonight for Peception on TNT.




Just for the record: I do not work for TNT, don't know anybody there, and they've never even heard of me. All my opinions here are freely given and were not solicited in any way.
I just like this show :)

8 comments:

  1. Hello, there, I just found your blog through the TLC Book Tours, which I'm also a part of. I enjoyed this review of "Perception." I've been watching it with interest, also, partly to see how the mental illness is handled by the writers/actors. So far, I like it as much as you do. I think Pierce's mental illness is being handled with respect so far.

    I'm glad I found your blog. I, too, am a recovering academic.

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    1. I think the more we get mental illness out into the world...past the stereotypical views...the better off we'll all be. I had a conversation with someone yesterday who was talking about rumors that the Colorado theatre shooter was "schizophrenic." I patiently explained that schizophrenic didn't mean violent. Oy.

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  2. This sounds like the perfect show for me, although, like you, anything I start to love usually gets yanked. I am going to give this one a try though. It sounds very interesting and I love the idea behind it! Great review of this show today!

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    1. Thanks, Heather...it's a good one! A realistic view of mental illness, I think...the good and the bad. :)

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  3. I held my breath when I first watched this show. When so many of the bad guys in the movies and on TV end up having a "mental illness" of some type, there is such a need for positive portrayals of mental illness. I was pleasantly surprised. I hope it lasts but, like you, I find that things I enjoy don't tend to hang around long. Sigh.

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    1. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one. Society could use some education on mental illness for sure.

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  4. I really think you ought to get a DVR. It is the single greatest invention in TV I think. It allows you to watch when you want and without having to sit through commercials. What could be better???

    My husband recorded this show but I don't know if he's watched it yet. I'm not a big TV watcher so I didn't really know much about it. I do tend to get hooked on series that get canceled early though ... maybe that is why I don't watch TV!!!!

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    1. ok, Jenners, you had me at "no commercials" :p I'll check into the DVR again. :)

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