I just watched ER. You know, the one that starred the man who has Down syndrome? His name is Nicholas Weiland and he did a great job.
I totally admit, I only watched this for Nicholas. I haven't watched ER since the Clooney days and even then I wasn't faithful. Come to think of it, I haven't been faithful to a TV show (on actual TV, you know, I watch some shows faithfully. In order. And please don't spoil them for me. On DVD.) with the exception of last season's Project Runway, in eons.
ER is sorta' like the old folks' version of Grey's, in'it? Or something. It's not as sexy. Sure, they have Uncle Jessie, but it's hard to think of Uncle Jessie as sexy. (OK, maybe he was sexy for a minute in Cabaret, but still.) At least Clooney had a history of sexiness. Need I remind you of the OLD ER? The half hour sitcom ER? 'member that one? With Elliot Gould and Sherman Hemsley? And the receptionist who said "Stay backa' the white line!" And who can forget George Clooney on Facts of Life? Hey! You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...--what can I say, I have a thing for Mr. Clooney. Let's face it, he comes from good blood.
Anyhow. Back to present day, not-too-sexy, ER.
Like I said,Nicholas Weiland did an excellent job. No questions there. But the rest of it? (And by the rest of it, I mean the storyline revolving aroundNicholas Weiland's character, Lowell, because I didn't pay much attention to the other bits.) It, like the facts of life, was both good and bad.
O.K. so the general premise is the story we've all heard a bazooty times before. Couple has kid. Kid has DS. Dad doesn't want kid so they decide to put kid in institution. Mom secretly visits kid every week unbeknownst to dad. Mom and kid are hurt in some kind of accident. Mom is DNR. She's gonna' die. Dad discovers kid and mom have been seeing each other. etc.
First the bad: Ugh. Why did the dad have to say something about mom getting pregnant in her 40s? That right there is going to further the stereotype of who has kids with DS. It can happen to anyone. Any age.
Frankly, while it's compelling, I am sick of the story. I mean, the story needs to be told. It certainly happened enough times. But what about sometime just having a character who has DS just doin' stuff. Like everybody else?
Also. When explaining what happened (with him finding out the baby had DS before deciding on institutionalizing him) dad says, "I knew it was going to be hard...." OK I just wish he had said "I thought...". Because he didn't KNOW anything.
Now the good: Again. Good acting.
I liked that the doctors (the main characters in the show, the STARS of the show) treated Lowell with respect and basically made the dad see what a coward he was being. They asked him important questions about his mom, didn't just assume he wouldn't know (although he didn't), and well...they were good to him. (Maybe because they are DOCTORS? Too easy. Lots of doctors are jerks. Nevermind.)
I like that the dad feels remorse. I don't know if that's just too easy for the script. So sue me, I wanted a happy ending.
Except, yeah, the mom dies. And it had me thinking. What if I die? What will happen to Georgia? I mean, of course Alex and our families will take care of her. But what if I die? What if I die? It's astounding to think when you have a child, what if I die?
And yeah, I totally cried when the dad and son shook hands.
But OK. Now? People with DS? Just doin' their thing? In TV shows? Books? Magazines? Catalogs? Come on now people!
Oh. Except this. Which has nothing to do with that.
Three of my friends have told me in the last month that they have, or are in the midst of, getting divorced. I am sure they have their reasons. It's not as if I am passing judgment. It just makes me sad.