One you will find almost as disturbing as last weeks.
I watch 'Packed to the Rafters'.
Totally cheesy I know, but it has got me sucked in. Before I got to watch this weeks episode, I read a comment about it on Terrible Palsy's blog, which made me all the more keen to watch it and see what I thought.
This is what I think: I think they are on dangerous ground.
A few weeks ago they had the storyline about the mum (Rebecca Gibney) being pregnant and at high risk for Down Syndrome. What if the baby had DS? Would they keep the baby? Would they terminate the pregnancy? How would they cope? And then after a lot of emotional scenes it turns out - O look, the baby doesn't have DS after all. I know for the writers it is just a story idea that they think will get ratings, but how does this affect people watching who have lived this? Especially the ones who didn't get the convenient TV ending of everything turning out fine? And why not have the story idea (shock, horror) that your child does have DS and you love them to bits and they are a delightful member of your family that you wouldn't swap for anything???
This weeks story has been bugging me since I watched it. There is a new character in the show - Jake (Rachel's boyfriend) whose brother has Cerebral Palsy - which is fine - good actually for people with disabilities to be portrayed on screen. However the character isn't played by an actor with CP, but someone pretending to have CP. VERY hard to do that tactfully if you ask me...surely there are actual actors with CP out there that could have been used? The worst part of the storyline is that this character's mother is quite bitter and twisted. She comes across as very protective of her children, but in an aggressive, nasty way. Surely the media doesn't think that all us SN mums are bitter and twisted from taking care of our children and worrying about their futures? Why not portray her as a loving, caring mum just like the main character of the show?
The DS and CP storylines don't offend me, they do make me concerned as to whether the stories will be handled well, and whether they are realistic. But the SN mum being bitter and twisted - that I find offensive.
I am not bitter and twisted (not to my knowledge anyway). Hopefully I won't ever become bitter and twisted. So far I haven't met any other bitter and twisted parents. Most of us though are sick of stereotypes and prejudice in the community - and I don't know that these TV portrayals are helping.
Anyone else watch and have an opinion?
PS - I hope I haven't been offensive in any of these ramblings. If I've been out of line with anything I've said feel free to leave a rude comment - that I won't publish ;)