I returned from the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Gifted in Reel Life blog hop http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-in-reel-life/ to find the place littered with empty popcorn boxes.
I was able to bring back a number of suggestions for films and books which depict gifted characters in a realistic way and also to make a mental note of some shows it would be better to avoid.
Here are the posts I visited on the blog hop and the comments I left or tried to leave.
The Change and Growth of Claudia Donovan ~ On a Tangent (Leah Spann)
Claudia is a fun character. She’s a wisecracking, tech-savvy prodigy, who has a habit of causing mischief. She also becomes, with the help of a set of excellent mentors, a competent, forward-thinking government agent, who saves the Warehouse and the world from certain disaster on multiple occasions. But the real reason that I like Claudia so very much and feel so strongly about her character as a representative of gifted individuals is not, surprisingly, any of that. Namely, the reason I find Claudia Donovan so compelling is because she is not that person when we first meet her.
I do not know this show either but I love your account of the development of the character that you have seen during the series.
And I agree “I’m not my own age.” is a great description of asynchronous development!
Child Genius: How Media Distorts and Exploits Gifted Children ~ Gifted Unschooling (Amy Harrington)
With one new reality game show, gifted awareness has been set back as all the prevalent myths and stereotypes come to the forefront with Lifetimes’ “Child Genius.” Our anti-intellectual society will pat themselves on the back for believing that giftedness or worse, parenting gifted children, looks anything like what is portrayed on the show.
It is really sad how much damage the media can do, By portraying inaccurately and editing to give false impressions, they perpetuate the myths and stereotypes about giftedness. Thank you for a great post, Amy.
Columbo: Breaking Gifted Stereotypes ~ Eclectic Homeschooling (Amy Bowen)
I love how Columbo presents a picture of giftedness that isn’t stereotypical. Giftedness is often stereotyped as a geeky, socially-awkward individual that is obviously highly intelligent. Columbo very much goes against that stereotype and presents a picture of giftedness that often goes unrecognized.
I really enjoyed watching Colombo! I loved his tenacity and attention to minute details under cover of his bumbling absentmindedness
“Just one more thing…”
The Extraordinary Empathy of a Data Analyzing Robot Youth Life Form ~ Bob Yamtich
If we could get back to 1985, we could more easily see a film called D.A.R.Y.L. about a Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform.
I have not seen D.A.R.Y.L. but I think, judging by your great post, I would enjoy it!
Some movies on similar themes I have enjoyed are Bicentennial Man, I, robot and Short Circuit
Gifted in Reel Life ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Freitag)
There are many films about gifted characters which can be used for discussion starters for parent groups, material for teacher training or professional development/in-service training or activities for gifted youth groups.
Just calling in to deliver some more popcorn and tissues!
Gifted in “Reel” Life ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)
Growing up, I had a pretty positive impression of gifted children, which I realize now is inherently incomplete and also grossly inaccurate. While I came out of it with the impression of incredible smarts and the ability to rules-lawyer out of anything… the notion of anything relating to overexcitabilities was left well behind – as was the notion that perhaps gifted is not something that is global. Like, just because you’re gifted doesn’t mean you’re as ridiculously strong in math as you are in language arts.
My comment: I was not able to leave a comment here bit would have said
Yes it is unfortunate that there are not more balanced portraits of gifted and 2E people to be seen in the media. Great post, Care!
Images of Giftedness ~ Christy’s Houseful of Chaos (Christy Knockleby)
To Me, Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt and Howards End by E. M. Forester are about giftedness too. The characters illustrate the moral sensitivity, the willingness to question those around and to see things differently that is, and I’ve read, common among many gifted people.
Heightened sensitivity to moral issues is a characteristic of many gifted people and one which often makes it harder for them to fit in. Thank you for an interesting post and helpful SENG link.
In My Nightmares, I’m Theresa Wiggin ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)
I’ve been trying to come up with good introduction, something punchy, y’know. But I can’t. Closing my eyes I can hear my son avidly discussing trains with DH and my daughter thumping her fork on a table as she eats her breakfast. A few moments peace in order to coherently gather my thoughts, nope, not going to happen . . . oh well. It could be worse. I could be Theresa Wiggin.
A great post, Kathleen! I have to admit I had not thought about the series from the POV of Theresa Wiggin!
Life with Lilo ~ Mommy Misadventures (Michelle Nguyen)
One of my favorite movies of all time, Lilo & Stitch took a much more personal tone when I realized how closely some of my daughter’s issues mirrored that of Lilo.
Thank you for a great review post!
Lilo: Dabrowski’s Gifted Child in Reel Life ~ Scleratus Classical Academy (Anya Ward)
Around the time I was researching about gifted overexcitabilites I watched the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch to see if it was something that would be a good movie for the kids. As I watched it I was struck by how much this little girl was acting like the things I had been reading about. And while Disney may not have intended it that way, they were clearly portraying a gifted child with several, if not all, of Dabrowski’s overexcitabilites.
Great post! It is so good to see giftedness and OEs shown in a non-stereotype way.
Quite Interesting ~ Our Life at Home (Stacey Adams)
I will admit that, at times, Stephen can come across as a condescending jerk. But this confession melted my heart. Retyping a book, out of his love for the mechanical workings of a typewriter, is exactly the sort of thing my son would do.
I love Q.I. and yes it is a real pity that Stephen was made fun of in an inappropriate manner for sharing a personal story. Comedians need to be very careful – it is so easy to tip over the line between humour and cruelty/disrespect.
Reel Life This Ain’t ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)
People have told me for years that our lives here would make a great sitcom. That’s all well and good, but no one would believe it. A gifted or twice-exceptional family doesn’t transition well to a screen, big or little. Hobbies and jokes that few would get. Too nuanced, too much angst, not enough laugh track.
Great post, Jen! I love The Incredibles too! And I agree that people in general would feel bored, confused or very uncomfortable if they watched an accurate show about gifted/2E people in REAL life, in REAL time span and without any editing to manipulate their opinions.
Rise: A Refreshing Dose of Gifted Reality ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)
In this age of reality shows, many of which I believe to be potentially damaging to our nation’s youth, RISE was a refreshing dose of genuine reality. In this film you will not find exploitation, continuation of long-held stereotypes, voyeuristic competition- none of that. Rise is real, folks.
This sounds like an excellent film – one I would very much like to see. Thank you for a great review!
That New Show About Kids Who Are “Geniuses”? Yeah, Let’s Talk About That ~ Red, White and Grew (Pamela Price)
Yes, by all means, let’s use a televised competition between underage gifted people to feed a culture’s insatiable desire for attention and status. Let’s pit kids against one another and let the winner take the spoils in videos that will last forever. While we are at it, let’s also make it easier for people to tease and bully gifted kids–a population vulnerable to bullying–by saying things like “if you’re so smart, why can’t you get on that Lifetime show and win some money?”
To me the sad thing about reality TV shows and media articles in general is that so often they are edited to show the worst/most dramatic and may not be a truthful depiction of what was said and done.
Those Quirky Red Boots ~ Through a Stronger Lens (Nicole Linn)
When I first heard about the movie, my thoughts were, “Bradley Cooper and Sandra Bullock? Fun romantic comedy? Sure!” Instead, I found a fairly accurate depiction of a highly gifted woman, living unapologetically in a world that just didn’t get her,
I have not seen this movie and, judging by your great review, it is one that I would enjoy. And I like your advice to Care not to watch it on a day when you are feeling vulnerable but to save it for a “take me for who I am day”!
This is a commentary post on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum December Blog Hop: Gifted in Reel Life.
To read all the posts please visit http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-in-reel-life/