“We are playing Gogglebox!” Sprite told me “Well, all except Psycho Motor Dabrowski – he’s bouncing.”
“Yes” agreed Psycho Motor “I was getting bored with playing Gogglebox and going Boing takes the AHR out of Boring. I will go back and watch when something exciting comes on.”
Gogglebox Australia is based on the U.K. program of the same name and is a weekly “reality” TV observational series which captures the reactions of “ordinary” Australians as they watch selected television programs. The chosen households are rigged with cameras to capture their reactions.
Sprite, the Dabrowski Dogs, Columbus Cheetah, the Persona Dolls, and Sprite’s soft toys were sitting in groups watching a television screen, a laptop or a cardboard box representing a TV.
“We all watch the same program and we talk about it – like a running commentary” Sprite said. “And I do the voice-over introductions.”
Intellectual Dabrowski was conducting fact checks and then arguing loudly about any inconsistencies he found.
Sensual was appreciating the images and the background mood music and canned laughter in the shows and the taste of the snacks they were sharing while they watched.
Imaginational was imagining what it would be like to be the characters or to experience the situations they were viewing.
And Emotional Dabrowski was riding an emotional roller coaster – sad, happy, indignant, proud, happy, nostalgic, sad, confused….
Columbus Cheetah was checking the content for depictions of stereotypes of myths relating to giftedness.
“Tonight, in a special edition of Gogglebox, our families will be watching television programs which feature gifted characters” Sprite said in her announcer’s voice.
The first program was The Simpsons.
“I like Lisa” said Miranda, the Successful student “She is like me!”
“I think she is snooty” said Vincent, the At Risk student
“I like that Lisa has strong ethics and is concerned about the environment” said Imaginational.
“Are there any other gifted characters?” I asked.
“Bart might be” said Vincent
“And Maggie is very young but she does seem to be very clever, the dear little poppet” said Emotional.
“What about Marge?” I asked
“Ha!” said Sprite “You want me to say yes; because you think Marge is like you!”
“Do you think people who watch this show would like the gifted characters?
And do you think it gives an accurate picture of them?” I asked.
“Well you know what I think about cartoon characters!” Sprite snorted. I remembered that she had been cross with me when I created a Simpson character avatar for her
“They don’t even have the right number of fingers – so how accurate do you think it is?”
“This show does not reinforce any of the ten myths about giftedness that I endeavour to bust at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm” said Columbus Cheetah. “And it does address a number of the social emotional issues that gifted people face so I score this show quite highly for depiction of gifted characters.”
“Do you think people would like the gifted characters?” I asked
Suddenly everyone was speaking at once.
“If they felt empathy with them”
“Everyone here is gifted (except some of the soft toys) so what we say might not be what other people say”
“But we don’t even all agree so it is not a matter of whether the viewer is gifted or not”
The only group that remained silent was the soft toys.
“What do the soft toys think?” I asked
“They think what I tell them to think!” said Sprite.
“Big Question Time!” said Edward, the Autonomous Learner “Are the people who write and produce these TV shows trying to tell us what to think? How many people watch TV critically and evaluate what they see? How many just sit in front of it and accept it all as true?
And, if so, what messages are being given to them about giftedness and gifted people?
Are the depictions accurate? Do they make viewers like and feel empathy with gifted people?
What are the consequences if they do not?”
Dr. Wilma Vialle has written a paper titled Pink or Paris? Giftedness in popular culture about the depiction of giftedness in popular culture and how it impacts gifted girls in finding their role models. You can read it at http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2222&context=edupapers
As well as television another major influence on popular culture is films. Many films have featured gifted characters and Jo has developed a series of film discussions which can be found at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/filmsrev15.htm
There are so many television series which feature gifted characters.
Some which come to mind are
The Big Bang Theory
Doogie Howser, MD
Star Trek: The next generation
Malcolm in the Middle
We would not be able to able to discuss them all in one Gogglebox sitting.
“Next our families will be viewing The Big Bang Theory” intoned Sprite in her voice-over announcer’s voice.
This is a post for Hoagies’ May Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture.
Read more by going on the hop at www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_pop_culture.htm