Image Jo Freitag
When I returned from the Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture
I found Sprite and co were still playing the Gogglebox game and were watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon invents a formula for making friends
This is something which Sprite often finds difficult
Little Bully Black Dog was literally rolling around the floor laughing.
“It is funny because it is true!” he gasped between bursts of laughter.
“That is exactly what Sprite is like all the time!”
“She is not like that ALL the time” said the pedantic Intellectual Dabrowski. “I will admit that she is SOMETIMES like that. But these TV programs show exaggerations of the characters because they are trying to condense it into 30 minutes. So they have to magnify the characters’ mannerisms so that the audience notices them.
“Well I think it is hilarious!” said Little Bully Black Dog “In half an hour I get enough material to tease Sprite for a whole month!”
“See, that is what I wasconcerned about!” said Edward the Autonomous Learner “When I said what messages are being given 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? I was thinking about situations like this where people would use what they saw on TV as fuel for teasing or bullying”
“I think that is why I don’t like cartoons” said Sprite “Usually they are drawn with exaggerated features so they do not look realistic. That is why I don’t like the way Jo draws me
She even drew this picture of me for the topic Exaggerated for her Art Challenge.”
“I am sure that is a good illustration of how it felt” said Sensual Dabrowski.
Image Jo Freitag
“Yes it was. But I know it was not how I looked because I have the other picture for comparison” Sprite replied.
“I believe it also depends on perspective” said Intellectual “Things can look very different when viewed from a different angle.
And that is true of the TV audiences too. How they understand and interpret what they see will depend on their background and viewpoint.
And how people act toward gifted people after viewing will also differ.”
“What did you see on the other blogs on the Hoagiesgifted’ May blog hop?” asked Edward
These are the posts I visited and the comments I left or tried to leave.
Giftedness in the media by Adventures of Hahn Academy
Sadly, the portrayal of gifted individuals in popular media is not always correct or positive. Rather, the media tends to reinforce stereotypes and send the message that the highly gifted are not normal. Gifted individuals or geniuses in pop culture have an unbelievably high IQ, exaggerated behavior or personality traits, elicit conversation, interests in obscure topics, rattle off statistics and calculations, play chess, read thick books, seem blunt and insensitive, some level of arrogance, emotionally detached, logical-minded, etc… The media’s insistence on reinforcing stereotypes is not helping how the gifted are perceived by others. Instead, people are sometimes describing gifted children based on which TV character they think the child is more like…
My comment: What an excellent compilation of sources and resources! Many of them are new to me and I will enjoy investigating them.
Picture books for gifted children by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, My Little Poppies
I love it when I stumble upon a book that speaks to me. It is a wonderful feeling when you step into a book that feels like home. These books feel like old friends, safe and comfortable. As a bibliophile and homeschooling mom, I want my children to experience this phenomenon.
Gifted children are outliers. They think outside of that proverbial box. They are unique and all too often misunderstood.
There is a safety in books that can be life-altering in the early years. The right book can make you feel whole, understood, valued
My Comment: Great selection of books! Thank you, Cait.
Einstein, the Big Bang, and Scorpion by Linda Wallin, Living with Geniuses
Just because a person has a high IQ, they do not necessarily lack social graces. There can be some difficulties adjusting to others, as a friend told me twenty years ago. Her son’s IQ approached 190, and he would complete assignments that did not fulfill the teacher’s requirements. She would patiently explain to him why he should change it, and he would patiently explain to her why it had to be done his way…
My Comment: I think often the media exaggerate characteristics which can make their portrayals of gifted people seem less realistic.
Everything I needed to know about being a smart kid, I learned from 80’s movies by Jen, repurposed genealogy
3. Get a mentor to guide you
Maybe your mentor can artfully sculpt a bonsai tree and catch flies with chopsticks like Mr. Miyagi. Maybe he invented a time machine like Doc Brown. Your mentor needs have the intellect and ability to guide you through challenges….
My comment: Thanks for a really enjoyable revisiting of these movies!
G” in Popular Culture ~ or ~ How to Be a Gifted Elder by Joy Navan, ongiftedelders
Now I am an elder. I thought when I retired, I was supposed to quilt, and travel occasionally. I thought I would be leaving everything else that defined me behind – wife, mother, professional. What a surprise! I am still gifted as an elder and must find my way in this strange new world. Thankfully, there are role models like my mentor, Annemarie Roeper, and others who teach us how to be a gifted elder…
My comment: I love the idea of being an autonomous life long learner – there is always so much more to learn! And I like your words of wisdom especially numbers 3 and 4
Profiling the Gifted in Popular Culture by Gift-Ed Connections
From Sheldon to Rachel, Matilda to Ender, we are enthralled with gifted characters. We are fascinated by the complexity of their thoughts, their unique and amazing abilities, their unusual reactions to situations, their character flaws and how they overcome difficulties. Do they serve us well as we seek to understand more and educate about giftedness? As with any caricature as characters often tend to be, storylines can highlight some qualities of the gifted experience but ultimately fail in capturing the unique qualities…
My comment: I enjoyed this post and the examples of gifted individuals you gave.
Using Pop Culture References to Explain Giftedness by Lisa on Raising Wizards
Sometimes it’s hard to explain what giftedness really is, and how it makes children feel. Luckily, a good example can really pave the way for a great discussion. Here, we’ve compiled all of our favorite posts that use pop culture references to describe elements of giftedness. Feel free to steal some ideas next time you need to explain giftedness to someone!
My comment: A really great collection of articles about depictions of giftedness in popular films and books.
Gilmore Girls and Two Faces of Giftedness by Institute for Educational Advancement
…re-watching a favorite episode, it hit me that one thing I have never seen addressed is the giftedness of two of the characters and the contrasts in how it is manifested.
Rory is a teenager who would be considered “gifted” by most traditional definitions of the word. She craves knowledge and grasps concepts easily. As her grandfather put it, “This girl could name the state capitals at 3, recite the periodic table at 4, (and) discuss Schopenhauer’s influence on Nietzsche when she was 10.” Rory clearly has an advanced ability….
My comment: It is interesting to see possible causes of underachievement being addressed in a popular TV series.
Gifted in Pop Culture: Role Models Required by Carolyn K., Hoagies’ Nibbles and Bits
One thing our kids want and need to watch and read are stories where they find others “like them.” Other gifted kids, passionate about real-world issues. Other gifted kids, with strong interests and sometimes stronger fears. Other gifted kids who work hard and play hard. Gifted kids, as all kids, need books and movies with role models who they can identify with. They need to know they are Not Alone
My comment: A great selection of books and plays – some of them new to me. Thank you, Carolyn!
It’s Been a While… by Chocky’s Child
Chocky was a science fiction novel by John Wyndham, and it was adapted into a TV series in the mid 1980s, when I was a child. I like the book and the original series, but two subsequent follow up series – Chocky’s Children and Chocky’s Challenge spoke to me more, because of the presence of one character in particular. Her name was Albertine – and she’d named after Albert Einstein. Albertine was only a kid – a girl of about 13, I think – and she was a genius.
My comment: Great to hear from you again Shaun! I loved Chocky and Welcome to the Ark. And you were the one who introduced me to Top kid and Ender’s game which I appreciated too.
Gifted Characters In Korean And Japanese Dramas by Elgarmummy
The Korean Wave, known as Hallyu, has been sweeping Asia and the rest of the world in terms of entertainment for years, and there is no sign of abating. With East Asian countries placing strong emphasis on academics and other areas such as music, it is no wonder that some of the lead characters in dramas are gifted
My comment: Wow, Sarah! All these characters were new to me and I found the post really interesting!
Giftedness Magnified by Ann Grahl, Supporting Gifted Learners
Think of the pop stars we’ve witnessed go from America’s darlings to targets for trolls and critics alike.
As a gifted young adult friend recently observed, “You think it is tough growing up gifted. Just imagine growing up gifted under a magnifying glass.”
Popular gifted performers of all stripes face challenges similar to those that less-well-known gifted young people face…
My comment: Great post Ann. It is hard enough dealing with the asynchrony and intensities of giftedness without doing it in the public spotlight!
Post script: Gogglebox was awarded a Logie in the category of Best Factual Program
This has been a review post for Hoagies’ May Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture.
Read more by going on the hop at