TV Shows Just Aren’t Helping Us

This isn’t something I hear of course but if I see one more dang television drama that involves a severe injury without any consequences…

For example, the show, Scorpion. Two weeks in a row now they have completely glossed over the physiological consequences of things guaranteed to cause a brain injury. An explosion very close to one of the characters? Puts him in the hospital in a coma? Check. Back in action remarkably soon (maybe weeks, tops) and back to his old strong mathematical acuity? Uh huh.

This week’s episode involved a child trapped by a rock slide and eventually suibmerged by a rising tide. Yes, an improvised perfusion device bought him some time by externally oxygenating his blood. A cool idea however reallllly improbable. Check. Alas, a problem messes up that solution and thus before the child can be rescued he’s essentially starved of oxygen for around 5 minutes under water + the time it takes to get him out from under all the rocks to an EMT. Then it takes even more time before the child comes to, does the obligatory ‘throw up the water off to the side’ and there he is, smiling for his mom and dad.

Oh, please. I wonder if shit like this contributes to the way people discount the problems brain injury survivors have to deal with for the rest of their lives. I see stuff like this over and over again. Yes, I know that an ongoing character dealing with a brain injury of any kind is not very likely to show up anywhere in our entertainment world. Several practical reasons for that but it still makes me angry.

About peterwick

I was a long-time jack of all trades. Until suddenly I was different.
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10 Responses to TV Shows Just Aren’t Helping Us

  1. Anonymous says:

    My wife routinely criticizes med scenes in TV shows. As an ICU/CCU RN I know she is correct but it is only entertainment not a docu-drama. Not many shows could survive if accuracy was required. My general feeling is that if I am going to watch TV that I first need to disassociate myself from my brain.

    The same holds true for SciFi, one of my favorites. Most of the technology and scenarios depicted there do not exist. For me as long as it is reasonably thought out, I can accept it as ‘real’ in the context of the movie. If however it is totally hokey and stupid, I completely loose interest and move on.

    Run Strong



  2. peterwick says:

    Well, you, sir, seem way too intelligent for this discussion. I definitely see your point and also that you understand television and movies to be entertainment. Especially in need of shifting one’s brain into neutral and engaging the parking brake if science is involved. I just have an issue with the use of what I call ‘magic time’ wherein time passes but you don’t know how much.

    I’m sensitive to it now regarding trauma. People don’t recover in real life like that often do on TV. I understand the practicalities of running a show but as I alluded to above – most people are not smart enough to really operate with your perspective. It’s those people that transfer what they see to real world beliefs.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Peter you are correct, there are a lot of stupid people out there. One of the major tenants of what makes my world uniform and harmonious is the mindset that there is very little in my little box. Everything, and everyone else is outside of my sphere of influence, much like the sun coming up or how much snow we get. I dogmatically cling to the notion that I must conduct my life in a positive and respectful way, all other things will be what they will be.

    I am not naive nor am I foolish. I have the ultimate faith in humanity – in the general sense but find it is individuals who are cruel or mean. Hence, I try to protect myself so I am not vulnerable to such predation.

    Back to the OP about what others see and believe, nothing you can do or say will have any effect on them. Some lack the education to understand, others would be ignorant and refuse to understand. I’d be willing to bet that even if you could have a decent discussion with them they would still resist the truth you are trying to convey.

    I suggest you save your emotional energy for positive things and moving forward. Why squander such a precious resource on unspecified others that act on their own free will and do not subscribe to the standards and norms of people like yourself and I.

    Run Strong,

    Steven West


  4. peterwick says:

    Oh my God! I just tried to read that first thing in the morning, without any warm up or anything. I sprained a nerve bundle for sure. Thanks man. A little heads up would’ve been nice. 😉

    More seriously, you bring up some good points. I’m not sure I ever had a really strong grip on my own emotional well being before the accident but after? I’m still sorting out what my life means in all this cognitive damage. I’m especially confused by other people. Their tone of voice, body language, implied meaning of what they say, even what they say at face value if they speak too quickly. It’s even worse over the phone. I find that I’m also dependent on people I’m familiar with, better yet comfortable around. I’m like a plastic bag in the wind. And knowing it hasn’t helped trying to be ready for anything.

    When I can take my time to read messages and respond it’s a different story. I don’t want to be limited like that though.

    Your advice to me to work on myself is well taken. I’m definitely trying to work on my rehab but I often lose sight of why. It can’t be just to fix the function of the various parts that don’t work well. I need to get perspective again. Consistently, not just here and there, and more in each moment, not after the event. Wellllllll after the fact.

    This blog is also not just for myself though. I do want to bring up topics and discuss them more broadly than how they have played out in my own life.

    Thanks for discussing this more deeply than just a brief comment.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry about that….. should have posted it as ‘rough road ahead’…..

    If you want to chat more privately, email me directly swest262 at gmail dot com

    Run Strong,



  6. peterwick says:

    I’m not sure if you meant that as funny but it sure struck me that way. Thanks.


  7. Steve West says:

    My quip about ‘rough road ahead’ was in humor related to your prior reply. All the rest was said in earnest.

    If you become bored and have an interest in knowing more about me, I have blog I started my first year at EN. It lasted for about a year then I lost interest, so most of the entries are old. Some day I may get the urge again. But until then…… I’ll be happy reading yours

    Run Strong


  8. peterwick says:

    Nice. Point me to it, Steve. I have to say that my fitness and performance really increased after working with EN. I’d be interested to get your take on it. That first OS was a rude awakening but that was the start of what would take 90 min of my IM performance.

    I kinda figured that was a joke. Nice.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Needs some attention and a few updates but too many other things keep me busy….

    Run Strong



  10. Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
    I haven’t watched Scorpion — haven’t been all that interested. And here’s something that makes me even less interested… It’s true, television just does not “do” TBI depictions well at all.


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